Barrett Hayton suits up for Canada in world junior final

Barrett Hayton, who leads Canada in scoring at this year's world junior hockey championship, is in the lineup for Sunday's gold-medal game.

The Arizona Coyotes rookie forward took to the ice ahead of the 1 p.m. ET start against Russia after Finland's Lassi Thomson fell on Hayton, who hit the end boards while jostling for position during Saturday's semifinal in the Czech Republic.

Hayton, 19, reportedly could be heard yelling in pain before skating off the ice early in the third period at Ostravar Arena while clutching his left arm. He didn't return to the game.

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"He's working with our medical staff … and doing his treatment and trying to get himself ready," Canada assistant coach Mitch Love told TSN.

Hayton is tied with Swedish forward Samuel Fagemo for the tournament scoring lead with 11 points, including five goals. The 19-year-old has four points in the NHL after the Coyotes drafted him fifth overall in 2018.

WATCH | Alex Lafrenière paces Canada attack in semifinals:

"We want the best for him," teammate and fellow centre Ty Dellandrea told reporters on Saturday. "It's definitely hard to see him go down like that but we're hoping he'll be all right."

Canadian defenceman Bowen Byram also returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's contest with an illness.

'I was lost in the moment'

A week ago, Hayton drew the ire of Russian players following Canada's 6-0 loss when he didn't remove his helmet during the Russian national anthem.

The former Ontario Hockey League standout later apologized through Hockey Canada.

"As a leader on this team," he said, "I was trying to process the game and evaluate how we can regroup. I was lost in the moment."

Added Hockey Canada: "[We] have tremendous respect for the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, its players, coaches, management and fans. We expect our athletes and staff to share and show that same respect."

WATCH | Canada falls to Russia in a romp:

The 6-0 setback was Canada's worst-ever loss at the world juniors.

The Canadians, who topped Russia in the 2015 gold-medal game in Toronto, will be facing their rival for the ninth time in the final.

"We're a better team than we were," Dellandrea said. "We've come a long way and gone through a lot of adversity to shape the team we are now."

Added Canada head coach Dale Hunter: "It was a teaching point. We've been playing better defence."

Byram was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft by Colorado. Draft-eligible Jamie Drysdale, 17, filled in admirably on Saturday and scored one of Canada's four goals in the first period in its 5-0 victory.

Drysdale's 20 minutes 28 seconds of ice time was second only on the Canadian squad to fellow blue-liner Jacob Bernard-Docker.

"I just tried to make the most of it," Drysdale, who has primarily been used as Canada's seventh defenceman in the Czech Republic, said of the opportunity. "It was a pretty cool feeling [to score]."

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