Tuesday, September 18, 2012

North Dakota Captains Suspended for Season Opener

There's trouble in Grand Forks. Again. 

North Dakota senior men's hockey captain Andrew MacWilliam and assistant captains Corban Knight, Danny Kristo and Carter Rowney have all been suspended for UND's opener on Oct. 19 against WCHA opponent Alaska Anchorage at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush in Fairbanks, AK.

The quartet has been suspended for allegedly violating team rules as the result of a party that was held on Sept. 15, according to USCHO.com.

“The behavior in this situation was unacceptable,” North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison said in a prepared statement issued by the university. “Measures taken by the athletics department do not preclude possible additional measures by the department, or actions by the university or local and state authorities.”

The team is also on probation, according to Faison, with further violations possibly costing players as much as their scholarships.

It's not the first time something like this has happened at UND, or under head coach Dave Hakstol's watch.

Former UND forward Matt Frattin was acquitted on drunk driving charges in 2010 after he was dismissed from the squad for violating team rules. He had previously been brought up on disorderly conduct charges. Frattin returned to lead the Fighting Sioux to the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four, and was also a Hobey Baker Award finalist that season before turning pro.

In Feb. 2007, then-Sioux forwards Jonathan Toews and T. J. Oshie,. now both established NHL players, were cited for being minors in a Grand Forks bar, while teammate Robbie Bina reportedly faced charges of obstructing a police officer in the same incident.

Incidents, especially those involving alcohol, can and do happen on or near college campuses all the time - witness last season with two incidents at Boston University, or in 2010 at Boston College, or in July with Minnesota's Erik Haula. That doesn't excuse them, as they give all of college hockey a black eye.

Hopefully this will be the last incident in Grand Forks for a while. Forever is too long a time to ask for.

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