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Canadian forward Veleno given 5-game suspension at men’s hockey worlds

Canadian forward Joe Veleno was given a five-game suspension Sunday for stomping on the leg of an opponent at the world hockey championship.

The International Ice Hockey Federation’s disciplinary panel ruled he violated Rule No. 49 (kicking) in Canada’s 3-2 loss to Switzerland on Saturday.

“Canada’s national men’s team acknowledges the role of the committee and appreciate the diligence that went into the decision-making process, and we accept and support the IIHF’s decision,” Canada general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

Veleno used his right leg to stomp on the shin of Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter as they battled for the puck along the boards.

WATCH l Canada’s Veleno brings skate down on Niederreiter’s lower leg:

Joe Veleno stomps Nino Niederreiter with skate in Canada’s loss to Swiss

Veleno brought his skate down on Niederreiter’s lower leg during a scrum on the boards. While there was no penalty, a suspension may be coming for the questionable play.

The six-foot-one, 205-pound forward was not penalized on the play. Niederreiter did not appear to be hurt.

“I have been notified of the five-game suspension imposed by the IIHF for my actions in our game against Switzerland,” Veleno said in a statement. “I accept the sanction from the IIHF and apologize for my actions.”

Canada has group play games set for Monday against Norway and Tuesday against Czechia. The knockout stage begins Thursday.

Veleno’s ban would include the quarterfinal, semifinal and final games should Canada make it that far in the tournament.

U.S. routs France

The United States routed France 9-0 to keep its perfect record at the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.

Cutter Gauthier led with a hat trick, Drew O’Connor got two goals and Scott Perunovich, T. J. Tynan, Rocco Grimaldi and Conor Garland added one apiece at Nokia Arena for the Americans to dominate Group A with six wins from six games.

Goaltender Cal Petersen made 13 saves for the shutout.

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Nico Sturm scored twice and Germany thrashed Hungary 7-2 to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals from Group A. In the Latvian capital of Riga, Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 4-2 to lead Group B with six victories from six games.

Andres Ambuhl scored two goals for Switzerland, Tanner Richard and Romain Loeffel contributed one each while Roman Cervenka and Dominik Kubalik scored for the Czechs.

Slovakia edged Slovenia 1-0 in Group B to stay in contention for a place in the knockout stage. Slovenia lost six straight games and will be relegated from the top division.

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