The NHL isn't alone in having to deal with controversial hits in the past week. During Sunday night's Game 3 WCHA first-round playoff game between North Dakota and Minnesota, Fighting Sioux forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matt Frattin absolutely drilled Kevin Wehrs of the Golden Gophers along the boards:
As a result of the play, Frattin was given a 5-minute major for charging and contact to the head, while Wehrs was knocked out and missed the final 35 minutes of North Dakota's 4-1 victory. The Fighting Sioux killed off the ensuing five-minute power play to keep the game tied at one in the second period.
Frattin, you may recall, has had a checkered past year at North Dakota. In July, he was arrested, along with Washington Capitals prospect Joe Finley(notes) for "throwing cups, plates, a kitchen table and a lawnmower onto a Grand Forks street" in the middle of the night. He was given a 10-day suspended sentence and put on probation for the incident. Weeks later, Frattin was dismissed from the hockey team after being arrested and charged with a DUI. On Dec. 30, he was reinstated to the team by North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol and acquitted of the DUI charge in early February.
Monday, punishment for the hit was handed down and Frattin was suspended for one game, Thursday's WCHA Final Five play-in game against Minnesota-Duluth. He'd be eligible to return in the WCHA semifinal or the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod told North Dakota that the league felt the hit warranted supplemental punishment aside from the five-minute major, but declined to specify any exact reasoning for the one-game suspension, saying: "I don't want to get into specific things. There were a number of factors that went into it, though. It wasn't one single thing." Herald reporter Brad Elliott Schlossman posted three screen caps of the hit on his blog showing Frattin's skate remaining on the ice as the hit was being delivered, but the amount of distance he traveled skating towards Wehrs is what drew the "charging" call.