Though Russia handed Latvia a lopsided 14-0 defeat Thursday night, the reigning world champions may have suffered a big loss.
Early in the second period, forward Mikhail Grigorenko collided with Latvian defender Arturs Salija at the Russian blue line, sending the 2012 draft-eligible prospect to the ice in pain. Grigorenko did not return to the game and his status for the tournament is in doubt.
"There was an injury around the ankle," Russia coach Valeri Bragin said through a translator after the game. "We don't know about it right now. We'll see tomorrow morning."
When asked if Grigorenko could be lost for the duration of the World Juniors, Bragin confirmed.
Grigorenko has two goals and four points in three games for the undefeated Russians.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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