MY HOCKEY STORY. ALEXEI POLODYAN: “THIS SEASON I ONCE PLAYED 7 GAMES IN 7 DAYS”

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21.12.2017 в 15:55

MY HOCKEY STORY. ALEXEI POLODYAN: “THIS SEASON I ONCE PLAYED 7 GAMES IN 7 DAYS”

SKA-1946, SKA-Neva and U20 Team Russia forward Alexei Polodyan is the hero of today’s edition of My Hockey Story series. He told us how he made his first steps in hockey, his friendship with Andrei Altybarmakyan and his debut Junior Hockey League game.

- I ended up in hockey because my parents really liked the sport. When I was five years old, they signed me up for junior hockey school. At the same time I played tennis bus after a few years I made the final choice and decided to become a hockey player. My father ran track and field professionally. He was pretty good. These days he plays tennis with my mom for recreation. Sports have always been a part of my family.

- I still remember my first practice very well. I was brought to a team that was one of the top in St. Petersburg. It wasn’t easy practicing with Serebryanye Lvy. Valery Vasilievich Afanasyev was my first coach. He invested a lot in our team. He was our coach from the very beginning almost up till we graduated. Everybody I played with on that team are now in JHL, VHL and KHL. Back in junior hockey school I played with Andrei Altybarmakyan, Nikolai Knyzhov and Alexei Melnichuk. They are still my teammates. In junior hockey school I played with Altybarmakyan on the same line for two years. In JHL we played on different lines at first but after a while they put us together again.

- I was a fast kid so there was never a question about what position I should play. It was evident right away that I was going to be a forward.

- It was a little difficult to study in regular school up till Grade 4. I didn’t have much time for studying. Then I was put in a sport class and it got a little easier. We had a special schedule and adapted home work.

- Armenian-themed jokes began only when I was put on the same line with Andrei Altybarmakyan. Until then the guys didn’t even pay attention to my last name. Besides, we’re friends with Andrei, we’re always together, so there was no way avoiding these jokes.

- My first Junior Hockey League shift was in the game against Dinamo St. Petersburg. I got out there pumped up, skated around a bit, tried to lay a hit and went back to the bench. After that my teammates cheered me on and told me I got off to a good start.

- I scored my first goal in Riga. It was my 3rd JHL game. I also added an assist to that. I was very happy. After the game the guys collected the puck and gave it to me.

- Last season SKA-Serebryanye Lvy didn’t make the playoffs. We did alright in the first half of the regular season. We were among top teams of the league. But then we just lacked depth on our roster. When several players got injured, it affected our results.

- I was the 13th forward in my first VHL game with SKA-Neva. I played on different lines throughout the game. I was surprised by that because I made my debut in a playoff game. I was given a chance after JHL season had ended and I’d been invited to practice with VHL team. We had a great group of guys and I felt welcome pretty quickly. I like it a lot that I can play in both JHL and VHL. The more game practice I get, the better. For instance, this season I once played 7 games in 7 days. Road trips can be difficult but when you’re needed you have to give everything you can.

- I have never wanted to move from my hometown of St. Petersburg to somewhere else. If my career will require that at some point, only then I’m going to have to think about it. For the time being I’m in SKA system and we have great development conditions here. I spent my entire junior hockey school career with Serebryanye Lvy. One year before my graduation they joined SKA system. Now I’m going to do whatever it takes to play in KHL.

- I follow National Hockey League players. Among Russians I like Artemy Panarin and Nikita Kucherov. I like their style.

- I’m not superstitious and I don’t have a set pre-game routine. I stay positive on gamedays. The only thing I pay attention to is jersey numbers. There are a few I’d like to have on y back. For example, #11.

- To be called up to play for U20 Team Russia is a proud moment for me. Everybody wants to play for their national team. I’m very happy that Valery Nikolayevich Bragin gave me the opportunity to represent our country at international level. I found the first two games of this year’s Superseries to be very difficult. I had to adjust to the pace of the game, smaller ice surface and serious opponents we faced.

- If it’s your first time in St. Petersburg, I advise you to stroll down Nevsky avenue. I always look for new exciting places with my friends myself. Trust me, there’s an ocean of beautiful places in St. Petersburg.

- I’m a kind and fun person off the ice and I’m not very physical on the ice either. I like to talk and joke around. It’s difficult for me to imagine my future without hockey. I live it. I believe I achieved a lot and I help my team. 99% of success is about hard work. This is why I will do my best so in ten years I could say I have established myself in hockey.

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