The UPEI Panthers will be without Mason Wilgosh until the last game of the regular season.
The Atlantic University Sport judicial committee upheld the conference’s 12-game suspension issued earlier this season to Wilgosh. The conference announced the decision Friday after holding an appeal hearing Tuesday.
No reason was given for upholding the original suspension.
"We are certainly disappointed," UPEI athletic director Ron Annear told The Guardian.
"We certainly appealed because we believed in Mason and ultimately support him completely.
"Now we're going to take some time to review the decision."
Wilgosh, a first-year Panther from Winnipeg, was suspended for what the conference called “an illegal check to the head” during Nov. 30 game against Acadia.
He was assessed a match penalty and an automatic four-game suspension. Conference executive director Phil Currie added eight games of supplemental discipline.
Wilgosh and UPEI disagreed that the check was a hit to the head.
Wilgosh has served three games of the suspension and will be eligible to return in the Panthers’ final game of the season, Feb. 8 against St. Thomas.
Defenceman Christopher Owens, who was the Axeman hit on the play in question, played the first game of the new year, Jan. 4 against University of New Brunswick. He played the team's next two games as well.
All decisions of the judicial committee are final and may not be appealed.