Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Phantom penalty cost Gophers victory at Bemidji

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Bemidji State, Gophers postgame, WCHA news Updated: March 5, 2011 - 9:34 AM

Got to check the rulebook first. Here's a video on what a hooking penalty is:

Just as I thought. Nowhere does it say you can't hook an opponent's stick. That is what Gophers freshman center Nick Bjugstad appeared to do in the last minute of the third period on Friday.

His stick -- from one camera view seen once -- appeared to hook the stick of a Bemidji State player along the right boards as the Beaver was trying to skate out of his zone with the puck.

Bjugstad is 6-4 and a strong kid. He ripped the stick out of the BSU's players hands and it went flying -- hard to miss that. But from one look, it didn't look like Bjugstad's stick got any legs, arms or other body parts.

Jay Barriball, the Gophers senior captain, passionately argued the call. Naturally, he got nowhere.

So Bjug went into the box and BSU, down 3-2, pulls it goalie, attacks with six skaters vs. four and scores the tying goal with 19 seconds.

The overtime was scoreless, so each team got a point. The Gophers clinched home ice for the first round of the playoffs next weekend, but not fifth place. A win would have done that.

There are many, many greater injustices in the world, but the Gophers probably deserved a better fate on Friday. I am also hate writing this because it sounds so much like sour grapes, but unless the definition of hooking has changed there should not have been a late penalty on the U despite the flying hockey stick.



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