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WCHA needs to get its act together

Item: The WCHA announces a three-game suspension for St. Cloud State's Aaron Marvin for knocking out team captains from North Dakota and Wisconsin with hits to the head. The league then issues a release saying "player safety is of paramount conce...

Item: The WCHA announces a three-game suspension for St. Cloud State's Aaron Marvin for knocking out team captains from North Dakota and Wisconsin with hits to the head. The league then issues a release saying "player safety is of paramount concern to all of us in the WCHA."

Comment: What a self-serving comment. If it truly is a concern, the league would improve its officiating and have leadership in place to act in a timely and forceful manner, which it has not and does not. There's outrage boiling among the players, coaches, fans and media. The league had better address this issue and soon.

Item: Mark Kroulik of Stephen-Argyle and Terry Ogorek of Kittson County Central announce their retirement as high school football coaches.

Comment: They have built small-school programs into a high level of excellence and done so with consummate class and professionalism. It's only fitting that they retire in the same year, since each drove the other to that level of success. They will be dearly missed.

Item: Former UND players Zach Parise and Jonathan Toews are named to the six-member all-tournament team for men's hockey at the Winter Olympics.

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Comment: It drives home how blessed we are in this area to have athletes of this terrific caliber come through our university. Out of all the best hockey players in the world, in the Winter Olympics, two of the six deemed the best came from UND.

Item: A report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press said that Zach Parise had a fully loaded sports model Cadillac delivered last spring to his father and mentor, J.P. Parise, as a surprise gift and that Zach bought the car in Grand Forks.

Comment: Zach Parise (25) and Toews (21) demonstrate time and again maturity, understanding and appreciation far beyond their age.

Item: Roseau and Warroad high schools, once bitter rivals in hockey, advanced both their girls and boys teams to the state tournament, Roseau in Class AA, Warroad in Class A.

Comment: That might be one for the record books. The Warroad girls claimed the state title and there are some, who know a lot more about girls hockey than I do, that say this might have been the best girls team ever in Minnesota. How good was Warroad? West Fargo won the North Dakota state title. Warroad crushed the Packers 9-1.

Item: UND hires the coach of the Swedish women's Olympic team as an assistant coach, opening a pipeline for the Sioux to recruit top European talent.

Comment: Has any team in college hockey ever gone from last place one year to national champion the next? With the Lamoureux twins in the lineup next year and an inside contact to European talent under contract, it wouldn't surprise me if Brian Idalski's Sioux make a serious a run at that rags-to-riches story next season.

Item: Warroad's Brock Nelson, a Sioux hockey recruit, scores eight goals in three Section 8 tournament games.

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Comment: He's got all the tools. Size, hands as soft as butter and wrists that uncoil like a rattlesnake and with the same deadly results. He's got a bit of an edge to his game, too. UND fans will love him. Another Sioux recruit, Thief River Falls goalie Zane Gothberg, showed me he has big-time talent as well.

Virg Foss, who wrote sports for the Grand Forks Herald for 36 years until his retirement, writes a weekly column exclusively for the Herald. Contact him at virgfoss@yahoo.com or at (701) 772-9272.

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