The two-game suspension to Denver junior forward Max Bull was cut in half by the WCHA’s executive committee on Tuesday.
Bull will sit out Friday’s non-conference game against Mercyhurst.
WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod announced the suspension on Nov. 21, citing a collection of events over a two-week span. Bull appealed to the executive committee, which met on a telephone conference call.
“Our first concern is for the safety of our players and we fully support the Commissioner in sending a strong message to all of our student-athletes in the WCHA that this type of on-ice behavior won’t be tolerated,” said P.J. Hill, the chair of the association and the faculty representative from Alaska-Anchorage.
“But given that Mr. Bull has no prior track record during his three years as a student-athlete in this league, we feel a one-game suspension is sufficient under these circumstances.”
Bull, a 21-year-old from Faribault, Minn., was involved in a knee-to-knee collision with Minnesota-Duluth forward Jesse Unklesbay on Nov. 9, a play on which Unklesbay’s left tibia was broken but no penalty was called. Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin asked that the league review the play, and, last week, Bull was issued a warning by the league.
On Nov. 15, Bull, 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, was given a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for checking Michigan Tech forward Bryan Perez from behind. A day later, he was whistled for a checking-the-goaltender minor penalty.
“It was more of a culmination or adding up what happened more than any particular egregious situation,” McLeod said last week. “None of them were real horrible or flagrent acts or anything.”
McLeod added: “I just had a gut feeling that, after the Duluth incident, I really didn’t get his attention.”
The executive committee includes McLeod, Hill, Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi, Colorado College faculty representative Ralph Bertrand and UMD coach Scott Sandelin. Sandelin recused himself from voting because his team was involved in one of the events that led up to the suspension.
In 14 games this season, Bull has two goals. He has nine penalties for 29 minutes.