On Thursday night, the UMass Minutemen advanced to the Finals of the Frozen Four with a 4-3 overtime win against the Denver Pioneers. For the most part, the game was very entertaining.
Late in the third period, UMass forward Bobby Trivigno hit Denver forward Jake Durflinger with an elbow to the head. It was an obvious, fragrant play. It was a textbook hit to the head. For some reason, WCHA officials Dan Kovarik, and Josh Lupinek missed the play, or failed to call a penalty.
Not calling a penalty on this play is unacceptable. Not reviewing this play, is also unacceptable.
During the post-game press conference Denver head coach David Carle was asked if he asked the on-ice officials to take a look at the play in question.
“Yeah, I asked them to take a look at it,” Carlke said. “I was asked if I wanted to use my challenge. I chose not to.”
I think in retrospect, there was a very good chance that the coaches challenge would’ve been successful. Moreover, the call in question has bigger ramifications, especially in a 50/50 game. If the on-ice officials make the correct call in this instance, it would’ve given the Pioneers a five-minute power play. This is a game changer.
Again, as I’ve said in the past, on-ice officials are human, they’re going to make mistakes, but this is a pretty big mistake that could’ve been reviewed.
And Mike McMahon isn’t wrong, Trivigno got away with one.
Here’s a picture of the hit in question. Yep, that’s a high hit to the head.
When it was all said and done, it was a very chippy game and there were three game misconducts. Today, the NCAA corrected a wrong and suspended Trivigno for the championship game.
“It’s frustrating because the game to that point where he thought he had to defend himself,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said. “The kid was coming at him so he got his elbow up to protect himself. I understand why he was suspended. I feel strongly that the game shouldn’t have gotten to that point. I’ve never seen a game with so many player thrown out. In a national semifinal game, it was unlike any other game I’ve coached.”
Mass Niko Hildenbrand 10 Game Misconduct 06:24
UMass Niko Hildenbrand 5 Contact to the Head 06:24
DEN Ryan Barrow 10 Game Misconduct 12:32
DEN Ryan Barrow 5 Contact to the Head 12:32
UMass Mitchell Chaffee 10 Game Misconduct 16:12
UMass Mitchell Chaffee 5 Contact to the Head 16:12