Russian forward Nikita Rtishev suspended one game for head butt

Nikita-Rtishev-Russia

Russia's Nikita Rtishev, left, challenges Czech Republic's Jan Sir, right, during the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds match between Czech Republic and Russia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (Petr David Josek/AP)

The IIHF has suspended Russian forward Nikita Rtishev one game at the world juniors for a head-butting incident during Sunday’s game against the United States.

Rtishev head-butted USA forward Oliver Wahlstrom as officials tried to separate them during a scrum at the end of the second period of the Americans’ 3-1 win in Group B action. No penalties were assessed on the play.

He will miss Russia’s game on Tuesday against Germany and will be eligible to return for the quarterfinals.

Rtishev has one goal in three games at the tournament.

The incident is very similar to one that occurred during Russia’s game blowout win over Canada on Saturday, when Canada’s Joe Veleno head-butted Russia’s Danil Misyul. Veleno was also suspended one game.

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