Monday, March 23, 2009

Another WCHA SNAFU

Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey: An embarrassing moment

By ANDY BAGGOT
3/19/2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- What caused the biggest buzz during the first day of the WCHA Final Five?

Hint: It wasn't Minnesota-Duluth staging a mild 2-1 upset of Minnesota in the play-in game Thursday night at the Xcel Center.

It was the highlight video shown during the annual awards banquet Thursday afternoon.

If the piece was supposed cast the WCHA in a good light, it failed miserably and prompted feelings of embarrassment from a variety of schools.

The video included multiple clips of players checking from behind, mugging one another, throwing one another to the ice and mixing it up.

There was a snippet of a player, apparently Minnesota State-Mankato's Channing Boe, being taken from the ice on a stretcher after he broke his ankle in a melee against Minnesota.

Those in the Wisconsin entourage were upset that much of their exposure in the piece had to do with goals allowed by goaltender Shane Connelly.

In fact, instead of celebrating the league and tying the whole season together, the final segment focused on the second UW-Denver series in which the Badgers allowed a late goal and were beaten in overtime.

After the banquet, UW coach Mike Eaves was asked for his reaction to the video.

"I'm surprised,'' is all he would say.

Coaches and representatives from multiple schools expressed dismay at the video.

"Embarrassing,'' said one.

"A total joke,'' said another.