Finland may have lost Leo Komarov on a questionable call, but at least they went on to win the game.
In the first period of Finland’s game against Russia, Komarov bumped Russian defenseman Evgeny Medvedev along the boards. Medvedev went down in apparent pain. The Finnish forward went to the box.
Referee Mikael Nord called a five-minute major on Komarov for kneeing, which also included a game misconduct. From the IIHF rulebook:
RULE 153 – KNEEING: A skater who extends his knee for the purpose of making contact with an opponent.
i. A skater who uses his knee to make contact with an opponent will be assessed at least a minor penalty.
ii. A skater who injures or recklessly endangers an opponent by kneeing will be assessed a major penalty and automatic game-misconduct penalty or match penalty
Obviously, there was contact between the two players, but it does not appear – at least after review – that Komarov extended his knee nor attempted to injure Medvedev. Komarov appeared to be lining Medvedev up for a body check, with the Russian blueliner pulling up at the last minute to avoid the check after passing the puck.
After remaining down on the ice for a few moments, Medvedev was helped to the Team Russia locker room. He returned to the ice for the ensuing five-minute power play. The Finns killed off the penalty and went on to win the game 3-2 in a shootout.
Finland coach Kari Jalonen voiced his concerns about officials from the same country working Finland’s games. “The officiating was a complete disaster on this level,” said Jalonen. “My opinion is that both referees can absolutely not be from the same country.”
Referees for this game were Nord and Tobias Bjork, both from Sweden. Finland’s previous game, against Belarus, featured two referees from Switzerland in Daniel Stricker and Tobias Wehrli. In total, seven of the 56 games played at the 2015 World Championship have featured a pair of refs from the same country.