An ice hockey referee got more than she bargained for when officiating an Olympic match after accidentally getting hit in the face with a hockey stick by a player.

Cianna Lieffers was one of the referees in the match between the US and Canada on February 7, when Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time national champion Amanda Kessel didn't see that Lieffers standing behind her.

As Kessel took a sharp turn behind Canada’s goal, the American had her stick raised in the air near where Lieffers was standing on the edge of the rink spectating the scene and Kessel managed to strike Lieffers in the mouth as she skated by.

Blood began to pour out of the referee's mouth as a result of the contact and she had to momentarily come off the ice to receive medical attention.

Although she had a painfully fresh injury, Lieffers returned to officiate the game after stemming the blood flow.

People on social media have since praised Lieffers for her commitment to officiating the match in which Canada ended up winning 4-2 in the preliminary round.

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