Mantha will miss Canada’s quarter-final game against Switzerland.
The suspension is due to a violation of IIHF Rule 124-Checking to the Head and Neck. The incident in question occurred on 21 May, at 29:31 in the 2nd period of the game between Canada and USA.
During the play, the puck goes deep into Canada’s defensive zone and is played into the right corner by the Canadian goaltender. Mantha and USA forward Colin White then raced towards the puck. Upon reaching the puck, White reaches out with his stick in an attempt to play the puck, at the exact same moment that Mantha prepares to make the check. White’s action of reaching for the puck results in him taking a low position.
Mantha was not looking at the puck but was rather focused on checking White. When contact is made Mantha does not engage in an upward motion but directs his body into the head of White. Mantha’s size was a contributing factor to the check being directed to the head of White.
Based on all facts ascertained, the Disciplinary Panel determined that Mantha drove his body into the head area of White when delivering the check. The Panel also determined that Mantha, being aware of White’s vulnerable position, nevertheless made the decision to deliver a check which could have been avoided by playing the puck.
The Panel finds that Mantha’s actions were dangerous, created a serious risk of injury to White, and violated IIHF Official Rule 124 (Checking to the Head and Neck). Mantha could have played the puck rather than making the check.
Based on these facts, The Disciplinary Panel determined that because Mantha will be sanctioned with a one game suspension. He will be eligible to return for the semi-final round should Canada advance.