Larkin questionable, Mantha suspended for WC quarterfinals
The United States may be without Dylan Larkin and Canada will definitely not have the services of Anthony Mantha in Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Slovakia.
The U.S. (5-1-0-2) plays Russia, which won all seven of its preliminary games in regulation, in the quarterfinal at 10:15 a.m. Thursday in Bratislava, while Canada faces Switzerland in Kosice at the same time.
The Red Wings’ Larkin left Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Canada late in the first period after being hit in the groin or abdomen with a puck.
“He is dealing with some pain but otherwise looks like OK,” Team USA and Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told the Detroit Free Press. “No definitive word on his status for Thursday yet.”
Larkin, an alternate captain, has three goals – including two game winners – and two assists in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the IIHF has suspended the Red Wings’ Mantha for the game because of his hit to the head/neck area of USA’s Colin White in the second period on Tuesday. Mantha received a two-minute minor penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for the hit.
Mantha was suspended for violating IIHF Rule 124 related to checking to the head or neck.
He is tied for the tournament lead in goals with seven has 12 points, which is tied for fifth.
Mantha would be eligible to return for Saturday’s semifinal if Canada (6-0-1-0) beats Switzerland. The other quarterfinal games are Finland against Sweden and the Czech Republic against Germany. The gold and bronze medal games are on Sunday.
Mantha had an assist on Tuesday, which he set up with a legal hit. It came on Kyle Turris’ goal 8:02 into the first period, which gave Canada a 2-0 lead.
Mantha laid a hard check on James van Riemsdyk just inside Canada’s blue line to separate van Riemsdyk from the puck. Mantha then picked up the puck to start a 2-on-1 rush with Turris and fed him a pass that set up Turris up for the goal.
The play of Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek for the Czech Republic has opened some eyes.
Hronek leads all defensemen in the tournament with 10 points (three goals and seven assists) and is plus-6.
“He’s been unbelievable,” Czech teammate Michael Frolik said on the IIHF website. “I think you can see what kind of potential he has. He’s our best D for sure. It’s great to see a guy like that.
“I think three years ago, he was kind of nowhere. And now, he's playing in the NHL and he's a top guy on our national team. So I think we needed a guy like that who can control the power play and has got a great shot. He's got great vision.
“I think in Detroit, they are really happy with what they're seeing now. I think he's got a bright future in front of him.”