Last January, Cornell coach Mike Schafer blasted the WCHA referees after a 2-1 loss at Denver, calling their performance “disgusting” and ending his rant with, “I won’t come back to the WCHA.”
On Saturday night, after losing 3-0 in a game that included a combined 25 penalties for 80 minutes, Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings had a message for Schafer (or to that night's refs).
“One thing, Mike Schaffer, I want to let you know, we’re even now,” he said, “because a team from out west came out here and … I saw you last year and it sounded like you got it pretty bad. And I’m going to tell you that I believe east and west are even now.”
Providence plays in Hockey East, not Cornell’s ECAC, but this was hardly the first time a coach has expressed frustration with the way the game is called conference to conference, region to region.
“If you talk to (Providence coach) Nate (Leaman), Nate was probably a little upset at the officiating in the first period. And from the second period on it was a bit of gong show from that standpoint,” Hastings said in a postgame interview posted online by MSU.
The Mavericks failed to convert on five first-period power plays and finished 0 for 10 (although two came in the game’s final minute). The Friars were 1 for 10, scoring on a 5-on-3 after MSU’s Bryce Gervais got 5 and a game for contact to the head. MSU received two majors/game misconducts and another 10-minute misconduct.
“I want to give credit to Providence, Nate Leaman,” Hastings said. “I think they’ve got a heck of a hockey team. I think that staff does a great job. And it’s too bad that two teams -- one from the west, one from the east -- can’t go out without having, I believe it was, 18 power plays throughout the game.
"I thought that was a bit ridiculous. But, again, we gotta go back and get better and focus on what we can control because we couldn’t control those two individuals tonight.”
The Mavericks had 14 penalties for 58 minutes on Saturday and 9 for 58 on Friday.