WATCH: Abdelkader absolutely levels Czech centre Sobotka

Justin Abdelkader of the U.S. (L) fights with the Czech Republic's Jan Kovar (C) during their men's...

Justin Abdelkader of the U.S. (L) fights with the Czech Republic's Jan Kovar (C) during their men's ice hockey World Championship quarterfinal game at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk May 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:54 PM ET

The Czech Republic dropped Team USA in a quarterfinal meeting at the world hockey championship on Thursday.

But nobody fell harder than Czech centre Vladimir Sobotka, who was mauled by a hit from Team USA’s Justin Abdelkader midway through the second period in Minsk, Belarus.

Abdelkader, a forward with the Detroit Red Wings, received a game misconduct for the incident in the eventual 4-3 loss.

The hit occurred at 6:30 of the second period when after Sobotka took a shot, Abdelkader exploded off the ice before levelling the St. Louis Blues player, whose head appeared to be the principle point of contact.

Sobotka left the game after staying down on the ice.

With the game tied at 1-1 at that point, everything changed.

"The turning point was obviously when (Abdelkader) took the penalty and we were able to score two goals," Czech head coach Vladimir Ruzicka told the tournament’s official website. "After that we focused on our neutral zone trap and most of the time we did that OK."

Abdelkader was suspended earlier in the tournament for a hit against Kazakhstan’s Konstantin Pushkaryov.


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