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Published March 06, 2013, 11:25 AM

Coaches Say New Rules Make Minnesota Youth Hockey Safer

On the eve of Minnesota's state hockey tournament, coaches and officials say rules meant to make the game safer have been effective.

ST. PAUL — On the eve of Minnesota's state hockey tournament, coaches and officials say rules meant to make the game safer have been effective.

Minnesota Hockey introduced tougher penalties for dangerous hits after a player ended up paralyzed when he was checked from behind and went head-first into the boards.

The new rules are temporary but Ken Pauly, president of the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association, says they should be made permanent.

Coaches say the new rules have resulted in cleaner play and fewer penalties overall. They say players called for checking from behind are learning their lessons.

Minnesota Hockey officials say the organization will consider whether to make the changes permanent next month.

In addition to the new penalties, coaches are also required to complete training on preventing and managing concussions.

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