This weekend, Wisconsin Badgers junior defenseman Eddie Wittchow will be a spectator when the Badgers play the Michigan Wolverines in an important two-game conference series at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Last Saturday night, Wittchow ran over Minnesota Gophers forward Leon Bristedt at center ice with a questionable, high hit. A Donny Brook broke out as a result of the questionable hit. For his efforts, Wittchow was given a game disqualification for the hit.
The Big Ten Hockey Conference reviewed that hit in question and decided to suspend Wittchow an additional game. As a result, Wittchow will miss both games against the Wolverines this weekend. Wittchow is eligible to return against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on January 30-31, 2015.
Badgers head coach Mike Eaves had this to say about the suspension.
“The explanation was it was a serious hit to the head,’’ Eaves said. “We are in further discussion with (supervisor of officials) Steve Piotrowski about this, but I think that’s going to be the bottom line.’’ (Madison.com)
Looking at the hit in question, I didn’t think the hit warranted an extra game suspension. But that’s just me. I understand what the Big Ten is trying to accomplish. Wisconsin was losing the game 5-2 and Wittchow no business making a knockout hit at the end of the game.
Vinni Lettier suspended
Wittchow isn’t’ the only player to be suspended by the Big Ten this week. Minnesota Golden Gophers Vinni Lettieri forward has been suspended by the Big Ten for one game. When the Big Ten reviewed the video it discovered that Lettieri had left the players bench to engage in the altercation the followed the Wittchow hit.
A one-game suspension is light for a player leaving the bench to engage in an altercation. In my humble opinion, that infraction deserves at least a two or three game suspension.
Because of the one-game suspension, Lettieri will not be eligible to play in the Gopher’s next game against Minnesota State University.