After suffering clear head injuries on the trip to Alaska last weekend, junior defenseman Eddie Wittchow and redshirt freshman defenseman Tim Davison sat out practice on Monday, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Wittchow was injured in a collision on Friday in a season-opening 1-0 loss to Alaska. Forward Shawn Hochhausen was carrying the puck through the neutral zone when Wittchow stepped up to attempt contact. Unfortunately for Wittchow, he took the brunt of the force, ending up on his back.
After a stoppage, Wittchow was helped back to the bench by athletic trainer Andy Hrodey. Wittchow's legs looked like rubber, and he was clearly in a daze. He did not return to action in the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday.
Davison's injury was suffered the following night when he was on the wrong end of a hit by Anchorage forward Brett Cameron. Davison lost the puck in his own skates, had his head down, and Cameron absolutely crushes him in the corner.
Although Cameron does get a running start at Davison, the video appears to show shoulder-to-shoulder contact. Cameron was ejected by the officials for contact to the head. The WCHA added additional discipline on Monday, suspending Cameron for one game.
Davison was immediately helped to the lockerroom, and received stitches for a cut on his face that was suffered from the hit. He did not return to the contest on Saturday.
It's obviously impossible to speculate about the timeline of either injury. Head trauma is not something to mess around with, so there will obviously be precautions taken in the case of both players.
Unfortunately for the Badgers this leaves them with just five healthy defensemen on the roster. An odd twist, given the fact Wisconsin had only one defenseman miss any games last season, and that was only for one game.
If Wittchow and Davison are forced to sit out this weekends series vs. Northern Michigan at the Resch Center in Green Bay, it's possible that freshman Cullen Hurley could move back to defense. Hurley is a forward by trade, but spent part of last season playing defense in the USHL for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The experiment went well, and Hurley has even spent time playing defense in practice in his short time at Wisconsin.
We'll have updates on both players as more information becomes available.
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