Boone Jenner's semifinal came to an early end when he was tossed from Tuesday's game against Russia for spearing captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov.
He didn't think the incident would mean an end to his world junior hockey championship.
But both the Team Canada forward and Russian defenceman Ildar Isangulov were suspended Wednesday by the IIHF, meaning neither will get to participate in the medal games Thursday.
"It was disappointing for sure," said Jenner, who learned his fate after Wednesday's practice. "I wish I was with the team tomorrow battling with them. It's just a tough break and those things happen. The next 24 hours here I'm just gonna keep supporting the guys and keep staying positive in the room."
Isangulov drilled Jenner with a forearm to the head during Russia's 6-5 victory in the semi. As Jenner was prone on the ice, Kuznetsov skated in and said something to him. Jenner says he can't remember the words, but they angered him enough to stick his blade in the Russian's gut.
"I can't really remember (what he said). It happened so fast. I wasn't happy," said Jenner, who wouldn't even clarify whether it was English or Russian taunts thrown his way by Kuznetsov -- who speaks to the media through an interpreter at the tournament.
"I don't know. Maybe a little bit of both. I couldn't tell you exactly."
His teammates view it as a lesson of the importance of keeping your emotions in check. Jenner sees it as a mistake he can't undo.
"Those games, there's so much hype and everyone's battling so hard out there, it was a chippy game and things happen," he said. "I wish I could go back but there's nothing I can do now."
Nothing but watch as his team takes on Finland for the bronze medal at the Saddledome (1:30 p.m., TSN).
"I can't imagine myself in his shoes. It's gotta be hard," said Team Canada teammate Quinton Howden. "Boone gave us a great effort, did what he could for us, so we're gonna make sure we do the same for him and go out there and play for him.
"I didn't think that he deserved as major a penalty as he got. The way people see it, you can debate about it. But that's the way the game goes and we've got to move on."
Plenty will debate the crime and the punishment. Canadian head coach Don Hay said he was disappointed with the decision.
"He was kind of provoked into the situation. I know he should have more discipline and stay away from that, but there was no need for the Russian player to come over to him after he had been hit," said Hay.
"When you play an emotional game like that, you do things that you regret later. I'm sure Boone regrets doing that and I'm sure he'd rather be playing than sitting out."
There's no grey area in that theory. Jenner instantly regretted it as he watched from the locker-room on TV while his teammates made a valiant attempt to come back against the Russians in the third period.
"It was real tough to watch," Jenner said. "I really wish I was out there with the teammates. They battled back hard and showed so much heart there."
If only Jenner had full control of his head at the time.
It's a lesson Canada captain Jaden Schwartz hopes the entire team has taken to heart.
"I think we talked about determination over frustration. We can't get down like that. We've got to be more disciplined," Schwartz said. "It's a life lesson -- I think there's a lot to learn from it.
"You never want to watch a game you're not playing. I guess you gotta just learn from it. Remember that moment when you're watching the game and never want it to happen again. And work your hardest to prevent that."
On Twitter: @SUNMacfarlane