The IIHF has announced that New York Islanders prospect Griffin Reinhart will be ineligible to play for Team Canada in the upcoming Bronze Medal Game and three additional matches after high-sticking America’s Vince Trocheck during the semifinals on Thursday.
The incident occurred after Trocheck and Reinhart became tangled up while fighting for the puck. While on his knees, Reinhart hit Trocheck in the head and neck area with his stick, which caused Trocheck to fall. Reinhart received a two-minute minor for high-sticking while Trocheck didn’t appear to sustain an injury.
The IIHF’s Disciplinary Panel determined that “the action was dangerous to the safety of Trocheck and was avoidable,” but Hockey Canada senior director of hockey operations Scott Salmond strongly disagrees with that assessment.
“Surprised, shocked,” Salmond said in a Toronto Sun report. “I was in the hearing today with Griffin. I read the referees’ report. Griffin stated his case and said all along it was an accident.
“I believe it was an accident. The four officials on the ice believe it was an accident. No question in my mind we will appeal.
“I never questioned the officiating. I thought it was a good call on the ice. I thought they did their due diligence, talked about the play, and today that was overruled to the point of a four-game suspension.”
An appeal would take place in mid-January, so Reinhart still won’t play for the bronze medal.
“As I was tripping, I lost balance and my stick rode up his stick,” Reinhart said. “Completely accidental. A four-game suspension is a shock but there is nothing I can do about it now.”
Canada will face Russia on Saturday with the bronze medal on the line. After the conclusion of that contest, Team USA and Sweden will compete for the gold medal.