Four days after a postgame brawl that resulted in six game disqualifications, the WCHA issued a reprimand to both Wisconsin and Alaska-Anchorage’s coaches and players for the incident.
“The Association takes incidents of this nature very seriously,” said WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod, “and we are aware that they cast a dark shadow on the teams involved, the conference, and college hockey in general. The WCHA will not tolerate such conduct and any further incidents of this nature will result in severe action by the Association.”
At the same time, McLeod noted the efforts of both schools this week to avoid a repeat of the incident, which also included seven double minors for roughing. In total, 26 penalties for 118 minutes were assessed, all at the 20:00 mark of the third period of UAA’s 3-2 win Saturday.
“I just think it was frustration on their [Wisconsin’s] part — they were frustrated they lost the game, and started cross-checking,” Alaska-Anchorage head coach John Hill said at the time. “We didn’t skate away. Do I wish we would have? Yes. But we didn’t, and at that point all heck broke loose. I’m just glad that no one got injured. Both teams showed a lack of discipline.”
Anchorage’s Dallas Steward scored the winning goal on a controversial play which originally appeared to be whistled dead by referee Derek Shepherd.
“I still don’t know how this all started,” UW coach Jeff Sauer said after the game. “I wasn’t concerned about looking at that, I was concerned about looking at the goal. … It is a very difficult situation. You have the end of the game, both teams are on the ice. You have 40 hockey players on the ice, you’ve got problems.”
McLeod also said that the league would correct one of the penalties. The fighting major originally assessed to UAA’s Gregg Zaporzan was withdrawn and assessed instead to UAA’s Martin Stuchlik.