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Denver prosecutors drop domestic violence case against Avalanche goalie Varlamov

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, searches for the puck while protecting the goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period of the Avalanche's 6-2 victory in an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, searches for the puck while protecting the goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period of the Avalanche's 6-2 victory in an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER - Prosecutors said Friday that they are dropping a domestic violence case against Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov because they have new information leading them to believe they couldn't win a conviction.

Varlamov was arrested and charged with misdemeanour assault after his girlfriend told police he knocked her down with a kick, stomped on her chest and dragged her by her hair at their apartment on Oct. 30.

The girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyukat, also accused him of telling her that he would have beaten her more if they had been in Russia, where he is from, authorities said.

Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office, declined to offer specifics on the new information that led prosecutors to drop the case. She said it surfaced from additional interviews with witnesses.

"This is not an indication that we didn't believe our victim," Kimbrough said. "It is ... simply not having the ability to prove it."

Vavrinyukat's attorney, Robert Abrams, had no comment, his office said.

Varlamov's lawyer was preparing a statement.

Varlamov, 25, has been free on US$5,000 bond and has been travelling and playing with the team. He could have faced a sentence ranging from probation to two years in jail if convicted.

He is 16-8 with a 2.37 goals-against average this season.

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