Whenever Denver and North Dakota get together, interesting things seem to happen. It's two quality teams that play with a ton of emotion, policed by referees lacking the ability to keep things under control.
I know where we all think this is heading, but actually, this doesn't involve North Dakota for once.
Instead, it was Denver coach George Gwozdecky that was ejected midway through Saturday's 2-2 tie with North Dakota. I can't imbed the YouTube video of the incident, but it can be seen here.
Now I'm sure Gwozdecky would be the first to admit that he took things too far, and I'm sure he will face some form of consequences for the way he acted after being called for those penalties, but like so many other times when things go wrong on the ice, this incident was easily avoidable.
It's no shock whatsoever that the referee to originally ring up Gwozdecky for a two-minute bench penalty was "Star of the Show" Todd Anderson. There's no official in the WCHA that has thinner skin and is quicker to pull out the misconduct penalty than Anderson.
By my count, Anderson has worked 12 weekend series so far this season. Of those 12, there has been one game misconduct handed out on a Friday night, and five(!) 10-minute misconducts handed out on Saturday nights. I can't vouch for all six incidents, but certainly this, and the two other misconducts I saw live were the result of a player saying something to Anderson and getting a misconduct. It really looks like there is a pattern here of frustration building over a weekend and crossing a line that is a little too easy to cross on Satuday night.
And this type of thing isn't just isolated to this year.
The last official to throw George Gwozdecky out of a game three years ago? Todd Anderson.
The official that got reprimanded by the league for grabbing a player that accidentally skated into him? Todd Anderson
The official that got Jeff Dubay suspended when Dubay made disparaging remarks about his officiating? Todd Anderson.
Ok, it's hard to fault him for the last one, since that was pretty much a public service, but again, there's enough of a pattern there that it merits taking a look at.