November 19, 2011 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Facing Charges, Walker Leaves NMU; Wildcats Depleted on Backline

CHN Staff Report

Northern Michigan freshman Eric Walker, one of five players facing misdemeanor charges for theft of bicycles on campus, has decided to leave school to play in the Western Hockey League, according to the Marquette Mining Journal.

Walker had yet to appear in a game for the Wildcats.

The defection will leave Northern Michigan with only five defensemen for their next game. Three others — Wade Epp, Scott Macaulay and Kyle Fullmer — are suspended for one game because of game disqualifications received after a fight that broke out following the team's 2-1 win over Michigan State on Saturday.

Two other defensemen, Mitch Jones and Jake Baker, are also among those facing theft charges, and were consequently facing team-imposed suspensions as well. Jones already served one game of that suspension Friday. The length of the suspensions have not been revealed by coach Walt Kyle, but he has been staggering them, and could push them out further considering how shorthanded the team will be next game.

Dylan Walchuk, a forward who has been a regular contributor so far, and Daniel Vandercook were the other players facing the theft charges. They were suspended for Saturday's game against Michigan State, but Walchuk played Friday.

The five players are free pending trial, after paying 10 percent of a $2,500 bond. They are scheduled for jury trial at 8 a.m Dec. 6.

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