Merrimack coach Chris Serino was issued a formal reprimand by Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna after blasting referee John Murphy to reporters following his team’s loss at Michigan, 5-1, on Oct. 19.
Serino said of Murphy, “I think he’s incompetent.” He later added, “You don’t have a game like this anywhere. There were observers here tonight, they saw.”
“Hockey East will not tolerate such public criticism of on-ice officials, whether assigned by our office or by anyone else,” said Bertagna.
“Coach Serino was out of line and he should have known better. On behalf of our conference, I wish to apologize to the official and to the CCHA.”
Murphy is a former ECAC official who began working CCHA games this season and had been assigned to the game by the league office. He refereed both Merrimack-Michigan games on Oct. 18-19, which ended up with Merrimack whistled for 26 penalties and 74 minutes over the two nights while Michigan was assessed 18 penalties for 36 minutes.
According to Hockey East, Serino violated league by-laws which include the American Hockey Coaches Association’s Code of Conduct, which specifically prohibits public criticism of officials.
The AHCA requests that members voluntarily return a copy of the code signed by the school’s coach, captain and athletic director. Serino, who is also Merrimack’s interim Director of Athletics, signed the document on September 24, according to the league.