Carbon monoxide poisoning forces cancellation of Wisconsin game

The No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team soundly defeated the Lindenwood University on Friday by a score of 5-1.

Yet something didn’t seem right to the Badgers’ coaching staff.

From The Wisconsin State Journal:

A curiosity of why members of the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team were short of breath during last Friday’s game at Lindenwood turned into what coach Mark Johnson called a dangerous situation.

Within hours after the Badgers’ victory in Wentzville, Missouri, the lobby of the team’s hotel looked more like a hospital as players and staff members were tested for carbon monoxide poisoning.


Looking back on it Monday, [Johnson] said complaints of fatigue and blind spots fell in line with the elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the rink.

According to, the maximum level of exposure indoors is nine parts per million and below.

Firefighters tested the arena’s levels and found it to be at 200 (!!) parts per million. Within two to three hours at that level of exposure one would experience ‘dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and headache.’

One player from Wisconsin and 18 players from Lindenwood went to St. Louis area hospitals for further evaluation. Everyone who went to the hospital was treated and released.

The two teams were scheduled to play again the following day, but the game was cancelled as the university worked to figure out what caused the elevated carbon monoxide.

According to, the original source of the leak was thought to be an issue with the humidifiers in the rink. It’s now believed to be a malfunctioning ice resurfacer.

So, how did the levels get so high without anyone knowing?


Wentzville fire chief Mike Marlo said the arena is not required to have a carbon monoxide detection monitor unless the ice making process creates carbon monoxide materials.

Marlo added he will be recommending the university install a carbon monoxide detection system.

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.