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UAA's LaFranchise and Two Officials Get a Break

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Sometimes I kind of miss the tagging system of the old blog where tags were more for indexing things within the blog than for SEO purposes(Of course the upside now is that the Googles love me). Anyway, two of my favorite old tags were 'WCHA officials' and 'fiascoes' and this story would qualify for both.

Alaska-Anchorage's Kane LaFranchise hit Denver's Patrick Wiercioch with a hip-check. LaFranchise was given a 5-minute major and a game DQ for clipping. The penalty was then changed to a game misconduct for clipping after the game. But because you can't lessen a penalty after the game, only increase it, the original DQ decision stands for LaFranchise.

The end result is that LaFranchise will miss next Friday's game because of the game disqualification, though the WCHA admitted he didn't do anything wrong and the two officials from that game, Brett Klosowski and Justin Brown, will get the weekend off, which isn't a huge deal since Bemidji plays a WCHA team this weekend, so a pair of officials was going to be off this weekend anyway.

First off, there's some pretty hilarious irony here in that one week, a UAA player seriously injures an opponent with an illegal hit and gets no penalty, and the next weekend, a UAA player makes a clean hit that causes no serious injury and is given a suspension.To bring back the moderately popular feature Michael Scott Quote of the Week: "I never understand your references. Who is Kafkaesque?" I guess this exemplifies the WCHA officiating motto of "Nowhere close to correct, but hey, at least it all evens out".

The second problem here is the growing phenomenon of players turning into European soccer stars when it comes to injuries like this. Wiercioch reportedly put on quite a show after he was hit, but was healthy enough to be on the ice when DU scored on the resulting powerplay three minutes later. You can't even blame players for trying it. What's the incentive to get up and try to get to the bench, if it means only a two minute penalty or no penalty will be called, when you can just take a rest, wait for the trainer to come out and earn a major penalty. It's frustrating to watch, but probably not a lot can be done about it. At the least, hopefully we'll see more game misconducts handed out, with the ability to up them to a DQ after the game, rather than handing out DQs for things that don't even deserve a penalty.