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Varlamov Added to Team Russia for 2016 Worlds

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov will look to help the Russia National Team to a gold medal on home soil at next month's IIHF World Championship.

Varlamov was one of eight NHL players that were added to Russia's initial training camp roster on Thursday in preparation for the tournament in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which runs May 6-22. He and the Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky are expected to be among the team's three goalies at the competition.

This will be the fourth time that Varlamov has played at the World Championship. He backstopped Russia to a silver medal in 2010 and a gold medal in 2012 and also played in the 2013 tournament. The Samara, Russia, native was named one of the top three players on his team in both 2010 and 2012.

Varlamov has also represented his nation at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, 2006 and 2007 World Junior Championships and the 2005 and 2006 Under-18 World Championships. He will also play for Russia at the World Cup of Hockey in September.

In 57 games this past season with the Avalanche, Varlamov posted a 27-25-3 record, 2.81 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and two shutouts. He was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on two occasions (Dec. 14-20, 2015, and Jan. 18-24, 2016) and now ranks second in franchise history in wins with 133, trailing only Hall of Famer Patrick Roy (262).

Varlamov is the fourth player from the Avalanche organization to be named to a roster for Worlds. Matt Duchene and Calvin Pickard were chosen to play for Team Canada, while prospect JT Compher will represent the United States.

Russia opens the tournament on Friday, May 6, against the Czech Republic at the Ice Palace in Moscow. Russia is aiming to join Sweden (2013) as the only host nations to win the World Championship in the last 30 years.

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