DUXBURY — Shawn Thompson’s arrest for what would be his second drunken driving offense won’t keep him from coaching Harwood boys hockey team as it attempts to win back-to-back state championships Wednesday night in Barre.
Acting on a tip that Thompson was driving under the influence, state police pulled him over shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Sunday near the intersection of Route 100 and Crossett Hill Road.
Police said Thompson, who was driving on Route 100 at the time, was taken into custody without incident, processed for what would be his second DUI at the state police barracks in Middlesex, and released on a citation.
Thompson is scheduled to be arraigned at the criminal courthouse in Barre at 8:30 a.m. on April 8.
The looming court date won’t stop Thompson from keeping an appointment at the nearby BOR arena at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Harwood Athletic Director Chris Langevin.
“Shawn will coach on Wednesday night,” Langevin said, describing Thompson’s legal issues as a “personnel matter” about which he wasn’t prepared to comment further.
Wednesday night’s championship game against Brattleboro caps a bizarre pandemic-shortened season for the Harwood boys hockey team.
It’s one that began when Thompson, who entered the season as an assistant coach, was tapped to takeover for former head coach Jacob Grout after Grout was dismissed for sending an expletive-filled text to some of his players in early February.
Grout’s ouster occurred nearly a year after he coached the team to its first championship in 15 years and days before it opened what has been a perfect, 8-0, season with a 3-2 win over U-32.
While Grout collected signatures on a petition that was eventually signed by more than 1,350 people, the team kept winning — knocking off Middlebury, 3-0, in Saturday’s semifinal game.
The next day, police received a report Thompson was driving while under the influence and he was taken into custody — briefly raising questions about whether he would be permitted to coach Wednesday’s championship game.
Thompson was cited for DUI in December 2012 along a section of Route 100.