Big Ten suspends Michigan’s Downing for championship game

Michigan’s Michael Downing will miss the Big Ten championship game (photo: Jim Rosvold).

The Big Ten suspended Michigan defenseman Michael Downing for Saturday’s league championship game as supplemental discipline for a hit in Friday’s semifinal victory over Penn State.

Downing was ejected from Friday’s game after hitting a Nittany Lions player away from the play late in the second period, earning a major penalty for contact to the head and a game misconduct.

He’ll miss the championship game against Minnesota but will be eligible to return for Michigan’s NCAA tournament first-round game.

Downing, a junior, has played in 33 of the Wolverines’ 35 games this season and shares the team lead for defenseman at plus-20.

He was suspended for two games by the league earlier this season for a contact-to-the-head penalty against Minnesota.

Downing also got a one-game ban from the Big Ten in February 2014.