Attack costs Michigan State players

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State suspended two hockey players for the rest of the season after they attacked a Michigan skater during a game over the weekend.

Late in the Wolverines' 5-3 win Saturday night, Michigan defenseman Steve Kampfer was hit into the boards by Andrew Conboy and Corey Tropp hit him in the neck area with his stick while Kampfer was prone on the ice.

The teams' conference, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, said it was satisfied with the school's action.

"We feel that the measures taken by Michigan State are appropriate and consistent with the parameters of the sanctions that were being contemplated by the league," league commissioner Tom Anastos said in a news release.

Game officials penalized Tropp with a double disqualification and Conboy received a double minor for roughing.

"What happened near the end of the game this weekend is not the way in which we want our hockey program represented," Michigan State coach Rick Comley said in a statement. "We cannot condone their actions. We felt that we had to send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated."

On Monday, Comley announced that Conboy had left Michigan State. Tropp was still enrolled as of Monday afternoon, Comley told the Detroit Free Press.

Kampfer was helped off the ice and later was on a hospital gurney with a neck brace. His skull was fractured earlier this season in an off-ice assault.

Kampfer said he expected to return for the Wolverines' next game Friday.

"Where I got hit with the stick was right on my neck, so it was more for precautionary reasons for why I went to the hospital," he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "They decided to check out everything but everything came back negative. Right now it's just a strain in the neck and that's all we're focused on."

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said he and Comley agree what the Spartans players did "were spontaneous, emotional actions carried out during a highly competitive game."

"But their actions were completely inappropriate and reflect poorly on our program," Hollis added.

Michigan coach Red Berenson said, "I think it's in good hands. The system will work. It's just a bad mistake."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.