Gophers sophomore forward Vinni Lettieri has been suspended one game by the Big Ten for his part in the last-minute altercation against Wisconsin.
Lettieri, penalized for leaving the bench during the scrum at 19:29 into the third period on Saturday night, will miss the North Star Cup opener against No. 1 Minnesota State Mankato on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Wisconsin junior defenseman and Burnsville native Eddie Wittchow received a one-game suspension for his disqualification penalty during the game and was suspended for an additional game on Monday under the conference’s supplemental discipline process after the review of what was determined to be a hit to the head.
Meanwhile, the Gophers lost another spot in the USCHO rankings on Monday. They fell to No. 17 after a 2-2 tie and shootout loss on Friday and a 5-2 victory on Saturday against the unranked and two-win Badgers. Friday’s setback pushed them back to No. 18 in the PairWise rankings.
Minnesota State Mankato increased its first-place vote total with a sweep against Ferris State and will take their top ranking into Friday’s showdown with the Gophers. That game is 7 p.m. Minnesota Duluth will face Bemidji State at 4. The Bulldogs dropped two spots to No. 7 after a tie and loss against Western Michigan.
Michigan jumped past the Gophers in the top 20 poll to claim the Big Ten’s highest ranking, moving up to No. 16 after a 10-6 blowout of Ohio State.
Kelley wins weekly honor
Gophers senior forward Shae Kelley was chosen the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after averaging a double-double of 24.0 points and 15.5 rebounds in Gophers victories over Ohio State and Indiana last week.
It is the second player of the week honor for Kelley as a Gopher and the team’s fourth this season.
Kelley started off the week with a career night at Ohio State on Thursday, posting career bests with 29 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks in helping Minnesota pick up its third win all-time in Columbus with her sixth double-double of the year.
In the Gophers’ home win against the Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon, she paced the team with 19 points, 13 rebounds and four steals for her second-straight double-double and seventh of the season.