Danish hockey players suspended, fired from team after game fixing scandal

Three Danish hockey players have been fined and suspended by Denmark's first-tier hockey league, Metal Ligaen, after admitting to betting on their own team and match-fixing in January.

(Now we know. Match-fixing: totally not Metal.)

Two of the players received slaps on the wrist for what the league called "unethical behaviour". Kiril Starkov, a Danish citizen, and Canadian Tyler Mosienko (who spent five years with the Kelowna Rockets before bouncing around the ECHL, AHL and Europe), received five-game suspensions and fines of 12,000 kroner ($2,236) and 4,000 ($735) kroner, respectively.

As explained by Danish publication JydskeVestkysten, These amounts corresponded with their profits from betting on matches involving their own team.

The biggest punishment, however, went to Dennis Jensen, the Energy's backup goaltender. In addition to being fined 12,550 kroner -- like his teammates, he effectively had to fork his proceeds over to the league -- he's been suspended for a full year, and for good measure.

Jensen didn't just put money down. He also tried to maximize his profits by getting his teammates to help him fix games.

In early January versus Rungsted Hockey, he succeeded, convincing Starkov and Mosienko to join him in betting that the home team, Rungsted, would score at least once in the first period, and then allowing them to do so.

He actually put a little extra money on it, betting that they'd score twice, and he had reason to be more confident: He was in goal for that game. Rungsted scored three times in the first, and went on to win the game 7-4.

But most of the time, Jensen isn't in goal, which meant he needed cooperation from starting netminder Ervin Muštukovs, a former backup for the Latvian national team. As explained by Peter Fredberg of JydskeVestkysten, that's how he got caught:

In two games in January, versus Rungsted Hockey and Odense Bulldogs, he offered Esbjerg Energy's starting goalkeeper, Ervin Muštukovs, money to let goals go in on purpose with the aim of making a profit by betting on that match.

The Latvian Olympic goalkeeper refused to contribute to the manipulation and fraud and went to Esbjerg Energy's management.

Starkov has already moved on, finding work with a second-tier Swiss team, but with the pall of this hanging over him, he may have lost his spot on the Danish national team as well.