Summer is coming early for KHL goaltender Jakub Štěpánek.
The HC Slovan Bratislava goalie has been suspended five games for shooting a stick at referee Alexander Sergeyev during his club’s 5-0 loss.
Štěpánek – who had just been called for roughing after a crosscheck to the back of Dynamo Riga’s Brandon McMillan – was given a game misconduct and ejected from the game. The netminder was frustrated that McMillan kept raising his arms to intentionally obstruct the goaltender’s view. Once he was called for the penalty, his frustration boiled over.
KHL Rule 550 covers abuse of officials.
Game Misconduct penalty (GM) [will be assessed to] any player who:
1. Intentionally touches with hands or stick, holds or pushes or checks, with his stick or body, trips, slashes, strikes, hits the game official injuring him in any manner or spits at a game official, or intentionally throws or shoots the pack at a game official;
2. Makes a travesty of or interferes with or is detrimental to the conducting of the game;
As last-place HC Slovan has only two games remaining in their season, Štěpánek’s suspension will carry over to the start of the 2019-20 KHL season.
He also leaves his team with only one goaltender – 18 year old Michal Vojvoda – available for their final two games.