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(Winter Asiad) Key forward likely to miss remaining men's hockey games with injury

All Headlines 12:04 February 23, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean men's hockey forward Michael Testwuide will likely miss the remainder of the Asian Winter Games with a left shoulder injury, a team official said Thursday.

Testwuide suffered ligament damage to his left shoulder in a collision with Kazakhstan goalie Vitaliy Kolesnik late in the third period of South Korea's 4-0 loss on Wednesday at Tsukisamu Gymnasium. Testwuide, a right-handed shooting forward, came down the left wing hard and tried to cut in on the goalie before crashing into him.

Testwuide fell awkwardly to the ice, while Kolesnik's mask also flew off his face. But Testwuide, a naturalized U.S.-born player, got the brunt of the damage, as he also sustained a cut above his left eye.

In this Associated Press photo taken on Feb. 22, 2017, South Korean forward Michael Testwuide (C) falls to the ice after crashing into Kazakhstan goalie Vitaliy Kolesnik (L) during their men's round robin game at the Asian Winter Games at Tsukisamu Gymnasium in Sapporo, Japan. (Yonhap)

Testwuide was seen wearing a sling on his left arm after the game. Though he didn't suffer any structural damage, the injury is serious enough that it may rule him out of the Asian Winter Games here.

"He's unlikely to play in Friday's game (against Japan)," the team official told Yonhap News Agency. "Unless he gets dramatically better, he likely won't be able to play the rest of the tournament."

South Korea is in a four-team, round-robin competition with Kazakhstan, Japan and China. After Friday, the finale will be against China at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Missing Testwuide, a top-line forward and a key member of the team's top power play unit, will be a major blow to South Korea, which already dug itself into a hole with a shutout loss to Kazakhstan Wednesday.

South Korea's gold medal hopes were dashed in that loss, and it must defeat Japan to have a shot at winning at least silver. South Korea won bronze in men's hockey at the 2011 Asian Winter Games, where Kazakhstan edged out Japan for the gold.

South Korea has fast-tracked the likes of Testwuide and Canadian-born goalie Matt Dalton to South Korean passports in recent years, hoping to boost its competitiveness ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics on home ice in PyeongChang. South Korea, ranked 23rd, has received an automatic berth as the host.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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