Brandon Gallo, rookie for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, in the locker room. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

Brandon Gallo, rookie for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, in the locker room. (Josh Piercey/Revelstoke Review)

‘I’ve learned to play feisty’: Grizzlies rookie Brandon Gallo joins the team from St. Albert

Being a rookie can be tough.

Just like being a freshman in high school or college, you’ve got to go through a ‘welcoming period’. You’re going to get hazed a little: your gear gets wrapped up in saran wrap, your laces get cut, you’re on cleaning duty every night.

A popular haze in the hockey world is the ‘shoe check’, which goes like this: identify your target (usually a teammate, but go for the coach if you’re gutty enough by all means), grab the nearest cup of sour cream or salsa, creep under the table, and smear it on the front of your targets shoe. Then, someone yells “Shoe check!”, and the victim will find their kicks filthy.

On the Grizzlies, those with cream on their oxford’s have to get up and sing.

“I sang Firework by Katy Perry,” laughed Brandon Gallo, rookie defenceman for the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

Gallo is getting initiated into two teams at once: the Revelstoke Grizzlies and the city of Revelstoke itself.

From St. Albert, Alta., a city in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, the feisty defenceman is up for the challenge of proving himself and earning his stripes.

“It’s obviously tougher,” said Gallo. “The vets like to make it hard on us, clean the room and stuff like that. We got a great group of vets, and I like the guys that are leading the team this year. There’s some stuff you gotta do but I like it .”

For Gallo, having a good group of role models around him helps him excel as a player, from his captain Cole Berg to his coach Ryan Parent.

“I like Ryan,” exclaimed Gallo. “He demands excellence, which I like from a coach. He pushes us hard and works us to be the best we can possibly be.”

Like a cannonball, Gallo’s game is all about being fast and explosive in spite of his size.

“I’ve always been a smaller guy I guess, but, I’ve learned to play feisty,” said Gallo. “I like to hit.”

Gallo models his game after guys in the NHL like Zack Kassian and Dustin Byfuglien, bruisers who dominate the ice with their hitting and physical presence.

“I just like blowing guys up, it’s part of my game, always has been,” said Gallo.

Gallo is known as the clown in the locker room and on the ice, taking every opportunity to crack wise.

“I’m always joking around in the room, I’m always yapping,” joked Gallo. “I just like getting under some guys grills sometimes, being a little jokester, it’s fun.”

As a rookie, Gallo is working every week on his relationship with his teammates as well as the community.

“I love the town, its beautiful,” said Gallo. “I love the mountains, looking up at them every day is pretty sweet.”

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@josh_piercey
josh.piercey@revelstokereview.com

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