Duluth in jeopardy of losing first place spot

The Bulldogs star freshman in under investigation after officials learned she had a professional contract in Russia.

Paul Cordes

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Duluth forward Iya Gavrilova, a freshman from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, is currently under investigation by the NCAA and the school. Gavrilova played for Moscow Sports Klub Institute FizKultury (SKIF) from 2002-06 and Moscow Region Tornado in 2006-07 and SKIF team president told the Duluth News Tribune that she was a paid professional.

“I cannot comment on [Gavrilova’s] year with Tornado, but she had a professional contract with [SKIF],”SKIF team president Sergei Ivanovich Kolotnev told the Duluth News Tribune in a phone interview Thursday. “During this time, she received both a stipend and a salary. In February of 2006, the team had financial problems and she only received her stipend from February to May of 2006.”

That would be a serious violation of NCAA regulations and could result in the Bulldogs forfeiting every game Gavrilova made an appearance in, a total of 19 WCHA wins. That would shoot current conference No. 2 Minnesota into the top spot, with Wisconsin a close third.

After the adjustments from the Duluth forfeits, Minnesota would have 41 points going into the weekend, and Wisconsin 40, both teams with four games left on the regular season schedule. That would certainly make the last series of the year for both teams all the more important as the Badgers, end their season with two games at Ridder Arena against the Gophers.

Keep checking mndaily.com for updates during the weekend.