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Griffins' Kolosov To Play In Olympics

February 5, 2010 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Sergei Kolosov will play for Belarus at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

Kolosov, who was not named to Belarus' provisional Olympic roster in December, will depart Grand Rapids on Sunday to join his Belarusian teammates at a training camp in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Detroit's third selection (151st overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Kolosov is in his second year as a Griffin. After posting 11 points (4-7-11) and 36 penalty minutes in 70 games during his 2008-09 rookie campaign, the Novopolotsk native has contributed four points (1-3-4) and 17 PIM in 43 appearances this season.

Under the guidance of current Griffins head coach Curt Fraser, Kolosov helped Belarus qualify for the Olympics thanks to a ninth-place finish at the 2008 World Championship in Canada. The team, which still includes 19 players who were coached by Fraser in that tournament, will make its first Olympic appearance since the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, when it earned a surprising fourth-place finish.

Belarus will play a pair of exhibition games against Switzerland at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and Thursday, Feb. 11 before traveling to Vancouver. The team will compete in Group C at the Olympics, with preliminary round games scheduled against Finland (Wednesday, Feb. 17), Sweden (Friday, Feb. 19) and Germany (Saturday, Feb. 20). The qualification round (Feb. 23-24), semifinals (Feb. 26), Bronze Medal Game (Feb. 27) and Gold Medal Game (Feb. 28) will continue through the end of the month, meaning Kolosov could miss as many as 11 Griffins games during his absence.

Kolosov will become just the third player in franchise history to participate in the Olympics as an active Griffin, joining Niklas Kronwall (2006 Sweden) and Julien Vauclair (2002 Switzerland). In the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, Kronwall became the first Griffins alumnus to earn an Olympic medal, winning gold thanks to Sweden's victory over Finland in the championship game.

Three of the other 11 men's hockey teams will be counting on former Griffins in their medal quests. Kronwall (2003-06) and Stefan Liv (2006-07), who also won gold with Sweden in 2006, will look to repeat, while Slovakia's Pavol Demitra (1996-97) and Tomas Kopecky (2002-06) and Finland's Valtteri Filppula (2005-07) will try to dethrone the defending champs.

Griffins in the Olympics

Participated While Playing for the Griffins Player Country Year/Site Finish

Niklas Kronwall Sweden 2006/Turin Gold

Julien Vauclair Switzerland 2002/Salt Lake City 11th

Participated After Playing for the Griffins Player Country Year/Site Finish

Aigars Cipruss Latvia 2006/Turin 12th

Aigars Cipruss Latvia 2002/Salt Lake City 9th

Pavol Demitra Slovakia 2006/Turin 5th

Pavol Demitra Slovakia 2002/Salt Lake City 13th

Erich Goldmann Germany 2002/Salt Lake City 8th

Jani Hurme Finland 2002/Salt Lake City 6th

Rastislav Pavlikovsky Slovakia 2002/Salt Lake City 13th

Robert Petrovicky Slovakia 2002/Salt Lake City 13th

Konstantin Shafranov Kazakhstan 2006/Turin 9th

Andrei Sryubko Ukraine 2002/Salt Lake City 10th

Julien Vauclair Switzerland 2006/Turin 6th

Participated Before Playing for the Griffins Player Country Year/Site Finish

Slava Butsayev Unified Team 1992/Albertville Gold

Chris Chelios USA 2006/Turin 8th

Chris Chelios USA 2002/Salt Lake City Silver

Chris Chelios USA 1998/Nagano 6th

Chris Chelios USA 1984/Sarajevo 7th

Erich Goldmann Germany 1998/Nagano 9th

Todd Hlushko Canada 1994/Lillehammer Silver

Curtis Joseph Canada 2002/Salt Lake City Gold

Stefan Liv Sweden 2006/Turin Gold

Kevin Miller USA 1988/Calgary 7th

Michael Nylander Sweden 2002/Salt Lake City 5th

Michael Nylander Sweden 1998/Nagano 5th

Robert Petrovicky Slovakia 1998/Nagano 10th

Robert Petrovicky Slovakia 1994/Lillehammer 6th

Travis Richards USA 1994/Lillehammer 8th

David Roberts USA 1994/Lillehammer 8th

Konstantin Shafranov Kazakhstan 1998/Nagano 8th

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