Boone Jenner has paid a heavy price for his late hit.
The International Ice Hockey Federation suspended the Canadian forward three games on Monday for his check on Swedish defenceman Jesper Pettersson in the team’s final exhibition contest prior to the start of the world junior hockey championship.
Pettersson suffered a broken wrist and a dislocated shoulder on the play and had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher. Jenner was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for charging.
“The video material indicated that the hit was late and delivered with no intention to play the puck and with Pettersson being in a vulnerable position,” the IIHF said in a statement Monday. “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 hit was delivered far too late. This resulted in an injury to Sweden’s Pettersson and for this Jenner is to be held accountable.”
Jenner will miss Canada’s games against Germany on Boxing Day, Slovakia on Friday and the United States on Sunday.
He is eligible to return for the final game before the medal round against Russia on New Year’s Eve.
Canada had yet to submit its final roster for the tournament and had the option of bringing in another player to take his spot. While it's possible Jenner, a centre with the Oshawa Generals and a draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will be sent home, Canada does have depth at the center position and will likely ride out the suspension and not bring in another player.
Canadian coach Steve Spott said after Saturday’s 2-1 shootout win over Sweden that he didn’t think Jenner deserved a suspension.
“Our feeling is (the hit) was shoulder-to-shoulder,” Spott said. “If anything, 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.”
Jenner’s suspension is the second major roster issue Spott has faced. The team had to fly in Prince Albert Raiders centre Mark McNeill over the weekend after left-winger Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens aggravated a back injury during practice, ruling him out of the tournament.
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