Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ECAC Hockey hands Yale's Rob O'Gara one-game suspension

Earlier today, ECAC Hockey announced supplemental discipline in the form of a one-game suspension to Yale's Rob O'Gara. The All-American defenseman will miss this weekend's series at Colgate and Cornell after a game disqualification penalty issued on Saturday night against Harvard.

The league made the decision on Monday. There was a delay in the announcement as the league reviewed Yale's appeal.

"We've spent the last couple of days fighting with the league over this one," Yale coach Keith Allain said prior to Wednesday's practice at Ingalls Rink. "My suggestion is you should probably watch the video of the vicious hit (O'Gara) took and come to your own conclusions."

In the third period of Yale's 2-1 victory over the Crimson, O'Gara was sent head-first into the boards by Harvard's Sean Malone. O'Gara remained on the ice for several seconds holding his head. No penalty was called. When he staggered to his feet, he turned to see Malone charging toward him. The two collided, each knocking the other back a step, before O'Gara hit Malone across the side of his head with his stick.

Referees issued O'Gara a 5-minute major and game disqualification.

O'Gara, a Boston Bruins draft pick, is known as one of the top shutdown defensemen in the nation. Yale had been the least penalized team in the country leading into the Harvard game (they're now the fifth least-penalized.) O'Gara had taken eight penalties for 16 minutes in 22 previous games, and doesn't have a history or reputation as a dirty player.

"None whatsoever," Allain said. "Rob's a terrific young man. He's an asset to our university; an asset to our hockey program. We'll miss him, but we have to figure out how to win without him. That's our job right now."