Michigan State head coach Rick Comley announced Monday that freshman forward Andrew Conboy and sophomore forward Corey Tropp have been suspended by the program for the rest of the season following an incident near the end of Saturday’s game against the University of Michigan. The two will miss all remaining games, including playoff action.
“What happened at the end of the game this weekend is not the way in which we want our program represented,” said Comley. “We cannot condone their actions. We felt that we had to send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
Conboy and Tropp doubled up on Michigan junior defenseman Steve Kampfer after the Wolverine delivered an open-ice hit to Tropp. Conboy pulled down Kampfer from behind, after which Tropp slashed Kampfer. At the time, Conboy was assessed a double-minor for roughing and Tropp a slashing penalty along with two game disqualifications.
Kampfer is the Michigan player who suffered a cracked skull and vertebra at the start of the season after being assaulted. Wolverine football player Michael Milano was arraigned on two counts of assault for that incident, for which Kampfer was hospitalized. The blueliner returned to action in the second half of the season.
When announcing the suspensions, Comley stressed that Conboy and Tropp acted in the heat of the moment during just before the end of Michigan’s tight, 5-3 win against its arch-rival. “One thing needs to be clear,” said Comley. “This incident was an incident that was an emotional, split-second action, for which these players are being punished.
“I do not want this to be portrayed that this was anything pre-meditated, or that any single player was targeted. Their reaction, while inappropriate, was a split-second response that I know that they wish they could have back.”
MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis said that his department fully supports the suspensions after discussing them with both Comley and CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos.
“We feel strongly that our student-athletes should have respect for the game, respect for their opponent, and a commitment to fair play,” said Hollis.
Tropp (3-8–11) is fifth among scorers for the Spartans this season, while Conboy (3-2–5) is eighth. Each has seen action in 21 games this season.