Nieminen was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind at 4:30 of the first period during yesterday’s Finland-Canada game.
A formal hearing was held today in which the player explained that she did not intend to hit her opponent, Canada’s Kristin O’Neill, from behind while both players were chasing the puck during a Finnish power play, and that the player was able to continue the game.
The Disciplinary Panel determined that even though O’Neill must have been aware of the player behind her and Nieminen tried to slow down, the player should not have followed through with the check from behind, as the Canadian player would not have had the thought to have to prepare herself for any type of check. Everything happened at a high speed and the player had plenty of time to make another play. Nieminen’s checking from behind recklessly endangered O’Neill.
Therefore Nieminen will be sanctioned with a one-game suspension, specifically tomorrow’s game USA vs. Finland.