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Canadian defenseman Reinhart banned four games

by Mike G. Morreale /

Canadian National Junior Team defenseman Griffin Reinhart on Friday was given a four-game suspension by the International Ice Hockey Federation for an incident that occurred Thursday during a semifinal game against the United States.

Reinhart, who will miss Canada's bronze-medal game against Russia on Saturday at 4 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, TSN) in Ufa, Russia, was assessed the stiff penalty for an infraction at 14:21 of the second period in his team's 5-1 loss to the Americans.

Reinhart had one assist and took three shots in five tournament games.

According to the IIHF Disciplinary Panel review, Reinhart entered the corner with the puck before being checked by U.S. forward Vince Trocheck. It was at that point both players became tangled up with Reinhart dropping to his knees. Trocheck then made contact in an attempt to continue to play the puck.

Once on his knees, Reinhart made eye contact with his opponent, raised his stick and delivered a two-handed slash to the head and neck area of Trocheck, who then fell to the ice. Reinhart was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking; there was no apparent injury incurred by Trocheck.

Trocheck will play in the gold-medal game for the United States against Sweden on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, TSN).

As a result, Reinhart will miss his country's last game at the 2013 WJC on Saturday and would not be eligible to play in the first three games of the next IIHF championship tournament.

Hockey Canada is appealing the suspension.

Reinhart, 18, would be eligible to play for Canada at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden.

"Especially playing against Russia tomorrow, I wanted to be a part of that game, the last game of the tournament, so it's really devastating for me," Reinhart told the media after his team's practice Friday at Ufa Arena. "That leads into next year, too, if I get the opportunity to play. I'd be a big part of next year's team hopefully and to be out for some of that as well, that's definitely a big loss."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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