Before you watch this unconscionable act of unsportsmanlike conduct after North Dakota's 6-2 home loss to Minnesota, let's just all agree on the obvious: Ben Blood is, without question, one of the greatest hockey names currently in circulation, both because of the sport he plays and as a benefit for headline writers (see above).
That established: Blood, a 2007 Ottawa Senators fourth rounder, was a bit of an [expletive] after the game, going after Florida Panthers' pick Kyle Rau (2011, No. 91 overall) in the handshake line and then fighting with Seth Ambroz (2011, Columbus Blue Jackets, No. 128).
Blood was given a roughing and misconduct penalty for the skirmish.
This Saturday night game marked the final meeting between the teams at Ralph Engelstad Arena ice as conference rivals, and it was an emotionally charged series. (The teams split). From Goon's World, a Fighting Sioux blog:
As for Ben Blood going nuts this weekend, I would be willing to bet that he probably regrets that move today as he looks back on that incident. Not the smartest move on Blood's part and it didn't portray him in a very positive light. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes. The near brawl at the end of the game also put a damper on an otherwise great series.
… I don't think we are going to see Ben Blood do that again, and I am sure most of us would not like to see that again.
Bob's Blitz, meanwhile, writes: "Ben Blood should never play another game for the UND Fighting Sioux."
In fairness to Blood, there was a scrum at the end of the game that got him angry, including a slash to his legs by a player who came off the bench, according to this broadcast.
If nothing else, this incident reestablishes something we've always said: The handshake line, despite being put over as the grandest of grand traditions in hockey, is begging for trouble.
(Lest we only publish a negative story on NCAA hockey story, check out the glory of the Frozen Diamond Faceoff between Ohio State and Michigan last weekend at Progressive Field in Cleveland.)
UPDATE: From North Dakota comes this update.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — University of North Dakota Head Coach Dave Hakstol announced today that he has revoked senior defenseman Ben Blood's assistant captaincy due to an altercation that occurred during the post-game handshake following Saturday night's game against Minnesota.
"Regardless of any provocation, Ben's actions in the post-game handshake were not acceptable," said Hakstol. "The handshake line is a traditional, gentlemanly part of our game where, at the end of a hard-fought battle, opponents show good sportsmanship and shake hands like men."
Hakstol added that Blood will be subject to further internal team disciplinary actions.
"I'm not proud of my behavior," said Blood. "That's not how I want to represent our program, and that's not how we handle ourselves here. I understand and respect the punishment, and I'll move forward and not let my emotions get the best of me in the future."
Stripped of his 'A'! My god, what's next, making him pay for soda!?