In a rare move for women’s college hockey, the WCHA announced Wednesday a one-game for an Ohio State women’s hockey player who hit Gophers forward Emily West on Friday and dislocated her jaw.
Late in the second period that night in Columbus, the Buckeyes' Ally Tarr hit West in the head. West had to be helped off the ice. She did not return to the game and did not play Saturday.
Tarr was given a 5-minute major penalty for contact to the head and a 10-minute game misconduct. The one-game suspension will keep Tarr out of Ohio State’s game Friday at home vs. No. 1 Wisconsin.
The 5-5 sophomore from London, Ontario, is the Buckeyes' third-leading scorer with 17 goals and 27 points.
Conference spokesperson Doug Spencer said the WCHA has had just one suspension in women's hockey in each of the past two years. “For the most part, [suspensions are] pretty uncommon,” he said.
Suspensions on the far more physical men’s side of the WCHA are far more common for serious penalties. Just last weekend, Minnesota’s Kyle Rau was kicked out of Friday’s game for a late hit on Denver’s Jason Zucker. Rau was then suspended for the rematch the next night.
Gophers women's hockey spokesperson Sara Berhow, who attended the game at Ohio State and saw the hit, said she is pleased with the conference’s actions.
The Gophers swept Ohio State 5-0 and 7-4.
Ohio State appealed the suspension, but the league's executive committee upheld it.
“I think everybody’s extra sensitive, especially with hits to the head, with hits being in the news this winter,” Berhow said.
There were 19 penalties called in Friday's game, nine against the Gophers for 18 minutes, 10 against the Buckeyes for 31. On Saturday, there were 16 minor penalties called, eight on each team.
West will be back in the lineup Friday for the Gophers' season-ending two-game home series vs. North Dakota. That means West will not miss Saturday’s Senior Night festivities at Ridder Arena.
-- Paul Walsh and Roman Augustoviz
TWO GOPHERS HONORED
Senior defenseman Anne Schleper of the Gophers was named the WCHA's co-defensive player of the week while defenseman Rachel Ramsey was named the rookie of the week.
Schleper, a senior from St. Cloud, had a goal and an assist in the Gophers first game last weekend and two assists in the second game. She had 10 shots on goal, four blocked shots and a plus-5 rating.
With her three most recent assists, Schleper is now second in all-time assists among Gophers defensemen with 70.
Ramsey, a freshmen from Chanhassen, had two assists the first game against the Buckeyes and one the second game. She had four goals and 16 assists for 20 points this season, which ranks first among rookie WCHA defensemen.
The other WCHA award winners:
* Offensive player of the week: Wisconsin forward Hilary Knight, two goals, five assists as Badgers swept St. Cloud State 5-0, 6-2. ... Gophers forward Jen Schoullis also was nominated for this honor.
* Co-defensive player of the week: Bemidji St. goalie Zuzana Tomcikova, gave up only one goal in split with UMD. Beavers lost first game 1-0, won second game 2-0.