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Men's hockey coach suspended after making obscene gesture

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- University of North Dakota men's hockey
coach Dave Hakstol has been suspended for two games and reprimanded
for profane language and a gesture he made at a referee during a
heated Saturday night game with Minnesota.

During the second period of game, which ended in a 1-1 tie, a
television camera showed Hakstol sticking up his middle finger at
referee Don Adam after the two discussed a penalty call.

Acting University of North Dakota athletic directors Betty
Ralston and Steve Brekke announced the suspension on Monday.

"We expect our coaches to keep themselves and their teams in
control at all times," Ralston said. "Profane language and poor
behavior on the part of our coaches and student-athletes is
unacceptable."

The Sioux have this week off before playing host to Denver on
Feb. 15-16. Hakstol will not coach the two-game series, UND said.

Western Collegiate Hockey Association Commissioner Bruce McLeod
said Hakstol violated the league's code of sportsmanlike conduct.
The WCHA issued a reprimand to Hakstol on Monday and said it
endorsed the UND suspension.

"We appreciate the rapid response and action taken by the
University of North Dakota today and we are in complete agreement
with that decision," the WCHA said in a statement.

Hakstol called Adam after the game to personally apologize, and
issued a statement Sunday.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to our fans, players and
entire program, as well as all college hockey fans, the WCHA and
Don Adam for my actions during the second period of last night's
game versus the University of Minnesota," Hakstol's statement
said. "I'm disappointed in myself for allowing my emotions and
frustrations to get the better of me. I pride myself in not
allowing this type of thing to occur.

"Most importantly, I am a parent before I am a coach, and I
understand the responsibility that we carry as coaches within the
WCHA to young hockey fans and families everywhere. I have evaluated
and feel terrible about my actions and can assure everyone that
such a thing will never happen again."

UND and Minnesota combined for 160 penalty minutes in Saturday
night's game, and Sioux forward Darcy Zajac and Gopher forward Tony
Lucia were given game disqualifications for fighting at the end of
overtime.