A year ago, Benilde St. Margaret’s Jack Jablonski was injured for life on a routine check versus Wayzata in a Junior Varsity game. His injury took Minnesota by storm. To this day, that incident made a positive impact on the safety of our game in Minnesota. Parents, coaches, and officials from all over the state are extremely sensitive to dangerous body contact plays.
As a whole, coaches at all levels are doing a great job of teaching proper body contact…thus creating a safer environment for both girls and boys all over the state.
However, there is still a very dark side to hockey in Minnesota that needs to be addressed. Over the past six weeks, YHH has discovered a disturbing trend at the high school level. Players are being encouraged to injure their opponents. A handful of High School players have actually tweeted comments indicating that they have targeted players, hitting them intentionally.
Dozens of tweets have been reported to YHH, but these two sum up the sentiments of two high school players:
“Shout Out to Player X on that dirty play, you rock, so funny.”
This tweet was in reference to a player being taken from the game. The player chimed back in reference to missing the next game due to penalty:
“missing the next game kinda sucks…oops..it was an accident.”
When we heard of these allegations, we found it hard to believe. The Minnesota High School Coaches Association is one of the most respected associations in all of sports. They are well educated, passionate teachers, and very progressive in how they train their athletes. So we did some digging.