Petr Senkerik wheeled off on stretcher

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Czech Republic defenseman Petr Senkerik was communicating with doctors after being wheeled off the ice on a stretcher during a World Junior Hockey Championship tournament game against Canada on Tuesday.

Assistant coach Jiri Fischer said following the 7-2 loss that Senkerik was still being evaluated and was likely to be taken to a hospital for further tests.

Senkerik showed little movement for several minutes as he lay flat on his back at center ice after being hit by Canada forward Zack Kassian less than six minutes into the second period of the preliminary-round game. As Senkerik got rid of the puck in the neutral zone, Kassian cruised through the middle and caught Senkerik under the chin with his left shoulder.

Kassian was issued a five-minute match penalty for a hit to the head and ejected from the game. Under international rules, Kassian will automatically miss Canada's game against Norway on Wednesday.

The play was being reviewed by the tournament's disciplinary judge Dan Marouelli, a former NHL official, who has a day to determine whether Kassian's hit merits more than a one-game suspension.

The hit silenced much of the boisterous crowd of Canadian fans at HSBC Arena. There were several fans near the press box who heckled Senkerik as he was down, with one yelling, "Keep your head up."

Senkerik began moving his head and then put his hand to his face as he was wheeled down a hallway.

"It was a scary moment," Fischer said, who said he wanted to see a replay before commenting on the hit.

Canada coach Dave Cameron argued with officials shortly after Kassian was ejected but had no comment following the game.

"It doesn't matter what I think," Cameron said.

Kassian has a reputation for being a hard-hitting player. He was suspended 20 games by the Ontario Hockey League last season for a vicious hit to the head of Barrie forward Matt Kennedy.

Kassian, who plays for Windsor of the OHL, was selected No. 13 by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2009 draft. He signed a three-year contract with the Sabres in November.