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Slovenia's Kopitar leaves with stomach issue

by Shawn P. Roarke

SOCHI -- Slovenia forward Anze Kopitar did not finish his team's Group A loss to the United States on Sunday night due to a stomach ailment.

Kopitar, a star with the Los Angeles Kings, left in the second period and did not play in the third. He played 16 shifts totaling 11:31 in ice time.

After the game Slovenia coach Matjaz Kopitar, also Anze's father, said that Anze was suffering from a stomach issue and "had no power."

He also said that he removed Anze from the game as a precaution.

Anze Kopitar was not available to speak after the game, which the Slovenians lost 5-1, but according to his Web site he is back from the clinic at the athletes' village where he had his blood checked, feels OK and cannot wait for Slovenia's elimination game Tuesday against Austria.

Slovenia finished in third place in Group A with one regulation win and two regulation losses for three points.

Matjaz Kopitar said he is hopeful Anze can play against Austria. He also said he believes it to be a strain of the flu. Matjaz Kopitar said another player on the Slovenian team arrived for the Olympics suffering from a stomach bug and fears it may have been passed on to Anze.

Kopitar, an alternate captain for Slovenia, scored the final goal Saturday night in his country's historic win against Slovakia, the team's first in Olympic competition. He also had an assist in the first game, against Russia, which ended in a 5-3 loss.

The 26-year-old center leads the Los Angeles Kings with 47 points in 59 games.

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