Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dorm Fire Affects Eight UNO Freshmen Hockey Players

Wednesday's dorm fire at the Scott Village on UNO's Aksarben Campus displaced 48 students from their campus home, including eight freshmen on the hockey team.
From freshman defenseman Ian Brady
From freshman winger Austin Ortega
It's been a rough week for UNO hockey.  The tipping point of last Saturday night's loss might have actually occurred at the end of the second period when senior Zahn Raubenheimer broke his foot while blocking a shot. He managed to stay on the ice and attempt to block another one with his remaining good food, but he'll be out six weeks, which makes him extremely unlikely to play again in a UNO jersey.  (If UNO can somehow get there, he might be able to play in the Frozen Four.  Freshman Jake Guentzel took a puck to the ear earlier this week, necessitating a few stitches in the ear. And now he and his roommates may have lost everything in their dorm room.

All of these events will certainly test the Mavs' mental focus with their final home regular season series this weekend against Colorado College. If they can hang onto third or fourth place, they'll host a playoff series from Thursday, March 13th through Saturday, March 15th.

Fortunately, none of the students were hurt.  But at best, many of their possessions are water damaged, and will need to be replaced. And that raises the question about what UNO can do to assist these players with their loss possessions under NCAA regulations. I'm still bothered by the three game suspensions that coach Dean Blais and junior defenseman Jaycob Megna had to serve over the handling of Megna's stolen watch. If I'm in UNO's compliance office, the call to the NCAA's office was made while the fire department was still at work to make sure that UNO was doing everything they could do and remain in compliance with NCAA regulations. (And as we know from the Sami Spenner case, sometimes those rules can be unfair.)

It's bad enough that these players lost their dorm; it would be even worse if somehow an NCAA rule got violated while trying to assist these players.

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