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Slovak defenseman Erik Cernak suspended one game

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Defenseman Erik Cernak of the Slovakian National Junior Team was suspended one game by the IIHF World Junior Championship disciplinary panel on Sunday.

Cernak, a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, will miss the game against the United States on Monday.

The 6-foot-3, 203-pound right-shot defender was in violation of IIHF Rule 124 (checking to the head and neck area) during the final seconds of his country's upset victory against Finland on Saturday. According to the IIHF website, Cernak hit Finland forward Mikko Rantanen with his elbow in the head and neck area after Rantanen had released the puck.

Rantanen fell to the ice with an apparent injury and his availability for Finland is not known.

The IIHF ruled that Cernak had "ample time to make his decision as to how he would deliver the check, that his initial point of contact was with his elbow to the head and neck area resulting in an injury and that although there was no intent or deliberate action to cause injury, the action was careless, endangered his opponent."

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