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Downing, Porikos Suspended

The Big Ten has suspended Mike Downing two games and Niko Porikos one

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Big Ten conference has suspended Michigan defenseman Mike Downing for two games and forward Niko Porikos for one game following their 3-2 loss Saturday against Minnesota.

Downing was given a game misconduct and a major for head contact midway through the second period for a hit on Connor Reilly. Downing will miss both of the GLI games at the end of the month.

Porikos was given two minutes for elbowing on Jack Ramsey at start the third period. He will be eligible to return for the second game of the GLI.

That makes things tight for the tournament. The Wolverines will already be shorthanded with Zach Werenski playing for the US at World Juniors and Kevin Lohan is recovering from an injury and hasn't played since Rensselaer in October.

At the moment that leaves the Wolverines with only five defensemen; Cutler Martin, Nick Boka, Joe Cecconi, Nolan De Jong and Sam Piazza.