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Mikhail Abramov suspended one game at World Junior Championships

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He was goaded into taking a penalty, and now it just got worse

Russia v Sweden: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Today, the IIHF has announced they have suspended Maple Leafs prospect Mikhail Abramov for one game.

The IIHF Disciplinary panel has issued two suspensions involving players from the teams competing in the upcoming Russia-Germany quarter-final game on 2 January.

The IIHF Disciplinary Panel has issued a one-game suspension to Team Russia forward Mikhail Abramov for a violation of IIHF Official Rule 160—Slew-Footing.

The violation occurred at 39:53 in the 2nd period of the preliminary round game between Russian and Sweden on 30 December.

While skating past center ice towards the Russian defensive zone, Abramov approaches Swedish forward Arvid Cosmar from behind. Upon reach Cosmar, Abramov slides his right skate with a kicking motion in the right skate of Cosmar. At the same time the upper body of Abramov turns and with his stick he gives an additional push to the upper body of Cosmar. Following this action Cosmar loses his balance and falls heavily on the ice, where he remained for a moment before getting up and leaving the ice for the bench.

Based on all facts ascertained, the Disciplinary Panel determined that Abramov, by sliding his right skate into Cosmar’s right skate, recklessly endangered the safety of Cosmar, thereby violating IIHF Official Rule 160 (Slew-Footing).

The Disciplinary Panel determined that Abramov would be sanctioned with a one-game suspension. Abramov will miss Russia’s quarter-final game against Germany.

The incident happened at the end of the second period in what eventually became Russia’s overtime win over Sweden. At the time, the game was tied, and Sweden was finishing a dominating period of play where Russians had taken several penalties.

The jousting on the faceoff dot went on for longer than the clip above shows, and Abramov skates directly after Arvid Costmar (The IIHF spells his name wrong throughout) to continue the contest.

In the top clip, it is very clear that Abramov kicks at Costmar’s skate. It is not at all clear if he connects. I can’t tell, but the IIHF sees slew-footing. Which it is if he connects with Costmar’s feet.

The call on the ice was a two-minute penalty to Abramov for interference.

This game was Abramov’s second appearance in preliminary round play. He drew in after the injury to Yegor Chinakhov. Chinakhov might be fit to play. If not, the other extra player scratched from this game was a defender Yegor Shekhovtsov.

The IIHF is allowing teams to dress more players than usual this year, and the Russians had 13 in the game in question, so they will not be short even if Chinakhov is unable to play.

Russia isn’t really harmed unduly by this as a team, considering the way the quarterfinals ended up. German should not be a very hard opponent. Infractions like this are generally treated more strongly by the IIHF than NHL fans are used to. The referees at the time didn’t see a slew-foot, so many complaints will be made about how this suspension is unfair, but the lesson really is “don’t take the bait” because that sort of agitating only gets more frequent in the NHL.

Sweden didn’t score on their power play, but if they had, and gone on to win the game, Russia would have finished out of the top four and none of them would be playing.