May 30th, 2024

Soucy suspended one game, Zadorov fined for cross-checks on McDavid

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on May 13, 2024.

Vancouver defenceman Nikita Zadorov has been fined US$5,000 by the NHL and Canucks blue-liner Carson Soucy will have a hearing with the league for cross-checks on Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid. Zadorov celebrates with teammates after his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, May 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

EDMONTON – Vancouver Canucks defenceman Carson Soucy has been suspended one game for a cross-check on Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.

A skirmish began after the final buzzer sounded in Vancouver’s 4-3 victory in Game 3 Sunday after Soucy shoved McDavid behind the Canucks’ net and McDavid responded by hitting Soucy’s leg with his stick.

Canucks blue liner Nikita Zadorov then cross-checked McDavid from behind, and Soucy cross-checked the Oilers captain in the face as he was falling.

Soucy was handed a minor penalty for the play and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed down a one-game suspension Monday, saying in a video that the defenceman’s actions were “not a hockey play” and deserved additional discipline.

Zadorov was fined US$5,000 by the NHL, the maximum amount under the collective bargaining agreement.

Vancouver leads the best-of-seven second-round series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Tuesday night in Edmonton.

Soucy told reporters Monday that he wasn’t trying to injure McDavid on the play.

“It’s just an unfortunate incident due to some timing. “¦ Obviously there wasn’t intent to get a player up that high,” he said before the suspension was announced.

“Emotions run high in those scrums at the end of the game.”

Missing game time would be difficult, the 29-year-old defenceman said.

“It would suck, obviously, at this time, in a tight series like this, in a physical series,” Soucy said. “I know guys will step up if that is the case. But it sucks having to watch your team.”

McDavid said Monday he was “feeling great” and didn’t want to talk too much about the incident, other than calling it “part of a heated series.”

“It’s a tough game. They’ve got big d-men. They make it hard on you. They play physical, they play a physical brand of hockey and it’s fun to be a part of,” said the Oilers captain.

“It’s a fun series to be a part of. Obviously, two Canadian teams going at it, there’s a lot of passion.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

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