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Thief River Falls forfeits two games after school district investigation

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune, 01/31/17, 5:00PM CST

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The varsity and junior varsity programs were suspended for a week stemming from allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Thief River Falls suspended its varsity and junior varsity boys’ hockey programs for a week after an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior.

The Prowlers’ teams are suspended from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. The Thief River Falls varsity team (8-11) cancelled two home games scheduled to be played at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Thursday against Crookston and Saturday against St. Cloud Cathedral.

School District Superintendent Bradley D. Bergstrom confirmed the suspension Tuesday.

“The district hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation in response to allegations against players on both teams,” Bergstrom said.

Parents of players could be present and players had a chance to respond to the allegations, Bergstrom said. The investigation is complete.

“The suspensions are not meant to imply that all players engaged in inappropriate behavior,” Bergstrom said. “The action of the district is meant to embrace that a team rises and falls together. We take all allegations seriously. We are providing an educational component designed to prevent these types of things from happening again.”

Thief River Falls advanced to the Class 1A state tournament last season, reaching the semifinals before losing to Breck. The Prowlers won the third-place trophy with a victory over St. Paul Academy.

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