ZURICH – Russia’s Yekaterina Nikolayeva was suspended for three games of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.
Nikolayeva was assessed a match penalty in the recent 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Finland in the relegation-round game against Germany on 4th January. She already received an automatic one-game suspension due to the match penalty and will be suspended for three additional games.
The incident happened at 1:32 of the second period when Germany scored the 2-1 lead. Nikolayeva and German player Larissa Swikull collided accidentally after the goal was scored. When Swikull wanted to skate away to celebrate with her teammates, Nikolayeva slashed Swikull on the back of her helmet. She fell down and was helped off the ice but was able to return later in the game.
Both the referee and a linesman saw the action. According to the report, the slash was hard and aimed at the helmet. She was assessed a match penalty for excessive roughness (IIHF playing rule 527).
The Deciding Panel of the IIHF Disciplinary Committee is of the opinion that the slash to the head was a very serious attack on the physical health of her opponent and must be considered a gross infringement. Any slash, blow, check or any other action hitting the head must be avoided and cannot be tolerated. The hit was hard and committed deliberately. This aggressive and dangerous action cannot be excused by the alleged provocation and the high pressure on the players.
In a written statement, the player and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR) admitted the fault of the player, promised improvement and to make use of an aggression management course to better control emotions.