The WCHA suspended a player for one game for his actions on Saturday night, but it wasn't Ben Blood of North Dakota.
The league is satisfied with UND’s response to the incident in the UND vs UM game on Jan. 14 and no further action will be taken, wrote Doug Spencer, WCHA associate commissioner for public relations.
Blood shoved Kyle Rau of the Gophers in the postgame handshake line and then scuffled with Seth Ambroz. Blood received a two-minute minor penalty for roughing and a game misconduct. Since the game was over, those penalties meant nothing.
But on Monday, UND coach Dave Hakstol took the 'A' off Blood's jersey, so he is no longer one of the team's assistant captains. Hakstol said Blood also could face further internal team discipline.
Gophers coach Don Lucia said no further punishment was warranted since the incident did not escalate beyond a shove and two players squaring off.
BLOOD GOES NATIONAL
Blood, meantime, has become a national story for at least one day. He was mentioned on Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, two ESPN shows, on Tuesday. The audio on PTI is here. Blood's name comes up at the end.
"Happy trails to Ben Blood's assistant captaincy," Tony Kornheiser said. "The University of North Dakota hockey player, still angered by something that went on during the game against Minnesota used the traditional postgame handshake line to whack one of the Minnesota players. Apparently that is not considered captaincy behavior."
Michael Wilbon, the co-host of the show with TK, then said, "When you think of that line, I have always wondered my whole life why that doesn't happen more often? That line seems to be sacred among hockey players historically."
"Supposed to be," Tony interrupted.
"Not here," Wilbon said.
The YouTube video on Blood from Around the Horn is here.
Better than both those sports shows is Wally Shaver calling Saturday's game on 1500ESPN. He is over the top, describing what Blood did. It's quite a hoot. Here is what he said without the inflections and passion:
"He took a poke at Ambroz, he took one at Rau and now Ambroz is wrestling on the ice with that lunkhead Ben Blood. He started it. He threw a shot at Rau. And we almost had a bench-clearing brawl. And now [UNO forward Michael] Parks is grabbing on to one of the Gophers. It is probably [Travis] Boyd down there.
Frank Mazzocco: "What a dumb, stupid thing --
Shaver: "What an idiot Ben Blood is. I hope there is some league repercussion on this. And to answer your question intitially, it is a cheap move by Blood to fire that shot at the end of the game. ... It's over. And then he goes and throws a punch at Rau and then gets -- I am glad Ambroz lined up right behind Rau.
"What a bunch of cheap hoseheads."
Mazzocco: "That is an accurate description."
Shaver: "Just a bnuch of hoseheads. I am glad we are done with these guys. Go form your own league."
UND, of course, will be joining the NCHC in 2014-15.
THE SUSPENDED PLAYER?
So who was the WCHA player who did get suspended for one game? Nebraska Omaha freshman Dominic Zombo.
He received the suspension after the WCHA reviewed a minor penalty on him for kneeing late in the second period of UNO's 3-1 upset of Minnesota Duluth. He will sit out the red Mavericks' game on Friday at Minnesota State.
Zombo collided with UMD forward J.T. Brown, one of the Bulldogs' best players.