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?