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Hill-Murray players file suit against MSHSL

By YHH Staff , 03/30/21, 10:30AM CDT

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Nine Hill-Murray seniors, all legal adults, have filed suit against the Minnesota State High School League, seeking a temporary restraining order against the league.

UPDATE: A judge has dismissed the lawsuit. A meeting is scheduled for 8 P.M. Tuesday to determine options moving forward, according to a story from Kare 11

Nine senior players from the Hill-Murray boys hockey team are filing a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Minnesota State High School League in Washington County District Court.

The Pioneers were notified Sunday night by the MSHSL that they would not be allowed to play their first-round game of the 2021 Class AA State Tournament due to potential exposure to an opposing player who had tested positive for COVID-19 after the Section 4AA final.  

The players, all legal adults, are suing the MSHSL on the grounds that none of the Hill-Murray players came in contact with the infected opposing player long enough to warrant a quarantine, with the team's investigation including a review of the Pioneers' game tape against White Bear Lake in the Section 4AA finals on Wednesday, March 24th.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, "a close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period."

The Pioneers' review concludes that zero players were within close contact of the infected player for more than four seconds, nor was any Hill-Murray player was on the ice with the infected player for one minute and forty-eight seconds.    

The temporary restraining order "should issue to prevent further irreparable harm to the plaintiffs," according to the suit, and seeks to bar the MSHSL from preventing the Pioneers from competing in their scheduled quarterfinal matchup against Wayzata on Thursday, March 31st at 11 A.M.

The suit includes affidavits from longtime NHL scout Fred Bandel and Roseau native and former University of Minnesota standout and NHLer Neal Broten. 

Multiple attempts to reach MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens were unsuccessful.

"We are working  closely with the Minnesota State High School League and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the eligibility of our players following a potential exposure last week with an opposing player," Hill-Murray spokesman Andy Skoogman said via text message. "We hope our boys will be ready to play in the state tournament tomorrow." 

*This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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