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Avalanche Farm Report: April 19

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

Heading into Tuesday night’s Game 3, the Lake Erie Monsters and Manitoba Moose are tied, 1-1, in their North Division Semifinal series.

Game 1: Lake Erie 6, Manitoba  4
Boxscore I Recap I Video Highlights

Game 2: Manitoba 3, Lake Erie 2 (OT)
Boxscore I Recap I Video Highlights

Game 3: Tue, Apr. 19: 8:30 p.m.

Game 4: Thu, Apr. 21 - 8:30 p.m.

*Game 5: Fri, Apr. 22 - 8:30 p.m.
@ Manitoba

*Game 6: Sun, Apr. 24 - 4:00 p.m.
@ Lake Erie

*Game 7: Tue, Apr. 26 - 7:00 p.m.
@ Lake Erie
*if necessary
Lake Erie Monsters
The Monsters are currently tied with the Manitoba Moose, 1-1, in their North Division Semifinal series, with Game 3 slated for Tuesday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

Lake Erie jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a 6-4 triumph in Game 1 Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena. The Moose held a 2-1 advantage at the end of the first period, but the Monsters rallied off three consecutive goals during the second period to take the lead for good. Matthew Ford recorded two goals and a +3 plus/minus rating for Lake Erie, Justin Mercier chipped in with a goal and an assist and Jason Bacashihua stopped 21 shots to pick up the victory between the pipes.

Ben Walter, Ryan Stoa and Mark Olver also scored for Lake Erie, while Brad Malone picked up an assist in his professional debut.

Manitoba then evened the series with a 3-2 overtime triumph on Sunday. Moose forward Rick Rypien, who missed most of the 2010-11 campaign for personal reasons, netted his first goal in more than a year at the 8:03 mark of overtime to give Manitoba the victory. Lake Erie was clinging onto a 2-1 lead late in the game thanks to goals from David van der Gulik and Julien Brouillette, but Manitoba’s Marco Rosa scored with 50 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.  John Grahame suffered the loss in net despite making 40 saves for the Monsters.

Tulsa Oilers
Much like the Monsters, Colorado’s Central Hockey League affiliate is locked in a 1-1 tie in its Berry Conference Semifinal series with Bossier-Shreveport.

Tulsa pulled out a 5-4 victory in the series opener on Friday, with Trevor Cann picking up the victory after making 37 stops. Bossier-Shreveport came back with a 6-1 win on Saturday night to even the series. Cann stopped 17 of 21 shots in 33:59 of action before being pulled in favor of Ian Keserich.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series will take place Tuesday night in Tulsa.

-Troy Rutkowski and the Portland Winterhawks sent Tyson Barrie and the Kelowna Rockets packing with a 4-2 series victory in their Western Conference Semifinal matchup. Portland entered the week with a 2-1 series lead and then pushed Kelowna to the brink of elimination with 4-2 victory on Wednesday (Rutkowski had an assist for the victors). Kelowna fought back with a 2-1 overtime win on Friday night, but Portland finished off the series with a 4-2 triumph on Sunday.

Barrie, who picked up a helper in the Game 6 loss, finished the postseason with 11 points (2g/9a) in 10 games. Rutkowski has notched seven points (2g/5a) in 10 playoff outings thus far. The Winterhawks now advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face the winner of the Spokane/Tri-City series.  Spokane currently holds a 3-2 edge in that matchup, with Game 6 slated for Tuesday night.

-Stefan Elliott and the Saskatoon Blades were swept out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Kootenay Ice. After dropping the first two games of the series, the Blades were blanked by the Ice, 3-0, last Tuesday and then fell by a 5-2 score in Wednesday’s Game 4.  Elliott wrapped up postseason play with eight points (3g/5a) in 10 games.

-Owen Sound and Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon advanced to the Western Conference Finals after finishing off a four-game sweep of the Plymouth Whalers. Hishon was held off the scoresheet in the clinching game, but posted a +1 plus/minus rating. In 10 playoff contests, he’s totaled seven points (1g/6a), 16 penalty minutes and a +3 rating. Owen Sound will now face the Windsor Spitfires in a best-of-seven series beginning Tuesday night.
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