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Wild winger Marcus Foligno sounds off on refs after 10-minute misconduct

In an instant, Foligno slammed his helmet and started screaming at the referee. He was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct minor as well as a misconduct. All of it added up to 19 penalty minutes.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno fights Arizona Coyotes center Liam O'Brien in the second period Sunday in St. Paul.
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL -- Marcus Foligno saw Arizona Coyotes winger Liam O’Brien skating directly at him on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. He gave him a push and both players dropped the gloves.

As he skated toward the penalty box to serve his fighting major, Foligno raised his arms to pump up the Minnesota Wild’s home crowd. He soon realized he was getting a roughing minor and a switch flipped.

In an instant, Foligno slammed his helmet and started screaming at the referee. He was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct minor as well as a misconduct. All of it added up to a grand total of 19 penalty minutes.

“Just frustrated from the call,” Foligno said. “I didn’t really know that it was putting my team shorthanded after the fight.”

After dropping the gloves, Foligno expected to get a fighting major. He went to the penalty box to serve his time only to find out he also got a roughing minor for simply trying to get O’Brien out of his face. That fired him up.

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“I felt a little bit disrespected there,” Foligno said. “There’s really nothing there. It’s just a five-minute fighting penalty. Just give both guys each five minutes and move on. Sometimes these referees try to be bigger than the game.”

Asked about the sequence, coach Dean Evason had Foligno’s back, noting how O’Brien started the altercation.

“The guy comes off the bench and skates right to Moose and he gives him a push,” Evason said. “What are you supposed to do? Just stand there? You just don’t do that as a hockey player. He gave him a little push, like, ‘Get out of my face.’ I understand why Moose was rattled.”

With so many penalty minutes assessed to him at that point, Foligno skated off and watched the remainder of the second period from the Wild locker room.

“Just find the guys that are injured and hang out with them and talk about it,” Foligno said. “You watch the game a little bit and ride the bike and stretch and get ready. It’s good to watch. Just prepare for the third period. I felt like a relief pitcher coming in.”

Even though the Wild were shorthanded after Foligno’s outburst, it appeared to give them an emotional boost. They killed off both penalties and eventually seized control of the game.

“I mean Moose is a passionate player,” winger Matt Boldy said. “He’s definitely got a switch. It’s a good thing. It’s how he’s played his whole career and obviously he’s had a ton of success. It’s passion for the game. It’s a tough call. I don’t think a lot of us agreed with it.”

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