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World Juniors referee makes one of the worst penalty calls of all time


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Ryan Hall
January 2, 2024  (6:08 PM)
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A Swedish player hitting a Swiss player at the World Juniors Tournament.
Photo credit: Sports.ch

Over the past week, hockey fans around the world have been watching the U20 World Junior Championships as many future NHL players get to show off their talent.

As exciting as it has been, one large issue looms with the tournament itself. The quality of officiating has been quite inconsistent with a rash of major calls being handed out.
Case in point, during the final few minutes of the Switzerland vs Sweden elimination game. The referee made a grossly incorrect call at a key moment.
For whatever reason the official felt that Swiss player Nick Meile deserved a spearing major after lightly pushing Swedish player Filip Bystedt. The reaction to the TSN crew covering the game was justified as they expressed their disgust including former NHLer Mike Johnston.
The call was reviewed, and it was determined to be only a two-minute slash and they reversed the call. This kind of officiating is not what the IIHF and other leagues need for their optics. Like any sport, officiating needs to be consistent and major penalties should be blatantly obvious.
Sweden ended up winning the game 3-2 in overtime.
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World Juniors referee makes one of the worst penalty calls of all time

Should the IIHF use NHL referees as officials for the U20 tournament?

Yes - It's the top league of hockey25059.5 %
No - The calls would still be inconsistent17040.5 %
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