October 31, 2010

Sioux fall to DU, Pony gets tossed

The Sioux fell last night to Denver, 3-0. Denver was benefitted from another brilliant goaltending performance from Sam Brittain, who saved all 33 shots he faced. Gregoire, Kristo, Hextall, and the rest could not figure out a way to solve Brittain, who was great all weekend. DU may have found its goalie, regardless if Murray comes back soon and healthy.

The bigger story was the 5 minute major penalty called on Brad Malone. In the 2nd period, Jesse Martin was carrying the puck when Pony stepped up and delivered what appeared to be a clean check with his shoulder. Initially, no call was made, but as Martin was laying on the ice, possibly unconscious, the refs decided to give Malone a 5 minute major and the gate for charging with intent to injure. On USCHO immediate comparisons were being made to Aaron Marvin and Chay Genoway, saying Pony had intent to injure and should be banned from hockey. This couldn't be further from the truth.

The video shows Martin carrying the puck and Pony stepping up and hitting him. Pony led with his shoulder, never left his feet, didn't line up Martin. He checked Martin. I don't see any charging motion. From what I can tell, he did hit Martin in the head. Can't say whether this was intent to injure or not. No matter what I say about this situation, I will be a hypocrite for not calling out Pony for this like I called out Aaron Marvin, but it's two very different situations.

- Pony didn't line up Martin like Marvin lined up Genoway. A source at the game told me from what he saw, Malone didn't have a bead on Jesse Martin. Granted, this was a Sioux fan...but still.
- The Marvin hit on Genoway knocked out the best Sioux player for nearly his entire season, jeopardized his career, and possibly the rest of his life. Martin is fine, he's moving around, is alert, and will likely be with the team next weekend. The hits are not even close in comparison

Marvin was also not ejected from that game. In fact, it took until the end of the period to even give him a penalty.

Had Martin not been injured, this is a non-issue. Instead, the debate will rage on: is Pony the Sioux's Aaron Marvin?


vizoroo said...

Didn't hear any DU fans saying Malone should be banned from hockey. Charging-Hit to the head--YES

dead_rabbit said...

I'm glad it sounds like Martin will be okay, but this is another case of poor WCHA reffing. I don't know what the refs saw that warranted a major, or even a two minute minor. The only people people you can really blame though are the ADs and the coaches in the conference who year after year just go with the flow of Sheperd and McCleod's banana republic style of management.

TB said...

I guess from what I saw on the replay, it was contact to the head. But the refs need to call that instantly and not after the fact. That's very poor officiating. And it certainly was not charging. In any case, now that we know it's a career-threatening injury I don't see much of a point in arguing it. At this point you just hope he recovers quickly.

RH said...

If they are serious about hits to the head, that had better be a suspension.

Fire Helmet Guy #26 said...

May have been a "clean" check/hit but there was still contact to the head and even though he did not take a run at him technically there is still no reason to hit a guy like that, this isn't the NHL. There will be a suspension, there has to be with the new rule about contact to the head.

Brandon said...

Viz - I'm sorry, I lumped Donald in with your fanbase. My fault. :-(

dead rabbit - if they call a penalty right away, this isn't an issue at all. The fact that it wasn't called until Jesse Martin was laying on the ice shows how inept the officials are

TB - charging is the act of running, jumping, or charging into your opponent. Malone did none of these things. So yes, they got the call wrong, but at this point, it's not about the call. It's about Martin getting better

RH - wouldn't surprise me

FHG - you hope the league/NCAA are serious about protecting players. Unfortunately, I think they're more concerned about nicknames/the BTHC