Norwegian defenceman Henrik Odegaard has been suspended one game for a kneeing incident against Czech forward Martin Zatovic.
The incident occurred at 11:33 on the second period in yesterday’s game between the Czech Republic and Norway. Zatovic was in possession of the puck just inside the Norwegian zone when he was approached by Odegaard. The Czech tried to turn away to avoid being hit while Odegaard began to lean to his right leading with his right knee causing a knee-on-knee hit. Odegaard was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing on the play. Zatovic was able to continue playing in the game.
The Disciplinary Panel for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship analyzed that the distance gave Odegaard enough time to decide the manner in which he was going to check his opponent and that anticipating he may miss his opponent, he approached him with a wide stance extending his right knee which causes the knee-to-knee contact.
The Disciplinary Panel determined that Odegaard’s actions were in violation with rule 536 a) and endangered the safety of Zatovic. Although Zatovic was in a position to be legally body-checked, he is allowed to take evasive action in order to protect himself. The Panel agrees that Odegaard had no intention to injure his opponent but he did initiate contact illegally with his knee. It was the careless action of Odegaard in extending his knee, which caused the dangerous knee-to-knee contact for which he must take responsibility.
Odegaard will miss Norway’s last game of the Preliminary Round tomorrow against Canada.