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Avs goalie Varlamov allowed to remain free on bond while facing assault charge

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1), from Russia, blocks a shot by Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1), from Russia, blocks a shot by Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER - Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov can remain free on bond while facing a domestic violence charge involving his girlfriend, a judge said Monday.

Varlamov appeared in court for a brief hearing as the judge formally advised him that he faces a misdemeanour charge of third-degree assault.

He is scheduled to enter a plea at his next hearing on Jan. 22.

Most misdemeanour cases in Denver are settled with plea bargains, but a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office declined to say whether an agreement was likely in this case.

Neither Varlamov nor his attorneys commented when they left court Monday.

Varlamov's girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyukat, told police he knocked her down with a kick, stomped on her chest and dragged her by her hair at their apartment on Oct. 30, according to an arrest affidavit.

She also accused him of telling her that he would have beaten her more if they had been in Russia, authorities said.

Varlamov could face a sentence ranging from probation to two years in jail if convicted of the assault charge.

He wore a blue suit and open-collar white shirt in court Monday and gave yes or no answers to the judge.

Varlamov, 25, is one of NHL's hottest goalies and has helped the Avalanche to a franchise-best 19-6 start.

He is free on $5,000 bond and has been travelling and playing with the team. The judge has ordered him to stay away from his girlfriend and told him he could not drink alcohol or possess firearms.

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