Minnesota’s leading scorer, junior Tyler Hirsch, is back skating with the Gophers, less than a week after a “bizarre” post-game incident following his team’s WCHA semifinal loss. Whether he will play this weekend or not remains unclear.
After everyone cleared the ice following last Friday’s WCHA semifinal loss, and as fans were filing out, Hirsch stayed on, placed a puck at center ice, and skated in alone on an empty net. He got within 10 feet, ripped a slap shot, went into the crossbar and fell head first, with the net, into the end boards. He then skated to center ice, placed his stick on the red line, and left.
Afterwards, Lucia alluded to personal issues Hirsch was having, and said his status was unclear.
According to USHR.com, Hirsch was actually hospitalized earlier in the week with a “nervous breakdown.” The report cites multiple sources close to the situation.
According to USHR.com, Hirsch and his family are deeply religious, and that his actions may have been related to religious symbolism. He reportedly told teammates that there was a need to exorcise demons from the building, according to USHR.com.
Wednesday, Hirsch’s family said in a statement, “Tyler is doing well and we would like to thank the Gopher hockey coaching staff, team members and support staff for their professionalism and attention to this matter.”
The Gophers face Maine in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.