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Continued: College hockey's focus lands on hits to the head

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 31, 2014 - 2:30 PM

Sometimes even an officials huddle isn’t enough to get the call right. Postgame video review can’t reverse a call, either, and that’s one reason the Big Ten and many coaches and players are in support of implementing in-game reviews on major penalties.

Farley believes the NCAA could protect its players better by adding a review system similar to the NHL’s.

“Safety is a big issue with hockey ’cause it’s such a fast game,” Farley said. “That’s where the reviewing process could handle that. That’d be taking the next step.”

Gophers coach Don Lucia reached out to Piotrowski after Marshall’s suspension. There was nothing the Big Ten could do other than listen to Lucia’s support for being able to instantly review major penalties.

Lucia praised college football for setting precedence on in-game reviews of hits to the head. He wants the same thing for college hockey and the protection it would offer players making and taking hits.

The idea of reviewing penalties has been discussed at past coaches’ association meetings and will likely be at the forefront in the current NCAA rule-change year. The rule would have to be approved by the NCAA for all Division I teams, and such a change might require an amendment exempting schools that do not yet have proper video feeds. Some believe that by this time next season, a hit similar to Marshall’s could be immediately reviewed in Big Ten play.

Currently, in-game video is utilized only for reviewing goals.

“That’s the rule today, and we’ll live with the rule,” Lucia said. “Ben understands it. I know he was frustrated and disappointed, but hopefully that is something we can get changed.”

Marshall was not made available for interviews.

Michigan State coach Tom Anastos, whose team plays the Gophers this weekend, is the NCAA ice hockey rules committee chair. He spends a lot of time discussing rule enforcement and the introduction and modification of rules.

“Safety needs to be of the utmost importance. Referees are a big part of that,” Anastos said. “An athlete is going to push the rules to the furthest extent you can. We all have a level of responsibility: coaches, players, officials. The officials have a hard one. They’re held to accountability standards that really protect the integrity of the game.”



 

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