Trying to be WCHA player of the year is a hazardous occupation. Two weeks after Marc Cheverie got his leg sliced open in a freak accident, UND defenseman Chay Genoway is out an unknown length of time after taking a pretty dangerous hit from St. Cloud's Aaron Marvin. Somebody put Justin Fontaine in a bubble.
Sidenote: In classic coachspeak, UND's Dave Hakstol said of the injury: "I think we're going to have to take things as they come." If you want a creative writing exercise, trying adding "as opposed to..." at the end at the end of that quote and then trying to complete the sentence. So far I've got: "I think we're going to have to take things as they come, as opposed to traveling back in time to stop Aaron Marvin. Sure, we've got the technology--I bet you didn't know UND had a kickass time travel program at our school; it's not all grain alcohol and sorrow up here--but doing so would rip apart the fragile strings of time and tear asunder our entire view of reality. But perhaps I've told you too much, Brad Schlossman. Anyway, big game next week. He'll probably play"
UND's super-secret time travel machine aside, here's a video of the hit in question:
Yeah, that's pretty bad. The play was called a hit from behind, though the fact that it's from behind isn't really the issue here. If players are up against the boards like that, a check from behind is usually never called, and for good reason, since it's not that dangerous. The bigger issue is that Marvin drives Genoway's head into the boards, which is where the injury comes from. Contact to the head plays really need to become a point of emphasis in college hockey. No offense to the stuff they picked for this year, but I've never seen someone get hurt as badly as Genoway or Nick Leddy because they got facewashed in a post-whistle scrum.
And of course there's one other issue this play. Did you notice that Genoway had that puck the entire time, until he gave it up when he got crunched by the big number 17, at which point the puck went onto the stick of St. Cloud's Chris Hepp. I think pretty much everyone did, except for the two people that were getting actually getting paid to watch the game on the ice. You can see officials Don Adam and Tim Walsh discussing the play at the end of the video, which is scary news to begin with. But after that meeting, the brain trust determined that St. Cloud's Chris Hepp was the guilty party and kicked him out of the game. During the intermission, the penalty was revised, and Hepp got to put his equipment back on and got to return to the game, while Marvin was kicked out.
It does make you wonder though. It's not like this happened behind the play. There were two officials on the ice and quite obviously neither one was watching the play whatsoever. Two officials on the ice was supposed to correct that problem, but two poor officials isn't necessarily better than one poor official.
What else can be said that hasn't already been said? Officials that are held accountable for their performance, and are trying to earn a spot at the next level would be great. The WCHA is probably the closest league in North America to pro hockey, so it shouldn't be hard to find quality candidates. But the WCHA prefers the buddy system so that's what we have to live with.