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Youth hockey players to face stiffer penalties for dangerous checks

The Minnesota Hockey Board on Monday approved more severe penalties for youth hockey players who engage in risky moves like checking from behind and boarding. The rule changes come after a check from behind left Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski paralyzed.
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The Minnesota Hockey Board on Monday approved more severe penalties for youth hockey players who engage in risky moves like checking from behind and boarding. The rule changes come after a check from behind left Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski paralyzed.

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Push to drop stricter Minn. youth hockey penalties

Minnesota Hockey's board of directors is expected to vote Sunday whether to drop the tougher penalty structure that added more minutes for the most dangerous illegal hits. The rules were adopted soon after Jack Jablonski of Benilde-St. Margaret's was paralyzed by a check from behind. The Star Tribune reports the recommendation to undo the changes at the youth level stems from concerns the stiffer penalties take players off the ice for too long and hampers their ability to learn.

Youth hockey board retains stricter penalty rules

Checking from behind, like the illegal hit that paralyzed Jack Jablonski last December, will continue to trigger an automatic 5-minute major penalty in Minnesota youth hockey for at least another year. The Star Tribune reports the board of Minnesota Hockey voted 18-6 on Sunday to continue the rule change that elevated the penalty from two minutes to five. An ad hoc committee recommended going back to the original penalty structure while stepping up "education and accountability" of coaches, game officials and players.

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The Pioneer Press reports Jenna Privette has regained some feeling and is in pain, which could mean she's not paralyzed after receiving a dangerous check from behind during a hockey match. Her injury came just a week after a similar check paralyzed a Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player.

Nanne wants more warnings to players about dangers of checking from behind

Hockey legend Lou Nanne is urging the Minnesota State High School League to mandate more reminders to high school players about the dangers of checking from behind. The push comes after 16 year-old Jack Jablonski of Benilde St. Margaret's was paralyzed after being checked from behind during a game last week. The MSHSL sent out a warning to coaches Tuesday saying players need to be reminded that checking from behind is illegal and extremely dangerous.

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A student at Benilde-St. Margaret's who suffered a paralyzing injury during a hockey game is having surgery on Wednesday morning. Doctors will fuse together Jack Jablonski's damaged vertebrae.

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Doctors say it's too early to tell how bad the lasting damage will be to Jack Jablonski, a Benilde-St. Margaret sophomore who suffered a severe spinal injury during a hockey game.

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Ten players were ejected from the game after a fight broke out over a dangerous check similar to the one that left a Benilde-St. Margaret's athlete with a debilitating spinal injury. The Star Tribune reports the Winona coach has no doubt the brawl was a direct result of the blow that paralyzed Jack Jablonski.

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MPR talks with Dr. Bill Roberts, a professor in family medicine at the University of Minnesota who did research decades ago that found most injuries in youth hockey followed illegal blows and checks, like the one that paralyzed Jack Jablonski. He says attention to the fact tends to wane over time but wonders if the recent rash of severe injuries will spur serious reforms.