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Galiardi, Sacco Join Team USA

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Two members of the Avalanche organization will be representing their country – one on the ice and the other behind the bench - when the United States opens play at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

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It was announced Thursday by USA Hockey that Avalanche forward T.J. Galiardi and head coach Joe Sacco were added to Team USA’s entry for the event, which runs from May 7-23 in Cologne, Gelsenkirchen and Mannheim, Germany.

For Galiardi, it will be his first foray into international competition. He previously attended USA Hockey’s 2007 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., but was not named to the United States’ roster for the 2007 World Junior Championship.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward was born and grew up in Calgary, but is a dual citizen, as his mother is from Phoenix.

Galiardi was one of many young Avalanche players who helped the squad return to the postseason in 2009-10. During his first full NHL campaign, Galiardi tallied 39 points (15g/24a) with a +6 plus/minus rating in 70 contests. Playing many different roles – from penalty killer and defensive stopper to top-line left wing – the forward finished sixth among NHL rookies in points and ranked fifth in both goals (tied) and assists.

He paced all Colorado forwards in short-handed time on ice (3:01) and led all NHL rookies with four short-handed points (1g/3a) – the most by an Avalanche player since 2000-01, when Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic each recorded six points on the penalty kill.

As for Sacco, he will serve as an assistant coach for the United States at the World Championship. The team will be led by Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders. Joining Sacco as assistants are Todd Richards, head coach of the Minnesota Wild, and Ron Rolston, one of two head coaches at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.

Sacco, who was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach on Wednesday, also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2009 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Switzerland.

Team USA opens the tournament against host Germany on May 7. The game will be played at Gelsenkirchen's VELTINS-Arena, home of the German soccer league's FC Schalke. The contest is expected to be played in front of a world record crowd of more than 76,000 spectators.

Galiardi and Sacco aim to help the United States claim its first medal at the IIHF World Championship since 2004, when Team USA took home the bronze.

Click here for Team USA’s full roster
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