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Hockey Rule Puts Tournament Hopes In Jeopardy

by Tom King

The WIAA has a rule that has been in effect for a couple of years that states if players on a team receive 3 game misconducts in a season...that team will not be eligible for the post-season tournament. It has happened to a couple of teams in the past but never to a team ranked as high as Wausau West is this season. Last night Two players on both West and Stevens Point received game misconducts for some fisticuffs after the whistle in the 3rd period. That means one more game misconduct of any kind during the rest of the season will result in these teams being out of tournament play. West is currently ranked 2nd in the state and is a good bet to make a return trip to Madison.

I don't like this rule for two reasons...it punishes a whole team for the actions of a player or two...and it puts incredible pressure on the officials to call the game in a different way than they normally would. you cant tell me that any official working a West or Point game the rest of the season will view any call they make thru the lens of this rule rather than what actually happens on the ice. I'll be shocked if either team gets a misconduct penalty the rest of the season even if a particular play warrants it.

I've talked with Tom Shafranski of the WIAA about this rule and his explanation and support of this rule just doesnt outweigh the over the top penalties that will be imposed. In my opinion you penalize the player for his actions...not the team. Suspend the player (the players involved last night will have to sit the next game...if they get another one they should be suspended from the tournament.

I wasnt at last nights game so I dont know if the "fight" measures up to the penalties (Point coach Dan Francis didnt think so). That's the other part of the equation...I have seen enough inept hockey officiating this season to know that a teams tournament future should not be in the hands of some of these guys. And if the #2 ranked team in the state is banned from tournament competition somewhere down the road...I would imagine the rule will be changed.

Taylor Penn of the Wausau West Warrior basketball team had 37 point last night...East had no answer for him...but...the rest of the team combined for 23 points as the Lumberjacks won the game. Sean Wilson slammed down a dunk in the game and his smile lit up the gym. I dont think anyone plays the game with more abandon and exhuberence than Wilson

Masahiro Tanaka has made his choice...he signs with the New York Yankees for $155 million over seven years with an opt-out clause...will he be Yu Darvish or Hideki Irabu?

The Badgers will look to bounce back tonight as they travel to Minnesota to take on the Gophers. You can hear the game on WSAU at 7pm.

The Pointers put their 16-0 mark on the line against Platteville on the road.

Songs Of The Day   (from my I-pod)

Milwaukee-Al Jarreau (1976) a smooth classic from his "Glow" album..a tribute to his hometown

Milwaukee, Here I Come-John Prine w/Melba Montgomry (1999) from Prine's album In Spite Of Ourselves in which he does a bunch of duets of old time country classics...this one was originally done by George Jones & Tammy Wynette