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Two players ejected for dirty hits in same World Juniors tune-up game

·2-min read
There were multiple game misconducts dolled out in the Finland-USA game.
There were multiple game misconducts doled out in the Finland-USA game.

As anticipation builds toward the start of the world junior hockey championship on Boxing Day, the competing nations are putting the final touches on their squads, with the potential of international glory right around the corner.

But the emotions of the buildup toward the tournament seemed to have gotten out of control in a tune-up game between Finland and the United States on Thursday.

In the first period, Finnish defenceman Ruben Rafkin was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit on American forward Brett Berard.

Berard would eventually return to the game.

With his team up 3-1 in the third period, United States forward Red Savage caught Joakim Kemell with an elbow to the head. He was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct, evening up the playing field.

The penalty turned out to be very costly, as Finland roared back to tie the game, scoring twice on its extended power play and forcing overtime.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Roni Hirvonen stepped up in the extra frame, jamming a loose puck home to top off his team’s big comeback.

The IIHF Disciplinary Committee will surely review both incidents that led to the game misconducts, with the possibility of supplemental discipline to come.

Both Finland and the United States are slated to open their respective tournament schedules on Dec. 26 in Alberta. Team USA will be looking to repeat as champions while the Finns aim to improve on last year's bronze-medal finish.

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