Monday, December 20, 2010

Galiev to suit up for Russia in pre-tournament game

Press Release

SAINT JOHN, N.B. --- Russian forward Stanislav Galiev will have an opportunity to play for his country at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., bringing the number of Sea Dogs potentially playing in the tournament to three.

Galiev learned the news early Sunday morning as the Sea Dogs returned from a pair of wins over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He is scheduled to fly to Jamestown, N.Y., Monday morning to join the Russian camp in hopes of competing in the main tournament.

The 18-year-old forward, a third-round pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2010 NHL draft, is set to suit up against Slovakia in Russia’s pre-tournament game on Dec. 23.

“I have to play an exhibition game and if I do good I’m going to play (in the tournament). It’s like a tryout for me,” Galiev said. “I’m pretty excited they gave me a chance and I have to use it.”

With 31 points in 31 games, Galiev is the highest-scoring Russian in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He’s already established a new career high with 16 goals, one more than he scored in 67 games as a rookie last season. Galiev says playing for Russia would be a dream come true.

“It would be a great opportunity to play for the national team of Russia and try to win this tournament,” Galiev said.

One of Galiev’s opponents in the exhibition game against Slovakia will be fellow Sea Dogs forward Tomas Jurco. Meanwhile, defenceman Simon Despres has been named to Team Canada, Russia’s adversary as they open the tournament on Dec. 26.

If Galiev cracks the Russian roster, it would give the Sea Dogs a record three participants in the world juniors. Forward Chris DiDomenico suited up for Canada in 2009, while defenceman David Stich captained the Czech Republic.

“It will be fun to play against each other,” Galiev said.

Sea Dogs director of hockey operations Mike Kelly said he’s proud to see his players get the opportunity to shine on the international stage.

“We’re excited they have the opportunity they’ve been offered and we obviously wish them the best of luck. We don’t know if Gally’s going to make the team, but obviously it’s a great opportunity for all three of them. The experience is going to help them become better players,” Kelly said.

“It gives someone else (on the Sea Dogs roster) an opportunity to step up and play. The opportunities players get to represent their country benefit everybody. There’s no downside.”

(Nathan can be reached at

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