Following Russia’s 5-4 defeat in the World Junior Championship gold medal game, Russian defenseman Ziat Paigin threw his stick into the crowd and it struck a fan.
A Canadian fan in attendance, Josh Epstein, caught the stick-throwing incident on camera after the game and posted it to Instagram. In addition, a fan in the lower bowl of the Air Canada Center caught the act on tape. If you watch the video, you can see Paigin throw his stick on the left hand side shortly after the Canadian team begins to celebrate:
You can see the referees talking to each other after the incident, and it even appears one is pointing at Paigin. He was assessed a minor for throwing the stick, and a game misconduct.
In the jubilation following the victory, the incident went mostly unnoticed. According to TSN’s Bardown, the fan who was struck with the stick spoke with Toronto police following the incident, but no injuries have been reported. The IIHF, the governing body for the WJC, has yet to release a statement regarding the incident.
Paigin, 19, plays for AK Bars Kazan of the KHL, and had one goal and three points through the WJC for Russia. The 6-foot-6, 209 lb. defenseman has not been drafted in the NHL.