UPEI Panthers forward Mason Wilgosh has been suspended 12 games by the Atlantic University Sport for a hit in late November.
Wilgosh received major and match penalties as well as a game misconduct for the Nov. 30th hit on Acadia Axemen defencemen Christopher Owens. The conference said Wiligosh was penalized under an intent to injure clause under rule 6.5 - head contact.
The conference announced the decision late Tuesday afternoon.
“We feel as an organization we can’t tolerate, obviously, that kind of behavior going forward,” executive director Phil Currie said. “We feel this is an appropriate amount of games or sanction in this particular incident.”
Owens, a third-year defenceman from St. John's, is recovering from a concussion.
Wilgosh, a first-year Panther from Winnipeg, has already served one game of his suspension and will be able to return to action in the Panthers’ final regular season game on Feb. 8.
UPEI is considering an appeal. It has until Saturday afternoon to notify the conference. An independent group will review the decision, if UPEI appeals.
“We certainly wish Chris Owens a complete and speedy recovery, but we’re not in agreement with the ruling,” director of athletics Ron Annear told The Guardian.
He said it doesn’t believe it was a hit to the head. The Guardian has asked for a copy of the video and Currie is considering the request.
Acadia coach Darren Burns said the discpline was in the hands of the AUS.
"I think they made a very educated decision," he said.
"I'm very happy Chris is up and moving around."
Owens is still following the conference's concussion protocol and has been unable to write exams.
For more see Wednesday's print edition of The Guardian.