A late hit in pre-tournament action that injured a Swedish defenceman has cost Canadian forward Boone Jenner three games to start the world junior hockey championship.
In its ruling Monday, the International Ice Hockey Federation’s five person disciplinary panel determined that Jenner’s hit on Jesper Pettersson in the Dec. 22 game in Finland was late and made with no intention to play the puck, with the blue-liner in a vulnerable position.
“It was Jenner’s intention to deliver the forceful check in spite of having the opportunity to at least make an attempt to avoid contact on Pettersson,” the IIHF wrote on its website.
Pettersson, who was carried off the ice on a stretcher, suffered a dislocated shoulder and fractured wrist on the play. Jenner, 19, was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.
The Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick who hails from Dorchester, Ont. (near London), will miss preliminary-round games against Germany (on Wednesday), Slovakia (Dec. 28) and the United States (Dec. 30). He is eligible to return for the final game before the medal round against Russia on New Year's Eve.
"Obviously it's really tough," Jenner said quietly. "I really want to play in this tournament and be out there with my teammates. I don't want to be in the crowd watching.
"There's nothing I can do now. The ruling was made and it was three games. I'm going to sit out the three games, cheer on the team and be ready for the fourth."
Canadian head coach Steve Spott has the option to bring a player to Ufa, Russia, to replace Jenner, who has 27 goals and 47 points in 32 games this season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals.
It looks like Jenner's stand-in will be Prince Albert Raiders forward Mark McNeill, who was originally released by Team Canada at selection camp. He was summoned a few days ago as an injury replacement to Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, who suffered a back injury.
Also, winger Jonathan Drouin sustained a mild charleyhorse in Tuesday's practice. He was left off Canada's roster of players registered Tuesday to keep a spot open should another replacement player be needed.
Last week, Canada lost Charles Hudon of the Quebec league’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens to a lower back injury, with fellow forward Mark McNeill summoned from the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League.
Hockey Night in Canada personality Don Cherry weighed in on the Jenner suspension, saying the hit is a "perfect example" of a guy not knowing how to prepare for a hit.
"He makes the pass, sees Jenner coming, and walks right into it after admiring the pass," Cherry wrote to his Twitter account. "The [Swedish] league he plays in has no hitting, which is coming to our hockey eventually. So you don't prepare.
"And all of a sudden you have a guy like Jenner who decides to hit and you are not expecting it or prepared for it and bingo you're hurt.
"That's the problem with no hit hockey. It takes only one guy. It's tough to tell people who believe in no hit hockey and I agree if you can go through your hockey life with no hitting and everyone would co-operate I can see it, but every once in a while a guy like Jenner, a hitter, comes along. When you have the puck you should be prepared to get hit and be aware of what's happening on the ice."
Following Canada's 2-1 shootout win over Sweden, Spott contended Jenner's hit was shoulder-to-shoulder.
"If anything," he added, "maybe interference or a charge but definitely not something that's worth suspending because although Boone is an aggressive player, he didn't target anybody's head and he didn't leave his feet."
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