Knee-on-knee hit sidelines Minnesota leading goal scorer Connor Reilly indefinitely

Minnesota’s Connor Reilly (21) missed the 2012-13 season with torn knee ligaments (photo: Melissa Wade).

Minnesota is preparing to play for an extended period of time without leading goal scorer Connor Reilly.

Reilly was injured by a knee-on-knee hit from Wisconsin’s Corbin McGuire in Saturday’s game in Madison. McGuire was given a major penalty for kneeing but wasn’t ejected and later scored the deciding goal in the shootout that awarded an extra point in the Big Ten standings.

The Big Ten on Monday suspended McGuire for one game.

Gophers coach Don Lucia called it “a bad, bad play” after the game and on his Monday radio show, he said Reilly would be out of the lineup for “a while.” Officially, he’s listed as out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Reilly, who leads the Gophers with 11 goals and is tied for fifth on the team with 16 points, missed the 2012-13 season with torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee suffered before the season started.

“I feel bad for Connor,” Lucia said on his show on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. “He’s been through more than any athlete should have to go through the last couple of years. Now he’s going to have to fight through another injury.

“Injuries are part of the game. I just feel bad that it happened to Connor of all people just from what he’s had to endure and go through, and the mental part of it through rehab and everything else.”

Reilly posted an update on Twitter on Monday:

 

Lucia was asked Monday whether there should be a disqualification penalty for kneeing, given the injury risk involved.

“In that instance, it should have,” Lucia said. “They [the referees] missed it and that’s why he was given an extra game by the Big Ten. The right call would have been, for me, a disqualification penalty. He would have been out two-thirds of that game and the next game, and he wouldn’t have been in there to do the shootout in the end as it works out.

“It’s easier [to see] on TV. You have a different view on replay than what the referee does at the time it happened. They made the correct call with a five-minute major. It should have come with a disqualification penalty.”

McGuire addressed the play after Saturday’s game.

“That’s a tough play. I’m not the kind of player that goes out looking to do stuff like that or anything,” said McGuire, who will miss the Badgers’ game at Penn State on Friday because of the league suspension. “I want to start off by saying my prayers are with Reilly. I hope that he’s OK and he can get back to playing soon if he is injured.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Hoping that the injury isn’t as bad as it sounds and that Connor can make a full and speedy recovery. As for McGuire I hope hockey karma bites him hard!

    • God’s speed Connor Reilly.
      Satriani, you have always seemed completely objective. As an old man lacrosse player who had his femur broken on a play like this was it absolute intentional or stupidity? I have not seen the video. Time will tell if the young man is habitual ie) Matt Cooke, the kid who claimed his second femur or an idiot who lapsed momentarily in judgment . Brian, as for his comment, I will bet it was the first time McGuire had a mic in his face. Sat and Brian, I am not making excuses for the young man, perhaps I am just giving him a shred of belief. MD High School/Univ Lacrosse v MN High School Hockey, who is more impassioned; a lively debate though I will say that after I was fouled for a year – my lacrosse brother ran down the field, popped the culprits bucket and broke his jaw. Fix it then and right…

      • Thanks, I really make an honest attempt to try to stay objective. As far as this play goes, I have watched the replay over many times. It seems pretty obvious that McGuire stuck his leg out in order to take out Reilly. Now, was he thinking I want to hurt this guy long term? Highly doubtful and it may even be as you say, just an instinctive reaction to try to slow a player down or not let them get past you, but you still need to be responsible for your actions and we all know the damage kneeing an player can do. Still, I agree these are instantaneous decisions that are made and we all can make wrong ones. I know I have. But unlike say the headhunting play a couple of weeks ago with the same teams, where Wittchow almost decapitated Bristedt at center ice. I honestly believe that Wittchow was trying for a big hit at the end of a frustrating weekend to send a message about the rematch in a couple of weeks and missed the mark and made head contact. While I wasn’t happy about it, I could see it for what it was. I guess the part that really bothered me about this incident was McGuire’s actions after the play. It was obvious that he injured Reilly, he was laying on the ice for quite awhile and could barely skate off and was out for the remainder of the game, but yet TV cameras caught McGuire laughing in the penalty box. That just doesn’t seem consistent with someone who thought that they made a mistake or are concerned about the injury that they caused to another player. Hence my harsh comments about him.

  2. What did McGuire mean by “tough play”?
    Like he tried not to do it, but it was tough to avoid the contact?
    Or that it’s tough for Reilly (i.e. tough crap)?
    He’s certainly no apologizing in any way.

    I watched the replay several times on TV.
    McGuire’s leg wasn’t sticking out very far; in fact, it seemed Reilly’s leg was sticking out farther than McGuire’s.
    However, McGuire was the one coming up for the hit, while Reilly had just released the puck. There’s no way Reilly could see the hit coming.
    So it’s McGuire’s responsibility to make sure he doesn’t take out Reilly’s leg.
    It probably wasn’t malicious, but it was grossly negligent b/c McGuire made no effort to play the puck or the body, or simply slow down.

    If you want people to respect you after your reckless play, you should at least apologize.

  3. Could you post a more accurate picture? MN and ND have not played each other in 2 years and the picture makes it look like it was a ND player that caused the injury.

      • Right, who could forget the 0.6 game? I guess ND fans have blocked that from their memories. Maybe we should change the above picture though, as we would not want to tarnish the squeaky clean reputation of a team like UND that never takes cheap shots. A true shining example of clean play and sportsmanship.

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