Blatant Cheapshots Mar Michigan State-Michigan Hockey Game
Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan saw another one of these types of responses in a college game, where ighting has been a no-no for years. Michigan's Steve Kampfer, who recently returned from a skull fracture in a vicious off-ice assault, threw a hard, but legal, hit on Corey Tropp of Michigan State. The response of two Spartan players to that hit was absolutely reprehensible, and has landed Kampfer back in the hospital.
Before we go any further, take a look at the video.
Andrew Conboy's horrifying response to Kampfer's legal hit started the whole thing. Nobody knows what Tropp would have done if Conboy didn't slug Kampfer from behind first. And though it's hard to tell where Tropp made contact when he slashed Kampfer, I'm thinking I don't care. It was obviously in the upper body, and it was disgusting.
Oh, and he slashed a player who was probably unconscious at the time. There's a special place in hockey hell for people like that.
Kudos to Central Collegiate Hockey Association referees Kevin Hall and Keith Sergott, at least for half of this. They gave Tropp a double game disqualification, meaning he will miss a minimum of three games. I'm not an officiating expert, but it's hard to imagine them doing more to Tropp from their standpoint. A major penalty and two game disqualifications is a huge on-ice penalty. It's up to the school and the league from here.
Meanwhile, Conboy only got a double-minor for roughing, meaning the CCHA will have to deal with him on their own. That's inexplicable to me, as all he did was blindside an opposing player and knock him out.
Let's hope the league does just that. If Conboy and Tropp aren't suspended for the remainder of the season, justice hasn't been served. The Michigan State hockey team and the university in general should be embarrassed by that behavior, and they shouldn't tolerate the perpetrators putting on the MSU jersey again this season.
I'm not going to blame this hit on the lack of fighting in college hockey. What I will say is that fighting, when done the right way, encourages players to have respect for their fellow players, as well as respect for the game. Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp don't have any respect for the game, and it wouldn't matter if dropping the gloves wasn't so frowned-upon in the college game.
However, I will say that you're likely to see crap like this more often in pro hockey if fighting is washed out. Do people get hurt in fights? Yes, but more people are going to get more seriously injured if the players aren't allowed to police themselves.
(Tap of the stick: Western College Hockey)