As a former goalie, I have seen my fair share of goaltending controversies. From having to start every other game (no matter who won the previous game), to getting pulled once I allowed three goals (no matter how many we had) and getting benched in favor of an inferior goalie, I have seen most of everything. But what happened in a high school hockey game in Minnesota yesterday is something I have never seen before. For those who aren’t aware, they take their high school hockey seriously in Minnesota. Like Texas football and Indiana basketball, high school hockey packs arenas with thousands of fans every night. It is so big the state finals are at the Xcel Energy Center with large crowds in attendance.
In Farmington, Minn., senior goalie Austin Krause spent most of the season disgruntled and with a chip on his shoulder because he was benched in favor of a sophomore. The team played 23 games this season and Krause was making his ninth start because the sophomore was injured. Reports from other media sources state that the goaltending controversy caused a rift between the goalies and their families. And when there is a rift between the players who are supposed to help the team win, it will cause a division among the rest of the team.
When Krause made the Senior Night start against Chaska High, he put his plan to quit on the team to action. His team was leading by one late in the third period when he took the puck from behind his net and scored on himself. When the confused Chaska players were celebrating, Krause took his helmet off, shown his bench and coaches the middle finger before leaving the ice. To make matters worse, the backup on the bench allowed a goal shortly after entering the game to turn a possible Farmington 2-1 win into a 3-2 loss.
And just like any other athlete who makes bad decisions, Krause took to Facebook to post this statement after the game:
“They played this sophomore goalie for the starter, he was terrible, I would try and talk to the coaches about this and tell them I want playing time but they never really listen to me or gave me a chance to show them that I’m a better goalie but still wouldn’t trust me so I had it it with I asked a few of my players if they care if I did it and they didn’t care they thought it would be funny so at the third period they dumped it in I stopped it put in my net started to skate off then flicked the coaches not the team the coaches then I saluted them then got off.”
He added: “My hockey season is over. I did it for myself. (Like my status) if you think the coaches should quit:)”
I hope Krause enjoyed his 15 seconds of fame and will remember this moment for the rest of his life. He embarrassed not only himself but his team, his school, his coaches and his family. I had to watch the last game of my competitive career from the bench as my team lost in the District semifinals for the second straight year. I would have started the final on both occasions, and for a long time it hurt me inside knowing that I never got to play in the state tournament. I felt some consolation when players I played with that final season won the District tournament and played in the state tournament two years later. I still play at the recreation/beer league level to this day but it’s not the same. If he wanted to quit so bad, he could have walked away and allowed the rest of his team to compete to the best of their ability. But all the good memories of playing together this season was taken away in 15 seconds.
The video of the intentional goal is below.