Monday, February 04, 2013
I just got off of the phone with Greg Shepherd the head of WCHA officials and this is what I know. According to Shepherd, Badgers forward Michael Mersch came off of the bench on a line change and he would've had to enter the altercation in question to be suspended. In other words, Mersch will not be suspended by the WCHA.
So, after reading that, if you're still in disbelief like I am, you’re not alone. If Mersch had jumped off of the Wisconsin player’s bench and then entered the altercation in the Wisconsin end, Mersch would've then been suspended.
This doesn’t pass the smell test, even if you were in altered state of mind.
So, if you’re confused, you’re not alone. I guess the fact that Mersch jumped off of the bench challenged UND forward Steph Pattyn to a fight, while he was being escorted off of the ice by one of the officials. In addition, it’s obvious by the video that Mersch came off of the Wisconsin players bench, while the previous play had been whistled dead; then took off his helmet. Apparently, this is not relevant in this case.
I don’t know many coaches that allow their hockey players to change lines during an altercation, take off their helmet, and then challenge an opponent to a fight, while said play is stopped. Usually they wait until the puck is dropped, and then challenge someone to a fight.
You’re not supposed to change lines during an altercation. I have to give the WCHA credit; they’re easy to get clarification from on incidents.