Eremenko injury blow for Russia

Russia seeks a replacement for its starter

05.05.2008
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Quebec City Quebec Canada

Russia goalie Alexander Eremenko got injured in today's game against the Czech Republic, pictured Radim Vrbata. Photo: IIHF/HHoF/Matthew Manor

QUEBEC CITY – Russian goalie Alexander Eremenko injured his right ACL during the win over the Czechs, and may possibly miss the rest of the tournament. Russia now has only one healthy registered goalie, Mikhail Biryukov.

The Russian team management announced on Monday that they are still hoping that Eremenko can make a recovery within a week.

The injury occurred at 7:44 of the second period. Czech forward Jiri Novotny was driving to the net after Eremenko made a save, and Russian defenseman Vitali Proshkin pulled him down. They both fell on top of Eremenko, and a scrum ensued.

Biryukov took over in goal for the rest of the game, allowing two goals as Russia won 5-4 in overtime.

Coming to Quebec City, the Russians also brought Semen Varlamov, who backstopped Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to the Russian Superliga final this year. But he was not registered, and had to withdraw anyway due to a foot injury. He will leave Quebec City this week.

Pending the elimination of the San Jose Sharks from the NHL playoffs, Evgeni Nabokov would be Russia’s top choice to add between the pipes.

One way or another, Russia needs to find a replacement. They could opt to just dress Biryukov, but that would be an extremely risky strategy.

Rule 417 (b) in the IIHF Rule Book states: “If both goalkeepers of the team are incapacitated and unable to play, the team shall have ten minutes to dress another player in uniform as a goaltender.”

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