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Posted on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

Jon Merrill's suspension lifted after 22 games, will play for Michigan hockey team tonight

By Pete Cunningham

Jon Merrill's punishment is officially over.

After serving a 22-game suspension from the Michigan hockey team for an undisclosed violation of team rules, the sophomore defenseman will be in the lineup when the Wolverines take on Lake Superior State at 7:35 p.m. tonight at Yost Ice Arena.

He is listed as a third line defender on the line chart, along with Lee Moffie.


Jon Merrill celebrates a goal during the Big Chill at the Big House, part of his 25-point freshman season. The defenseman will play his first game of his sophomore season tonight after coach Red Berenson lifted his 22-game suspension. file photo

"Jon's indefinite suspension has been lifted," Michigan coach Red Berenson said in a statement. "He has paid for his poor decision and is back on the team."

Berenson has declined to comment on Merrill's specific violation since announcing his suspension prior to the start of the season on Oct. 1. The suspension was initially to last 12 games, or until Fri. Nov. 12. Merrill rejoined the team to practice on Nov. 1, but had his suspension extended to "indefinitely."

Before Merrill left for the Team USA World Junior Championships camp in December, Berenson said Merrill had "other things to live up to, nothing to do with hockey," and that "if there's any feedback that's negative (from Team USA) it's not going to help Jon

Merrill had 25 points on seven goals and 18 assists as a freshman last season. He played in all six games at the World Junior Championships, scoring four points as Team USA went 3-3. He was named player of the game in Team USA's 2-1 win over Switzerland on Wednesday.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.