Another stumble keeps Welch from joining hockey team

by Brian Stensaas

Minnesota hockey player Dan Welch has not fulfilled his contract with the University’s College of Liberal Arts for the fall semester and therefore cannot join the team this fall.

Welch took four classes at the University over the summer but failed one.

This fall, Welch will attend classes at Normandale Community College and will reapply to the University for spring semester 2002.

If the forward is admitted, Welch could begin practicing in December and resume playing Jan. 22, the first day of the spring semester.

Reached at home in Hastings Tuesday night, Welch said his first priority is getting back into the University. He is not concerned with going to play for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League who recently traded for his rights.

The University does not guarantee re-enrollment to students suspended for academic reasons.

“It obviously has an impact when you lose a potential top-two winger,” coach Don Lucia said. “But it gives an opportunity for somebody else to play and develop.”

Welch, whose father Russ coaches hockey at Hastings High School, will work out at the school and skate with the team in practice this fall.

After his freshman campaign in 1999-2000, Welch became academically ineligible.

Welch played for the Omaha Lancers (USHL) while attending a community college in Lincoln, Neb., to improve his academic standing. He was the league’s top scorer in the playoffs for the Lancers, scoring nine goals and tallying 13 assists in 12 postseason games en route to the league title.

Lucia is confident the 20-year-old will be around to skate for the second half of the season.

“I believe that Danny will ultimately get everything he needs to have done and will be joining us for the second semester,” Lucia said.


Brian Stensaas covers men’s
hockey and welcomes comments
at [email protected]