Lakeland girls hockey team DQ’d from state tournament
||Jacob Friede, Lakeland Times sports reporter
2/8/2019 7:29 AM
Letter received after print deadline
After the print deadline for this edition, The Lakeland Times
received a copy of a letter that Lakeland Union High School activities director Phil Updike sent to parents of the Lakeland girls’ hockey team. It reads as follows.
Dear Hockey Parent(s),
I am writing this letter to inform you of what has transpired since last Saturday at the Lakeland Ice Arena and where we stand as of today. As most of you are aware, we (LUHS Girls’ Hockey Team) received a third player disqualification for kicking an opposing player with a hockey skate blade. As shared with the team, coaches, and parents back in December, we were on notice with the WIAA, receiving a letter that informed us that we had received two (2) DQ’s during WIAA game competition to that point. The letter went on to warn us that a third DQ would render our team ineligible for WIAA post season play.
On Monday morning, I talked with Tom Shafranski (WIAA’s Hockey Head Administrator) regarding the incident that occurred on Saturday night, what options that we have as a team/school, and verbally appealed to him the inequities that occurred(penalties assessed), and overall official quality. After receiving our third DQ, some of you have expressed a desire to appeal an earlier DQ from December. I did address this with Mr. Shafranski, attempting to get this reviewed again through an appeal. He reported that once a DQ has been acted upon and the suspension served, you can no longer appeal this incident. Mr. Shafranski reiterated this statement in a subsequent email to a parent. Please see below:
“Please know that this Game Disqualification penalty has been completed. The penalty was thoroughly reviewed, acted upon, assessed and served. Video from both the Lakeland and Northland Pines school administrators was determined to be valid and needed to be provided prior to the actions that were taken to assess the penalty. I am not able to review additional video.”
“Mr. Updike has done everything in his power to review these situations. He has carefully reviewed every Game Disqualification and worked with coaches and players to prevent additional Game DQs; however, there has been no misapplication nor disagreement of NFHS or WIAA rules with any of the three Game Disqualification penalties assessed. Consequently, the WIAA hockey rule removing the Lakeland girls’ team from the WIAA tournament does have to stand. This has taken place with other hockey teams who have violated this rule since 1987.”
After verbally appealing our situation and reviewing the options or lack thereof with the WIAA on Monday morning, I found that we have no ground left to stand on. Therefore, I will not be filing a written appeal.
Phillip L. Updike
The Lakeland girls hockey team’s post season hopes have been dashed before the tournament has even begun.
On Saturday night, against Black River Falls, the Thunderbirds received their third game disqualification of the season when Isabelle Boyer was disqualified for game misconduct.
That was the third game disqualification of the season for Lakeland, and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association prohibits any team reaching that total from competing in the state tournament.
According to Clause B, Section 3 of the WIAA official tournament procedures, “Any school whose players, during the regular season, collectively receive a total of three or more game disqualifications over two or more games, or four game disqualifications during the same game, will be prohibited from participating in the WIAA State Tournament series.”
Lakeland’s other two disqualifications came on Friday, Dec. 14 against Northland Pines. Both Asucena Boyer and Anna Maulson were given game misconduct penalties and neither player was allowed to play in Lakeland’s next contest.
Lakeland’s head coach Steve Bucklew deferred all comments to Lakeland Union athletic director Phillip Updike, who, after several attempts, was unable to be reached for comment prior to deadline for this edition.
According to Todd Clark, director of communications for the WIAA, who confirmed the ruling, “It isn’t a rare occurrence. Teams have been removed from the tournament as recently as last year.”
Clark said the rule was added to the hockey manual in 1987 and allows for the penalized team to appeal.
He also said Lakeland has not appealed the ruling and he doesn’t expect them to do so.
As a result of the ruling, third seeded Lakeland will forfeit to sixth seeded Rhinelander/Antigo in the regional final of the WIAA tournament.
Rhinelander/Antigo will advance automatically to the sectional semi-finals.
Lakeland, who played Northland Pines on Thursday night past deadline, now has one regular season game remaining.
That game is, coincidentally, at Rhinelander/Antigo on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.
Jacob Friede may be reached at or .