Sweden defeated Russia 2-1 in their World Junior Championships semi-final matchup on Saturday, and things got very heated between the two sides immediately after the final whistle. As Russia fought for possession along the boards in the game’s final seconds, a brawl involving several players from both teams was sparked just as the buzzer sounded.
This is the second ugly scene involving Russia at this year’s tournament, as they were criticized for taunting the United States after beating Team USA in the quarterfinals earlier this week.
The implications of the brawl may be more costly for Sweden, however, as possible suspensions from the IIHF could prevent one or multiple Swedes from playing in the championship game. Jesper Pettersson is the most likely to wind up with a one-game ban, as he jumped a Russian player from behind immediately after exiting the penalty box at the game’s conclusion.
(Update: Pettersson has been suspended and will not play in the gold medal game)
Despite the fact that Pettersson and the Russian player threw multiple punches, each were only given matching minor roughing penalties from referees. Had they been handed down major penalties, they would have each also received an automatic one-game ban.
As you can see from the reaction from Sweden’s coach, he was not pleased with the extracurriculars from his squad.