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The Hunt for Red October

Last winter, there was a fight in a game between North Dakota and Denver where North Dakota's Kyle Radke got Denver's Brandon Vossberg on the ice and was raining blows on him, which had George Gwozdecky questioning if referee Marco Hunt did enough to protect his player.

The Denver Post's Mike Chambers ended his blog post discussing the incident with this line:
"Perhaps Hunt would have broken it up if a second referee was handling the penalty notebook."
Let's go to the video!


This is an incredibly dangerous situation where Minnesota's White obviously doesn't want to fight and get a suspension, while Grotting has no such qualms. Grotting gets at least four great swings at White while he's down on the ground before Hunt even thinks about intervening. White was lucky his helmet stayed on, and that Grotting didn't solidly connect on any of his punches, because there is a ton of potential for a very serious injury there.

I've been willing to give the WCHA officials my patience with respect to the stricter rules enforcement. In the games I've watched this year, there have been some bad calls, and I'm always leery of giving this group more discretion, but ultimately, it was a change that desperately needed to happen and should have long-term benefits. But first and foremost, their job should be to protect the players, and it's scary to watch when that doesn't happen.