Canada will be without one of its top defensemen when it goes for the bronze medal at the World Junior Championship on Saturday. The IIHF announced that Griffin Reinhart has been suspended four games for a high-sticking incident.
The incident took place during the second period of Canada's 5-1 loss to the United States in the semifinal round on Thursday
From the IIHF's explanation:
As per the IIHF Disciplinary Panel review and interpretation of the situation, Reinhart entered the corner with the puck and was checked by USA forward Vince Trocheck. Both players became tangled up with Reinhart dropping to his knees. Trocheck made contact in an attempt to continue to play the puck.
Once on his knees, Reinhart made eye contact with his opponent, raised his stick and delivered a two-handed slash to the head and neck area of Trocheck, who fell to the ice as a result of the infraction. Reinhart was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking. There was no apparent injury incurred by Trocheck.
In five games at the tournament, Reinhart has one assist and recorded eight penalty minutes. His absence on Saturday will surely result in more playing time for Ryan Murphy on the Canadian blue line.
Reinhart was selected by the New York Islanders with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 Draft and has spent the past four seasons playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. You might remember the Islanders picked him after reportedly offering their entire draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets to move up to the No. 2 spot, presumably so they could select defenseman Ryan Murray.
In 31 games with the Oil Kings this season, he has four goals and 10 assists.
Canada will face host country Russia for the bronze medal on Saturday morning, which will then be followed by the United States taking on Sweden for the gold at 8 a.m. ET.