HELSINKI, Finland -- Team captain Jesse Wallin suffered a broken left foot in the National Junior Team's 2-0 victory over Germany on Tuesday and is lost to the Canadian team for the rest of the World Junior Hockey Championship, head coach Réal Paiement announced.
Wallin, 19, is one of two returning players who helped the National Junior Team win a fifth straight gold medal at the 1997 World Junior Championship in Geneva, Switzerland in January 1997. He suffered the injury when he slid down to block a shot during a 5-on-3 manpower advantage for Germany and was struck by a shot on the toe of his skate boot.
Wallin plays for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, and his National Hockey League rights belong to the Detroit Red Wings, who drafted him 26th overall in 1996.
The loss of Wallin leaves Canada with 21 players available, including six defencemen, as the club prepares to face Russia in a quarter-final matchup today (Wednesday) in Hameenlinna, about 100 kilometres from Helsinki.
"Definitely Jesse is our leader and this injury is a big loss for our team," said Paiement. "The manner in which he was injured -- blocking a shot while killing a penalty -- demonstrates just what kind of a player he is, shows the kind of sacrifices he's prepared to make for his team.
"Even though he won't be playing, he's still the leader of this team and we know he'll provide outstanding leadership the rest of the way.
"We're treating this as a form of adversity that we have to face, recognizing that everyone will have to pull a little bit harder to compensate and believing that, ultimately, it will make us a better team."
Canada's game against Russia will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS, beginning at 8 a.m. EST.
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