District opens investigation into on-ice brawl involving Duluth East hockey player

Under MSHSL guidelines, fight discipline is a one to three game suspension.

DULUTH, Minn. – When the Duluth East and Duluth Denfeld men’s hockey teams meet, it’s always a choppy affair between two rivals. But Wednesday night’s game has now sparked a district investigation.

Video of the game’s online feed from the end of the third period shows Duluth East junior defenseman Grady Downs going behind the Hunters’ net and cross-checking Denfeld senior forward Cooper McClure. He falls to the ice and Downs continues to repeatedly hit him in the head. You can also see a referee and another Denfeld player struggling to get Downs off of McClure, who has been standing still on the ice. Downs would later be ejected from the game. Under MSHSL guidelines, fight discipline is a one to three game suspension.

Duluth Superintendent John Magas released this statement to FOX 21: “The district is aware of the incident of the fighting at the Duluth East and Denfeld boys’ hockey game on Wednesday night. Duluth Public Schools is currently investigating the situation. He also added, “Duluth Public Schools do not condone unsportsmanlike behavior.”

This isn’t the first time Duluth East has had an on-ice incident like this. Last week during their game against Superior, a fight broke out in which a player from the bench got involved. Superintendent Magas tells FOX 21 that he was unaware of this incident but that the district takes all incidents seriously.

As for Denfeld’s McClure, he was not hospitalized and eventually returned home. He missed Thursday’s game against Duluth Marshall, but was in attendance with the team.

Catherine J. Martinez