Ejections and Suspensions hit Slovakia Hard


Zack Kassian's hit on the Czech Republic's Petr Senkerik made the headlines since it involved Team Canada and was broadcast in front of the largest audience, but the team that could be feeling the largest impact due to IIHF discipline looks to be Slovakia.  For a key upcoming game against Switzerland that will almost certainly determine who places third in their group and avoids the relegation round, Slovakia will be without top defenseman Martin Marincin as well as forward Peter Hrasko for hits to the head/neck area.  Both received game misconducts and as such, automatic one game suspensions.  And it's likely there will be further discipline as well, particularly on Marincin.  Have a look at what he did to the USA's Jason Zucker:

A late hit, right in front of the ref no less, with the elbow to the head in a game where the result is already in doubt is about as unnecessary as it gets.  Zack Kassian got two games for his high and late hit, so I'd expect Marincin's to start at three games if we're going on an escalating scale based on recklessness and severity.  Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey thinks that Marincin's tournament should be over, and speculates the hit was revenge for this hit at last year's WJC tournament (which Marincin was also at):

The U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team played Slovakia’s under-18 squad in an exhibition prior to last year’s IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus. During that game, it was noticeable  that the Slovakian players were out to get Zucker. One of my fellow Team USA staffers quipped, at the time, that the extra attention was perhaps retaliation for the hit at the WJC. Maybe it was, I can’t be certain. However, Martin Marincin delivered a deliberate knee-on-knee hit to Zucker that earned Marincin a major penalty and  game misconduct (Here’s that game’s box score). So yeah, there’s a history.

No word on the suspensions pending to both Slovak players, or if any follow up will be done on the Czech Repbulic's Martin Frk, who was given a five minute major and ejected for spearing Canada's Erik Gudbranson

UPDATE:  Marincin gets three games, Hrasko gets two, in addition to their automatic one game suspensions.

Slovakia is currently in 4th place in Group B with two points, and plays 3rd place Switzerland tomorrow and 2nd place Finland on New Year's Eve to wrap up their preliminary round.

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