March 23, 2005
Hirsch Skates with Gophers on Wednesday
Status for this weekend still uncertain

Minnesota's leading scorer, Tyler Hirsch, who left the team following a bizarre post-game incident Friday night at the WCHA Final Five, rejoined his teammates for practice today, although his status for this weekend's NCAA West Regional remains uncertain.

"Tyler is doing well and we would like to thank the Gopher hockey coaching staff, team members and support staff for their professionalism and attention to this matter," Hirsch's family said in a statement Wednesday.

"In partnership with the University of Minnesota, we are currently determining Tyler's playing status for the remainder of the season. Tyler skated with the team today and awaits the University's decision to clear him for this weekend."

Following Minnesota's shutout loss to Colorado College on Friday, Hirsch remained on the ice and took what amounted to a penalty shot on an empty goal. After shooting he barrelled into the net, knocking it to the back boards, then skated to center ice and laid his stick across the red line. (For more from INCH, read Jess Myers' Friday and Saturday accounts from the Final Five.)

Golden Gopher head coach Don Lucia welcomed Hirsch back to practice.

"Tyler has been cleared to practice with the team as of Wednesday," Lucia said in a statement. "His playing status for the remainder of this season is yet to be determined. Wešre happy to have Tyler back with his teammates."

No timetable was given on a decision regarding Hirsch's status. The Gophers play Maine on Saturday, March 26, at 2:30 p.m. ET in Minneapolis.

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