Thursday Thoughts: Tom Wilson’s antics have no place in hockey

Before we jump into this week’s Thursday Thoughts I need to add a quick personal note…I was saddened to learn of the passing of Stephen Ardito last week. Many people won’t know the name, but if you were in the Worcester Sharks Booster Club in the early years and took bus trips to road games, for most of those trips you were driven there by Steve. Many times Steve would have one or both of his kids with him, and he was always funny, personable, and fit right in with the ragtag crowd that would take the road trips with us. In the following years, my wife Trish and I would occasionally run into Steve at our favorite pizza place, which he lived right across the street from. Steve truly was one of a kind, and he will be missed. He leaves behind a wife, two children, and thousands of happy passengers. In remembrance, the Worcester Railers Booster Club made a donation in Steve’s name to the Worcester Animal Rescue League. RIP Steve.

Local Collegiate Results
In Men’s ice hockey on Friday, Curry College junior Mic Curran broke a 2-2 tie with 1:47 remaining in the third period, leading the Colonels to a 3-2 victory over the Becker Hawks at the Canton Ice House. The Hawks returned to the ice for the first time since Feb. 6 while the Colonels made their season debut tonight. Colby Audette and Chuck Costello (penalty shot) had the goals for Becker, while Zach Skop made 27 saves. The two teams met on Saturday at the Worcester Ice Center, but once again Becker took the loss in a 3-0 shutout loss to Curry. Colonels’ senior goalie Cody Murch had 20 saves. Zach Skop had 38 saves for the Hawks in the loss.

Also on Saturday, in Women’s hockey Becker scored two shorthanded goals but that wasn’t enough as the Hawks dropped a 5-2 contest to Connecticut College at Dayton Arena. Sophomores Katie Puumala and Trinity White had the goals for Becker. Amber Lee, also a Sophomore matched a season-high with 49 saves but drops to 2-3-0 with the loss. In Women’s lacrosse, Senior Izzy Grant scored a career-high five goals to lead the Holy Cross to a 12-9 victory over Lafayette at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pennsylvania. Junior Jolie Creo also had an outstanding game for the Crusaders, finishing with three goals and three assists. Junior Grace Flink made seven saves in net.

On Sunday Becker and Connecticut College met at the Worcester Ice Center in a Women’s hockey rematch, and the Hawks took a 2-1 lead into the final frame but had a terrible final frame to end up losing 5-2. Clare Conway and Shelby Reaugh had the goals for Becker. Shrewsbury high product Kylian Kelly had the only Hawks assist. Also on Sunday, in baseball Anna Maria moved to 2-0 on the season with a convincing 10-5 victory over visiting New England College at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough. The AMCATS took the lead with a four-run burst in the bottom of the second inning. After senior designated hitter Nick Genatossio (Sutton High) scored off a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1, senior right fielder Jason Shell gave Anna Maria the lead for the first time with an RBI double to right-center. Two batters later, junior left fielder Jarrod Marifiote singled to right field, plating two more runs. Senior pitcher Jack Marzec (Northbridge High) picked up the win, striking out eight and allowing just one earned run in five innings on the mound.

Tuesday night saw some Men’s hockey action, where Southern Maine junior Brendan Dowler score 59 seconds into overtime for his first goal of the season, leading the Huskies to their first win of the season, a 2-1 victory over the Becker Hawks at USM Ice Arena in Gorham, Maine. The Hawks were on the board early in the first period on the third goal of the season by junior Jason Diamond, and Southern Maine tied things at 1-1 late in the second period on sophomore Curtis Judd’s tally. Andrew LoRusso made 32 saves on the evening but drops to 1-1-0 with the loss. In baseball, Anna Maria cruised to a 22-8 win over visiting Northern Vermont University-Lyndon at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough. AMCATS junior shortstop Kosta Drosidis (St. Peter Marian) hit for the cycle and drove in four runs. Junior catcher Nick Morley (Milbury High also drove in four while senior first-baseman Noah Holland had four hits.

Boston Teams This Week
Red Sox @ Twins, 1pm (ex)
NY Rangers @ Bruins, 7pm
Celtics @ Brooklyn, 7:30pm
Rays @ Red Sox, 1pm (ex)
NY Rangers @ Bruins, 1pm
Braves @ Red Sox, 1pm (ex)
Red Sox @ Twins, 1pm (ex)
Celtics @ Houston, 8pm
Red Sox @ Rays, 1pm (ex)
Bruins @ Pittsburgh, 7pm
Red Sox @ Atlanta, 1pm (ex)
Bruins @ Pittsburgh, 7pm
Utah @ celtics, 7:30pm
Twins @ Red Sox, 1pm (ex)
Celtics @ Cleveland, 8pm

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Thursday Ryan Carpenter goal

Friday Michael Pelech goal

Friday Matt Nieto goal

Friday Logan Couture goal

Saturday Joe Pavelski goal

Sunday Yanni Gourde two goals

Sunday Joe Pavelski goal

Monday Marc-Édouard Vlasic goal

Monday Logan Couture goal

Tuesday Joe Pavelski goal

Wednesday Matt Lane goal

Talking heads miss the forest for the trees
There are a million things that could be said about Tom Wilson’s hit on Brandon Carlo last Friday night. But the one thing that really needs to be said above all is that Wilson, who was suspended seven games and has at least enough working brain cells to know he shouldn’t appeal, is a legitimate physical danger to his opponents and needs to be more severely punished than he had been in the past. In his career, he’s been suspended for over 30 games and between fines and lost salary has lost over $1.2 million dollars.

And Friday night showed that was obviously not enough.

Wilson entered the league in 2013, and from that point, no player has been penalized more than his 1,050 penalty minutes. My bad math has only three other players, Evander Kane, Cody McLeod, and Antoine Roussel over 700. I am all for playing being as physical as they can, provided they stay within the rules. And while it is true that the enforcement of the rules varies from game to game, the fact that Wilson has 30% more penalty minutes than the players behind him shows it has nothing to do with enforcement.

Since it’s pretty clear the NHL Department of Player Safety doesn’t have the backbone to adequately discipline players and mitigates punishments so that the NHLPA is kept happy, it’s up to the NHL to punish teams that continue to sign players like Wilson. The rules should be changed so that once a player has been suspended a second time in a two-year period that player cannot be replaced in the line-up, and the team must skate a player short on its game roster until the player’s suspension is over. On top of that, in all multiple game suspensions, at least one of those games must be served against the opponent the foul was committed against.

One thing I’m not really going to be addressing is the people who have been defending the hit Wilson threw. As soon as I can find a professional way to describe these moronic idiots I’ll get around to it. But I could just wait until the next time Wilson gets suspended. History shows I probably won’t have to wait long.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Joe Pavelski becomes NHL career goal leader among former Worcester pro players
Many former Worcester pro players sit near the top of their leagues’ statistics

Not so big finish
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