UPDATE — The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has suspended sophomore forward Cole Smith one game for this hit on Adam Plant.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has issued a one-game suspension to North Dakota sophomore forward Cole Smith, in accordance with the conference’s supplemental discipline policy, the NCHC announced Saturday, Jan. 27. The suspension stems from an illegal hit during UND’s game against Denver Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the hit in question. At the 03:14 mark of the third period, University of North Dakota sophomore forward Cole Smith was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for contact to the head of University of Denver defenseman Adam Plant. I want to be clear, this wasn’t a clean hit.
I don’t know if it’s bad luck or deja vu all over again. Earlier in the season on November 18, 2017, in a game in Denver, Smith was given a five-minute major penalty, for boarding Plant. The first play wasn’t dirty in my opinion. Unfortunately, both plays resulted in Plant suffering an upper-body injury.
From the video, you can hear Pioneers head coach Jim Montgomery say, “the same fucken guy, same fucken guy.”
On first look, the hit in question looked like an innocuous hit. But as I saw the replay in slow motion, it looked bad. If I had to guess, there’s a good chance that Smith won’t be playing tomorrow night. I guess we will have to see.
Here’s what head coach Brad Berry had to say about the hit in question.
“Obviously (Cole) Smith is a big guy, the zone coverage that we have, he was in his spot,” Berry said. The defenseman comes in, he ends up shooting the puck and Cole was there. Like I said, is it a penalty? Probably a penalty. It was one of those things where he’s in his spot right there and that’s the way we cover. As far as an elbow or a shoulder or whatever it is. That’s for them to decide. We were in our zone for d-zone coverage.”
Obviously, the DU fans aren’t happy with the play and it’s not a good.