Team Canada's quest for a World Juniors gold medal will continue without injured forward Jaden Schwartz.
The 18-year-old Schwartz, the 14th overall pick in June's NHL draft by the St. Louis Blues, will miss the rest of the tournament with a broken left ankle.
Canadian coach Dave Cameron confirmed that diagnosis Thursday in an afternoon meeting with the media at HSBC Arena.
"In my profession you meet a lot of good people. In this case, every once in a while, you meet an extraordinary kid. He's an extraordinary kid," Cameron said. "He'll be missed big time."
Schwartz was hurt in the first period of a 7-2 win Tuesday over the Czech Republic. The Colorado College forward was in discomfort on the bench, but returned to the game and scored a power-play goal.
He learned of the injury Thursday morning after having an MRI on Wednesday.
"When I found out, I was very, very disappointed. Obviously, I was really looking forward to playing in this tournament, and playing for Canada," he said. "It's just really unfortunate timing, but sitting here feeling sorry for myself isn't going to do anyone any good."
Schwartz, of Wilcox, Sask., had been playing on Canada's top line with center Brayden Schenn and fellow winger Louis Leblanc. He was also playing on the point for the team's top power-play unit.
Schwartz's story has made national headlines in Canada. His sister, 22-year-old Mandi, is battling cancer.
"I wanted to be here more than anything. I know my family wanted me here, and especially my sister," Jaden Schwartz said. "It was a dream come true to make this team and for me not to be able to play in it is very, very tough. There's a lot of emotion."
Schwartz, who was on crutches Thursday, will miss six weeks with the injury.
"For him to come back and score a goal on the power play [after being hurt] just shows the character he has," Schenn said of Schwartz. "He's a key piece of our team."
Team Canada is expected to get forward Cody Eakin and defenseman Calvin de Haan back in the lineup today against Sweden.
Eakin tweaked an existing hand injury before playing Norway on Wednesday, forcing him to sit out, while de Haan suffered a leg injury against the Czechs.
Cameron said he expects both of them to play today.
Olivier Roy will also return to goal. Roy got the win in Canada's first two games before Mark Visentin played against Norway.
A goalie change gave Slovakia life in its 6-4 loss to Switzerland. After allowing three goals in the first period, Dominik Riecicky was replaced by Juraj Holly. Holly kept his team in it. Switzerland fired 25 shots on him in the final two periods as the goalie made 23 saves.
"We tried to get a lot of shots on him," Swiss defenseman Dominik Schlumpf said. "We tried our best to put pressure on those guys."
An aggressive goalie, Holly came far out of his net on one occasion to fend off a Swiss rush. The approach rubbed off on his team, which turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-4 tie. But in the end, the Swiss did just enough to hang on. While Holly was active in net, he allowed several rebounds including the game-winner to Samuel Walser. As a result, the Slovaks will head to relegation.
In his game Thursday against the Swiss, Slovakia's Tomas Jurco saw the rebound bounce to him with a wide-open net in his vision. In anticipation of what seemed like a sure goal, whoever operates the goal light signaled the red light instantly.
Not so fast. Jurco couldn't corral the loose puck for the easy goal -- a theme for the Slovaks all game. Switzerland kept the lead and went on the win. The play was one, of many, missed opportunities for Slovakia. Just ask whoever was operating the goal light.
Compiled by News Sports Staff