Maple Leafs’ Michael Bunting suspended three games for illegal hit on Lightning’s Erik Cernak
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting has been suspended three playoff games for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Eric Cernak in the second period of Game 1. The NHL Department of Player Safety announced its decision on Wednesday, and the Leafs will be without Bunting through Game 4.
Late in the second period, Bunting and Cernak were going for a loose puck when Bunting launched into Cernak’s head. The Tampa defenseman left the game with a head injury and did not return, and Bunting was assessed a five-minute major.
In its video explaining decision, the NHL said that both criteria for an illegal hit to the head were met on the play.
“First, the head is clearly the main point of contact,” the NHL said in its explanation. “Bunting’s arm and elbow make direct and forceful contact with the head of Cernak, and it is the head that absorbs nearly all of the force of the check.
“Second, the head contact on this play is avoidable. Bunting unnecessarily extends his body upward into Cernak’s head to deliver this check, missing his core completely and picking his head.”
The league also noted that Cernak was “particularly vulnerable” because there was clear interference on Bunting’s part. The puck was still far away when Bunting initiated the contact.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has already ruled Cernak out for Game 2, and Toronto will be without Bunting while facing a 1-0 deficit in the series.
Bunting is coming off a 2022-23 season in which he tallied 23 goals and 26 assists in 82 games. His absence will make the Maple Leafs’ attempt to get out of the first round for the first time since 2004 an even more difficult task.
Pressure mounts on both sides as Stars and Golden Knights prepare for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) stands with his team during open net at the end of the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the Dallas Stars, Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ronda Churchill/AP)
IIHF Hockey: Canada downs Germany 5-2 – CTV News
TAMPERE, Finland –
Samuel Blais scored two goals to rally Canada to a 5-2 victory over Germany in the final of the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.
It’s a record 28th world title for Canada, and its second in three years. Russia has 27 while Germany has never won the trophy.
Blais netted with a backhand 4:51 into the final period for a 3-2 lead for Canada, which was playing in its fourth straight final.
Lawson Crouse, Tylor Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored for Canada, Peyton Krebs had two assists and goaltender Samuel Montembeault stopped 21 shots.
Toffoli stretched the lead to 4-2 from the left circle with 8:09 remaining and Laughton made it 5-2 with an empty net goal.
Canada had to come back twice in the final.
John Peterka wristed a shot past Montembeault from the left circle 7:44 into the game. It was the sixth goal for the Buffalo Sabres forward at the tournament.
Blais was fed by Krebs to beat goaltender Mathias Niederberger and tie it 1-1 at 10:47.
Daniel Fischbuch put the Germans ahead again with a one-timer with 6:13 to go in the middle period.
Crouse equalized on a power play with 2:32 remaining in the frame.
It was the first medal for Germany since 1953 when it was second behind Sweden.
The two previously met just once in the final with Canada winning 6-1 in 1930.
LATVIA GETS BRONZE
Defenseman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal earlier Sunday.
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
The U.S. lost in the bronze medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal 4-3 in overtime.
Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3 to force overtime.
Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.
Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.
Hockey: Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin, Laura Stacey engaged
Consider celebrated hockey players Marie-Philip Poulin and Laura Stacey teammates for life.
The Team Canada stars have announced their engagement on social media, with a photo on Poulin’s verified Instagram account showing the smiling couple on a beach as Stacey brandishes a ring on her right hand.
The accompanying caption is decorated with heart and ring emojis and declares: “She said OUI.”
Fellow Olympic hockey players Brianne Jenner, Jill Saulnier, Natalie Spooner, Rebecca Johnston and Cheryl Pounder were among those to offer congratulations from their verified Instagram accounts.
Poulin, the 32-year-old team captain, and 29-year-old Stacey were among the Canadian athletes to capture silver at the recent IIHF Women’s World Championship.
They also played together on Team Canada to win gold at the Beijing Games in 2022 and silver at the PyeongChang Games in 2018.
Poulin also represented Canada at the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2010 Vancouver Games.
“So … this happened,” Poulin says on the Instagram post, dated Friday.
“Best question I ever asked …. She said OUI.”
“Couldn’t be happier for you both! What an exciting chapter,” champion figure skater Tessa Virtue replied from her verified account @tessavirtue17.
“Already started stretching for this dance floor!” Saulnier said from her account, dubbed jill.saulnier.
“Power couple,” Jenner posted from bjenner19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2023.
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