Hockey scandal hits Thief River Falls

What happened in Thief River Falls, one of the premier hockey towns in Minnesota?

The boy’s varsity and junior varsity hockey team — the entire teams — have been suspended for a week, Forum Communications reports, but privacy laws are preventing officials from saying what’s going on.

The action came after an independent investigator, hired by the school district, turned in a report.

“Our school district takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct seriously. The district actions are designed to prevent some or any similar events from happening in the future,” Bradley Bergstrom, the high school superintendent, told Forum.

Everyone looks guilty of something in a team-wide ban like this.

“That’s not to imply that all players acted or behaved inappropriately,” Bergstrom said. “We’re not singling out players. The action is to show that a team rises and falls together as a team.”

KVRR says the action will result in the forfeit of two games this week.

Thief River Falls Police Chief Dick Wittenberg says a separate investigation is focused on the Bantam A team, an 8th and 9th grade youth hockey program.
WDAZ says all players will be required to go through a counseling program.

Valley News Live says the incident involved a “sexual hazing incident” in the team locker room.

The Thief River Falls Amateur Hockey Association said in a statement it investigated “the matter” but wouldn’t reveal any details.

Thief River Falls junior forward Parker Lane denied any hazing incident in a post on Facebook. He said the team was suspended for “horsing around” after lifting weights.