by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
After two tumultuous weeks resulting from an alleged incident that took place in mid-December in a private home, the Maple Grove boys’ hockey team is hoping to move forward and concentrate on hockey. The incident, which school officials would not reveal citing data privacy, resulted in the suspension of 13 Maple Grove varsity players.
“We are trying to get back to hockey. We are hoping to get back to the ice and play some hockey,” Crimson coach Gary Stefano said. “It’s unfortunate, it was not good but we are trying to move on now.”
During the two-week period since the incident was reported to the school district Jan. 14, the Crimson lost to Blaine, beat Anoka, lost to Centennial and fell at Duluth East last Saturday. The only positive from this controversy is that some junior varsity players got a chance to play at the varsity level.
“We had some kids that stepped up and played varsity hockey for the first time and did a great job,” Stefano said. “Our JV team has an outstanding year and those kids stepped up and did a nice job for us. Now we are getting the (suspended) players back so as coaches we have to decide who is going to play down the stretch.”
Some of the suspended players served their suspension and returned last week. The rest return this week. Asked what was the team’s reaction or whether the suspended players apologized to the team, Stefano said, “I really can’t talk about that.”
Stefano, who was suspended for a day when the school district conducted an investigation, said he hopes the team can regroup and have a strong finish.
“We are trying to get back, get focused, get the kids to play and have fun. Time will tell,” Stefano said.
Contact Bob San at firstname.lastname@example.org