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.
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.
Brinkman gets 5 and game for this play pic.twitter.com/bcSCfMTekE— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 13, 2022
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.