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IFallsRon

Someone's mom called the cops?

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The Moose Lake police department is investigating an on-ice altercation that left a Moose Lake Area girls hockey player temporarily paralyzed, and will pass along a recommendation to the Carlton County attorney whether to press assault charges against any International Falls players.

Kim Ergen, a 15-year-old sophomore forward, was among those vying for a loose puck in front of the International Falls net in the final seconds of a 3-2 loss Jan. 26 at Riverside Arena in Moose Lake. A fracas ensued, punches allegedly were thrown and Ergen lay motionless on the ice once the period expired. No penalty was called on the play.

“She had temporary paralysis from the waist down,” Moose Lake Area head coach Joe Mohelsky said.

Ergen was transported to Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake. Tests performed later at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth showed Ergen to be fine, though she did suffer a concussion, Mohelsky said.

“It was very scary, possibly the scariest experience I’ve ever seen in a hockey situation,” Mohelsky said. “I’ve never seen anything like this, even when I played. It was unbelievable to witness.”

Ergen was released from the hospital and returned to school, even practicing with the team Tuesday night. According to Mohelsky, doctors informed Ergen that she would be out a minimum of two weeks because of the concussion and will miss the Rebels’ Section 7A playoff opener tonight. She has 18 points (12 goals and six assists) this season.

The Ergen family could not be reached for comment.

Moose Lake Police Chief Dale Heaton said his department is interviewing players who were on the ice at the time of the incident to determine if Ergen was punched or inadvertently hit her head on the goalpost or the ice.

Sources say the game was not videotaped.

“It’s a little hazy on who did what,” Heaton said.

Heaton said the International Falls police department also is interviewing witnesses. Once the investigation is complete, Heaton said a report will be sent to the county attorney’s office for review.

International Falls coach Bruce Elson admits there were punches thrown by his players, but is adamant that Ergen was not hit by any.

“It was an emotionally charged game,” he said. “Someone started something, I don’t know who. There were punches thrown.”

Elson says his players told him that Ergen might have tripped over a player and hit her head on the post.

Elson added he is surprised the police department is involved.

“A criminal investigation? A criminal investigation into what?” Elson said. “Kids get injured sometimes … but there was no intent [to injure] by my players.”

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sounds pretty wierd. nothing against the "victim" or other girls involved but i'm not so sure any punch thrown by a high school girl, wearing gloves and connecting to the head of another girl wearing a helmet, would cause a concussion. that would have to be quite a blow, not so sure it would be probable in a boys high school hockey game.

my guess is that she either hit the pipe when falling or, more likely, her head on the ice when she fell.

another side note. if she had a serious concussion, she wouldn't be allowed to even practice with the team for at least a couple days. that soon after a concussion, any little accidental hit to her melon could likely cause more damage.

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Duluth News Tribune - 02/19/2008

Moose Lake Police Chief Dale Heaton said Monday that he expects his department to send its report about an on-ice incident in a girls hockey game Jan. 26 to Moose Lake City Attorney Marguerite Doran by the middle of this week.

Depending on the results of the investigation, Doran’s office will then determine whether there is sufficient evidence to file assault charges against any International Falls players after a melee erupted at the conclusion of the teams’ game that allegedly including punching Moose Lake Area sophomore forward Kim Ergen and leaving her temporarily paralyzed.

Ergen, who initially was unable to move her legs, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake and later to St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth. She regained all function, though suffered a concussion according to Heaton and Rebels coach Joe Mohelsky. She returned to the team’s practices shortly before the Rebels’ elimination from the playoffs, but did not play.

Heaton said interviews were conducted with Moose Lake players and he’s hopeful of receiving a report from International Falls police regarding interviews of Broncos players before submitting the report to Doran.

Girls hockey does not allow checking and no penalty was called on the play in question.

No videotape is known to exist of the game, but at least one observer suggests what he saw was a possible assault. Tim Franklin, publisher of the Pine County Courier, was tending to the International Falls penalty box and had a good view of the final seconds. He wrote the following account in his Jan. 31 column:

“I had one of the best seats in the house. The clock started clicking down and no goal would be scored. After the buzzer sounded, I saw an International Falls girl pummel a Moose Lake player with her face down on the ice at least 10 times. Left after left after left. The girl was motionless. The referees stepped in and the girl remained motionless. Thirty minutes later she was still motionless. She could not move her legs and was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital and then Life Flighted to Duluth.

“She regained the feeling in her legs but her season is now over. … Was this an intense game the last 10 seconds I just witnessed or an assault? I never thought I would say assaults can happen in games since contact is part of games. But when a player strikes a motionless opponent after the whistle stops does this qualify? Only time will tell.”

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The Moose Lake Police Department has completed its investigation into an on-ice incident at a girls’ hockey game in January and has submitted a report to Carlton County Attorney Thomas Pertler.

The investigation stems from an altercation that happened at the end of a game between the Falls High Broncos and the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels on Jan. 26 in Moose Lake. The incident resulted in a Moose Lake player suffering a concussion.

Pertler is continuing the pending investigation into the incident.

“We are still waiting for some additional interviews and I am hoping that the police can get them to me,” Pertler said. “There were some additional people that I had hoped had been interviewed and I haven’t seen them yet.”

According to International Falls Police Chief Chris Raboin, the Falls department has finished its investigation and is currently waiting to hear from the Moose Lake Police Department on what to do with the interviews that were completed.

“Their request for assistance came after I read about it in the paper which struck me as a bit odd,” Raboin said. “According to a published report in a newspaper, they have wrapped up their investigation and have sent it to the attorney for charges. In the same article their chief was quoted as saying ‘they were investigating to find fault’, which is definitely not what police agencies do. We investigate to find fact.”

According to Pertler, no video or photos of the incident are known to exist and the department is relying on eye-witness testimony to make a decision on whether to press charges.

“As soon as I get the interviews I will make a decision,” Pertler said. “I want to make sure that I have as a thorough of a packet as possible. I can assure that any decisions that I make are based entirely on the evidence that I see and what I think I can and can not prove.”

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Sounds like there is more contact in girls H.S. hockey now than there is in the NHL after the NHL made all their rule changes.

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