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Michigan Hockey Defenseman Jon Merrill Suspended 12 Games

Sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill has been suspended from the Michigan hockey team for its first 12 games, due to a violation of team rules. Head coach Red Berenson announced the suspension in a statement issued Saturday morning.

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"Jon has an obligation to the team and he did not live up to those responsibilities," Berenson said in a statement Saturday morning. "He needs to be accountable to his teammates and this program both on the ice, around campus and in the community."

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Merrill was named to the All-CCHA preseason first team after a freshman year in which he scored seven goals and 18 assists in 42 games. The Wolverines eventually won the CCHA regular season championship and made it to the NCAA Frozen Four title game.

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His performance earned him All-CCHA second team and CCHA All-Rookie honors last season. Merrill gained notice with two goals in The Big Chill at The Big House outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium last December.

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Michigan opens their 2011-12 season Tuesday against Niagara. Merrill is set to rejoin the team for its Nov. 11 game against Miami of Ohio.