BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Canada's Zack Kassian two Slovakian players were slapped with suspensions Wednesday for hits to the head after a night of ugly incidents at the world junior hockey championship.
Kassian was handed a second game on top of the automatic one-game suspension he got for taking a match penalty for a check to the head of defenceman Petr Senkerik during Canada's 7-2 victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.
Slovak defencemen Peter Hrasko and Marek Marincin were given three- and four-game bans for hits that injured American players Jerry D'Amigo and Jason Zucker.
The match penalty Kassian was assessed carried an automatic one-game suspension. Tournament disciplinarian Dan Marouelli ruled it warranted an extra game. Kassian was to miss a game Wednesday night against Norway and Friday's key matchup versus Sweden.
The Slovak penalties were deemed more serious.
An IIHF statement said Hrasko "deliberated targeted the head of the American player, using his elbow and upper arm to deliver the blow and causing D'Amigo to be thrown violently against the boards. D'Amigo struck his head against the glass, sustaining an injury."
D'Amigo, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect who plays for the AHL's Toronto Marlies, also played on the U.S. team that won gold at the world junior event last year in Saskatoon.
Zucker was nailed by Marincin well after the play and the U.S. forward was groggy as he was helped from the ice. The IIHF called it a "premeditated act" that "deliberately targeted the head."
The federation said it has strict rules on dangerous hits.
"These are not limited just to the head but to the neck area as well, which is defined by that part of the body above the collarbone and shoulder pads (i.e. unprotected areas)," the statement said.
Canada also saw forward Jaden Schwartz and defenceman Calvin de Haan leave the Czech game with what coach Dave Cameron called lower body injuries.
He said Schwartz was a "more of a longshot" to play against Norway while de Haan would be a game-time decision.
"It is adversity losing those guys," said Canadian forward Brett Connolly. "De Haan is a returning guy (from last year's team) and Schwartz and Kass have been contributing a lot.
"Guys will have to step up and play for them the next couple of games."
The six-foot-three Kassian lined up Senkerik, who was cruising through the neutral zone with his head down as he carried the puck, and levelled him with a shoulder hit. The crowd at HSBC went quiet as the 19-year-old lay on the ice but looked to be talking and moving as he left on a stretcher.
At first the officials were not going to call a penalty, but discussed the play as a group and opted for a match penalty while Senkerik was being treated on the ice.
Kassian is a key player who skated on a top line and power play that scored on seven of 12 opportunities in Canada's first two games.
But he is no stranger to suspensions.
Last season, the Windsor Spitfire was slapped with a 20-game ban for a vicious hit to the head of Matt Kennedy of the Barrie Colts.
"He's been suspended before and he knows how to deal with it," said Canada's captain Ryan Ellis, who is Kassian's teammate in Windsor. "You've just got to be there as a friend for him and tell him we'll do our best to win the games for him.
"He's changed his game a lot this year. Last year he was just a physical body who contributed a few points. Now he's one of the leading point-getters in our league. He has almost two points per game. I wouldn't even say he straddles the line. He just plays hard and he's a big kid."
Kassian said after the game he was happy Senkerik appeared to be OK.