The Big Ten has announced that Michigan junior defenseman Michael Downing will be suspended for tonight's Big Ten championship game against Minnesota after he was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head late in the second period of yesterday's semifinal win over Penn State.
Downing is no stranger to supplemental discipline from the Big Ten. He missed two games earlier this season due to suspension earlier this season, a punishment owed largely to his status as a repeat offender.
Downing has 3-16-19 in 33 games this season, and is Michigan's second-highest scoring defenseman, along with bringing a physical presence to the blue line.
Michigan is already securely inside the NCAA Tournament field, and will have Downing back for next weekend, but tonight's game has big implications for their opponent, Minnesota, who needs a win to get into the NCAA Tournament, as well as some bubble teams, who are hoping Minnesota loses to allow them into the tournament.