© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Demitrii Anikin, seen here practicing with the Cumberland County Blues, will get his first taste of Canadian hockey tonight when he suits up for his first game against the St. Margaret’s Bay Ducks.
SPRINGHILL - There is a new addition to the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League's Cumberland County Blues - and he's from Russia.
"We've been working to get Dimitrii on our team for the last month and we're very pleased the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association has allowed him to play Junior B hockey," said Blues general manager Terry McManaman.
Dimittrii Anikin goes to school at Mount Allison University.
"He's one of the positive signs we hoped would come along," said McManaman. "With a player like him we have a really positive attitude in the dressing room."
Anikin couldn't have come soon enough for the Blues, who are in last place in the NSJHL.
"We've had a tough schedule lately and we're about five points behind Antigonish (Bulldogs), and we believe and are very confident we can make up ground on them."
Anikin's first test is tonight in Springhill against the St. Margaret's Bay Ducks.
"It's going to be a very balanced game," said McManaman. "But we need a victory to pick up morale."
McManaman says Blues fans will see a good skill level from Anikin at tonight's game.
"Fans will see good skating, and he's a good passer as well. Plus his work ethic and desire if very good."
McManaman says he also sees the ice well.
"He anticipates where the puck is going to be and he gets into the open. He has a real knack for that," said McManaman. "Once he gets adjusted to our Junior B league he's going to be a strong player."
On Saturday the Blues travel to Cape Breton to play the Miners, the top team in the league.
"They have four kids that played in the Quebec League, so they have a lot of experience," said McManaman.
Jesse Cox will start in goal for the Blues tonight.
Both games start at 7:30 p.m.