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Big Ten suspends Wisconsin defenseman Eddie Wittchow for illegal hit

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Eddie Wittchow will be suspended for the entirety of the upcoming Michigan series for his hit last Saturday night against Minnesota.

Richard T Gagnon - Getty Images

The Big Ten conference announced on Monday the suspension of Wisconsin defenseman Eddie Wittchow for a hit last Saturday in the series vs. Minnesota.

Wittchow received a major penalty for contact to the head and was given a game disqualification for the hit, which carries an automatic one-game suspension. The Big Ten added an additional game on Monday, which means Wittchow will miss the entire series next weekend against Michigan.

Here is video of the hit, courtesy of @cjzero.

In my opinion the extra game suspension was not necessary, but I won't get up in arms about it. These dangerous types of hits are what hockey is trying to rid itself of. Thankfully the Minnesota player was not injured in the collision.

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said the league told him that the time of the game the hit took place factored into the extra suspension. The Badgers were trailing the Gophers 5-2 at the time of the hit, with just over 30 seconds remaining in the contest.

"The explanation was it was a serious hit to the head and the time of the game that the hit took place," Eaves said. "So we are in further discussion with (Big Ten director of officials) Steve Piotrowski about this, but I think that's going to be the bottom line."

The loss of Wittchow doesn't come at a particularly good time for the Wisconsin defense. Michigan features the No. 1 scoring offense in the country this season, averaging 4.15 goals per game.

In replace of Wittchow this weekend will be Cullen Hurley. The walk-on freshman has seen action in two games this season for the Badgers, on the road at Colorado College and Denver.

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