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Japan’s Ukita hit with 1-game ban

The Associated Press PYEONGCHANG (AP) — Japanese forward Rui Ukita has been suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation for kicking at an opposing player late in Japan’s 2-1 loss to Sweden to open preliminary play in women’s hockey.

The IIHF announced the suspension Sunday. Ukita will miss Monday’s game against Switzerland in preliminary play.

Ukita scored the lone goal for Japan. But the disciplinary panel studied videos and ruled Ukita made a kicking move toward Annie Svedin’s lower body after a battle for the puck in front of the Swedish bench. Svedin pushed Ukita to the ice. While Svedin was over Ukita, the Japanese forward kicked.

The IIHF says the panel determined the kicking motion was not momentum from the play but a clear movement toward an opponent. That violates a federation rule.Speech

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