On Friday evening, I praised the WCHA officiating crew for keeping a lid on an intense, physical game. But Saturday, in a game Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings called "playoff hockey," the officials didn't have as much luck keeping the high emotions of both teams in check.
Things escalated at 8:15 of the third period when all hell broke loose after a whistle. Here's video of the play:
The final box score details all the penalties handed out. Most notably, Minnesota State's Teddy Blueger and Zach Stepan received game disqualifications and will miss Minnesota State's next game against Minnesota-Duluth at next weekend's North Star Cup. Ferris State's Justin DeMartino also received a game DQ and will miss Ferris State's next game against Michigan Tech. Ferris State goalie CJ Motte received a game misconduct, which meant it was the end of his night in goal, but he will still be eligible to play in Ferris State's next game--though the WCHA could choose to add a game disqualification to Motte, or any other player involved, after reviewing video of the incident.
After all the fireworks--and, according to Mankato Free Press beat writer Shane Frederick, some buffalo wing sauce thrown on the ice--there was still a pretty good hockey game to be played. Minnesota State had a 4-2 lead at the time of the incident, but Ferris State pulled to within one goal four and a half minutes later, and Minnesota State had to kill off another five-minute major penalty to hang to a 4-3 victory.
This was the only regular season meeting of the year between Minnesota State and Ferris State, though it may have sparked one of the first new rivalries in the reconstructed WCHA.