The IIHF have announced that Swiss captain Yannick Rathgeb will be suspended for the next two World Junior games after delivering a check to the head on Swedish forward Anton Blidh on Wednesday.
Rathgeb is the fourth offender to receive a suspension for a head-shot during the tournament, but the only one to get an extra game other than the one game ban that’s automatically applied for earning a game misconduct.
Midway through the game that already saw Rathgeb score a goal, the defenseman charged at a fast pace and knocked out Blidh, taking him out of the game. Rathgeb was given a game misconduct as a result, but just in time for Phil Baltisberger, who was injured from a hit to the head earlier in the tournament, to return to the lineup and give them six defensemen.
According to the IIHF, it was ruled that Rathgeb made eye contact with Blidh and kept looking at him before delivering his check, giving the impression that he knew what he was doing and could have stopped before the hit. Because of that, Rathgeb will miss the two next two relegation games against Germany, with a chance to return in the third and final game if it comes to that on January 5th.
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