HELSINKI, FINLAND – Boone Jenner isn't sure what else he could have done.
The Canadian centre was assessed a major charging penalty and a game misconduct for a hit on Jesper Pettersson in the second period of Saturday's exhibition game against Sweden. Pettersson, a defenceman who plays for Linkopings HC in the Swedish Elite League, was stretchered off the ice and could be heard yelling in agony as he was loaded into an ambulance and left the Helsinki Ice Hall. Pettersson sustained a shoulder injury and will miss the world junior championship.
"It happened pretty fast," Jenner said after Canada's 2-1 shootout win. "I was just in on the forecheck, forechecking hard, just trying to finish my check and thought I made sure my arm and my shoulder were down so I thought it was a clean hit."
It's possible Jenner, one of six returning players on the Canadian roster, will face supplemental discipline from the IIHF.
"That's kind of out of my control now," said Jenner, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, who plays for the OHL's Oshawa Generals. "Like I said, I thought it was a clean hit."
Canadian head coach Steve Spott certainly doesn't think his third-line centre should face further sanctions.
"Boone is an aggressive player, he was in hard on the forecheck, he made contact shoulder to shoulder," said Spott. "You can argue that it was late, the puck wasn't there, [so it could have been called] interference, maybe a charge, but ultimately, in our mind, in my mind specifically, there shouldn't be any extra punishment."
"We thought it was pretty good hit," said Canadian centre Ryan Strome. "That's what he brings to the table. We saw him hit like that last year and he's going to put his heart on the line for the team and when he's in the lineup we're a better team so we hope he's around."
Spott believes the call on Jenner was the most blatant example of what was a series of bad calls by referees Jari-Pekka Pajula and Anssi Salonen, who work in the Finnish Elite League.
"We know the standards are different over here," said Spott, also the head coach and general manager of the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. "Our players are prepared, but ultimately, in the first two games, I think, as a hockey person, not as Team Canada's head coach, as a hockey person, I don't think anyone can argue that the level of officiating in the first two games for all the teams has not been at the level that we're probably used to and should expect."
Eleven Canadian players have combined to take 18 penalties during the two pre-tournament games. Dougie Hamilton (four), Ryan Strome (three), Ty Rattie (two) and Scott Harrington (two) were the multiple offenders. Three of the four goals allowed by Canada have come with the team shorthanded. And two of the goals came with Canada two men down.
** A full list of every Team Canada penalty taken on Thursday and Saturday is available at the bottom of the article. **
On Saturday, Spott pointed out that the officials weren't even sure if the game-deciding shootout should feature three shooters or five. After Canada scored twice (Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) in its three attempts and Sweden snuck just one puck by Jordan Binnington there was an awkward moment on the ice.
"We knew it was a three-man shootout, but unfortunately the officials weren't aware of that so it's just another example of a long day on the ice for the stripes," said Spott.
"We didn't know if it was three or five shooters and Spotter was yelling, 'Three,' and the Swedish bench was yelling, 'five,'" said Rattie, describing the bizarre scene.
Rattie actually took one of the few penalties that Spott felt was warranted, a holding call when he was back-checking in the first period.
"There were a couple of penalties, the [Ryan] Strome penalty and the Rattie penalty, that were well-deserved in the first period," said Spott. "I didn't like either one of those and the players heard about that."
Hamilton leads Canada with four penalties in the two games. The Niagara IceDogs defenceman only has 32 penalty minutes in 32 OHL games this season.
"I got to learn from it and be careful, just got to keep my stick down and just try play more puck I guess and just not be as stupid out there," Hamilton said.
Here's a list of Canada's penalties:
vs. Finland on Thursday:
1. Dougie Hamilton - Cross-checking
2. Ty Rattie - Slashing
3. Ryan Strome - High-sticking
4. Scott Harrington - Cross-checking
5. Dougie Hamilton (2) - Hooking
6. Mark Scheifele - Tripping
7. Xavier Ouellet - Cross-checking
8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Slashing
9. Scott Harrington (2) - Roughing
10. Ryan Strome (2) - Cross-checking
vs. Sweden on Saturday
11. Ty Rattie (2) - Holding
12. Ryan Strome (3) - Cross-checking
13. Phillip Danault - Boarding
14. Dougie Hamilton (3) - Roughing
15. Jonathan Huberdeau - Slashing
16. Griffin Reinhart - Delay of game
17. Boone Jenner - Charging
18. Dougie Hamilton (4) - Slashing