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Hakstol apologizes for actions

UND men's hockey coach Dave Hakstol issued a public apology today for his actions during a game a night earlier, ones that could result in disciplinary action from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

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UND men's hockey coach Dave Hakstol issued a public apology today for his actions during a game a night earlier, ones that could result in disciplinary action from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

During the second period of UND and Minnesota's 1-1 tie, a Fox Sports North camera captured Hakstol sticking up his middle finger at referee Don Adam after a discussion between the two about a penalty call.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to our fans, players and entire program, as well as all college hockey fans, the WCHA and Don Adam for my actions during the second period of last night's game versus the University of Minnesota," Hakstol said in a statement. "I'm disappointed in myself for allowing my emotions and frustrations to get the better of me. I pride myself in not allowing this type of thing to occur.

"Most importantly, I am a parent before I am a coach, and I understand the responsibility that we carry as coaches within the WCHA to young hockey fans and families everywhere. I have evaluated and feel terrible about my actions and can assure everyone that such a thing will never happen again."

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said the incident, which included bad language, is a violation of the league's code of sportsmanlike conduct. Possible punishments include private apologies, a public reprimand from the league, a fine and/or a suspension.

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The UND athletic department has until Wednesday to notify McLeod with its suggested course of action. At that time, McLeod will either approve the school's decision or decline it. If he declines it, the parties will try to work out appropriate action.

If they can't agree, the incident will be forwarded to the league's board of directors. McLeod said he could only think of one incident where he and a school's athletic department couldn't agree on disciplinary action following a violation of conduct, though.

McLeod notified UND co-acting athletic director Betty Ralston about the incident Sunday afternoon and he said Ralston assured him it wouldn't take until Wednesday for the school to respond.

When a final decision is reached, it will be announced by the league office.

McLeod said the league is following a process laid out in the handbook.

Saturday night's game between the rivals was heated throughout. UND and Minnesota combined for 160 penalty minutes and Sioux forward Darcy Zajac and Gopher forward Tony Lucia were given game disqualifications for fighting at the end of overtime.

The teams didn't make it through the customary handshake, either. UND's Joe Finley and Minnesota's Blake Wheeler scuffled, breaking up the line. Officials sent the teams to their locker rooms without finishing the handshake.

The Sioux have this week off before hosting Denver on Feb. 15-16.

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