Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Big Ten suspends Gophers defenseman for one game

After a collision late in Saturday's win at Ohio State, Minnesota Gophers defenseman Ben Brinkman will serve a one-game suspension handed out by the conference.

Jake Sanderson protects the puck from Minnesota defenseman Ben Brinkman on Nov. 27, 2021, in Ralph Engelstad Arena. UND won 3-2.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

MINNEAPOLIS – The already-thinned defense corps for the Minnesota Gophers will be just a little slimmer on Friday, Feb. 18, when they visit Penn State in search of a fifth consecutive win.

On Monday the Big Ten Conference announced a one-game suspension of Gophers’ blueliner Ben Brinkman for a hit he delivered late in last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Ohio State.

In the final minute of the game, Brinkman and Buckeyes forward Travis Treloar came together in the corner to the left of Gophers goalie Justen Close. Brinkman knocked Treloar down with a high hit and appeared to take Treloar’s legs out from under him with a knee to the back of Treloar’s leg. The Gophers scored a short time later, but after a video review, Brinkman was given a major penalty for clipping and a game misconduct, and the goal was wiped off the scoreboard.

In the official communication from the conference, Brinkman’s actions were referred to as “slew-footing.” The senior from Edina has a goal and five assists in 29 games this season.


Ben Brinkman
Ben Brinkman. Courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics

The loss of Brinkman for Friday’s game versus the Nittany Lions means that graduate student Sam Rossini may be added to the six-man defensive corps for the game. Gophers coach Bob Motzko said he is also hopeful that forward Jaxon Nelson can play this weekend for the first time since Jan. 7 when he suffered a leg injury in a 4-1 win at Michigan State.

With defenseman Brock Faber currently skating for Team USA at the Winter Olympics in China, the Gophers were already down one defenseman. It is the second one-game suspension for a Gophers defenseman this season. Matt Staudacher sat out one game after a high hit on a Badgers player during a November game at Wisconsin.

After a season-high four wins in a row, the Gophers were ranked fifth nationally in the USCHO poll and sixth in the USA Hockey Magazine poll this week.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
What to read next
A fixture in the Motor City for decades, college hockey's most renowned holiday tournament seems to have found a home in Grand Rapids, Mich., with the announcement of the next four GLI fields.
Starting next season, men's and women's season-ticket holders for the Minnesota Gophers will be able to return seats they cannot use and get credit for future season ticket purchases.
Todd Inkrott and new Badgers hockey coach Mike Hastings had worked together for more than a decade at MSU Mankato. He becomes the latest former Mavs staffer to follow the coach east.
The defenseman originally from southern California was a four-year regular on the U of M blue line, and a first-round pick of Buffalo in 2019.
Get Local