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WCHA Suspends Wisconsin's Ryan Little One Game for Dangerous Hit

A retaliatory hit on Michigan Tech's Jujhar Khaira will cost Little Wisconsin's next game.

Larry Radloff/

The WCHA has announced their first supplemental discipline of the season in the form of a one-game suspension to Wisconsin's Ryan Little for a blindside flying elbow to the head of Michigan Tech's Jujhar Khaira. Here is a video of the hit in question.

That seems pretty straightforward. I think the only two questions one could have after watching video are: 1) How is that only worthy of a one-game suspension and 2) How on Earth was there absolutely no penalty called on the ice?

Of course, that hit came the night after Khaira was only assessed a two-minute penalty for this egregious facemask of a Wisconsin defenseman. In the final two minutes of Saturday's game, it seems pretty clear that Little was looking for a little retribution on Khaira. That's about as bad as it gets though. Khaira never has control of the puck, never even touches the puck really, and is blasted with a high hit where Little clearly jumps to make contact with his head. If that's a one-game suspension, I have a very difficult time imagining any scenario that could draw a two-game suspension.

But the even bigger concern is that there were two officials on the ice that night--four if you want to count the linesmen--and none of them saw fit to call any sort of penalty. That means that either both officials didn't see the play, even though it happened about two feet away from the puck, or they saw it and thought that was somehow acceptable. Either explanation seriously calls into question the competence of the two officials involved, and causes some serious concerns for the safety of the players on the ice when they are officiating. That's just a beyond unacceptable level of officiating for this level of hockey.