The Lakeland girls hockey team’s post season hopes have been dashed before the tournament has even begun.

On Saturday night, against Black River Falls, the Thunderbirds received their third game disqualification of the season when Isabelle Boyer was disqualified for game misconduct. 

That was the third game disqualification of the season for Lakeland, and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association prohibits any team reaching that total from competing in the state tournament.

According to Clause B, Section 3 of the WIAA official tournament procedures, “Any school whose players, during the regular season, collectively receive a total of three or more game disqualifications over two or more games, or four game disqualifications during the same game, will be prohibited from participating in the WIAA State Tournament series.”

Lakeland’s other two disqualifications came on Friday, Dec. 14 against Northland Pines. Both Asucena Boyer and Anna Maulson were given game misconduct penalties and neither player was allowed to play in Lakeland’s next contest.

Lakeland’s head coach Steve Bucklew deferred all comments to Lakeland Union athletic director Phillip Updike, who, after several attempts, was unable to be reached for comment prior to deadline for this edition.

According to Todd Clark, director of communications for the WIAA, who confirmed the ruling, “It isn’t a rare occurrence. Teams have been removed from the tournament as recently as last year.”

Clark said the rule was added to the hockey manual in 1987 and allows for the penalized team to appeal. 

He also said Lakeland has not appealed the ruling and he doesn’t expect them to do so.

As a result of the ruling, third seeded Lakeland will forfeit to sixth seeded Rhinelander/Antigo in the regional final of the WIAA tournament.

Rhinelander/Antigo will advance automatically to the sectional semi-finals. 

Lakeland, who played Northland Pines on Thursday night past deadline, now has one regular season game remaining.  

That game is, coincidentally, at Rhinelander/Antigo on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.