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Avalanche Farm Report: April 21

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Spotlight On: Brandon Maxwell

Avalanche prospect Brandon Maxwell and the Kitchener Rangers are one victory away from knocking out the defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires in their OHL Western Conference Finals matchup.

The Rangers hold a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series, which began with a wild 7-6 overtime triumph on Thursday. Maxwell recorded an eye-popping 59 saves for Kitchener in the victory.

The goaltender turned aside 48 shots in a 5-2 Kitchener win Saturday during Game Two and then made 42 stops as the Rangers claimed a 3-0 series lead with a 5-3 victory on Sunday.

Game Four took place on Tuesday night, and Windsor extended the series by earning a 7-5 win. Maxwell stopped 35 shots in the loss.

Maxwell, a Winter Park, Fla., native, has faced an astounding 201 shots through the first four games of the series, stopping 184 for a .915 save percentage. Playing in his first OHL postseason, Maxwell has totaled an 11-6 record with a .900 save percentage in 17 outings.

Maxwell, the Avalanche’s sixth selection (sixth round, 154th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft, will try to help the Rangers close out the series with a victory Thursday night in Game Five.
At this point in the year, only a handful of Avalanche prospects are still participating in the postseason. Colorado has two prospects still eyeing a playoff title in both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League, and one doing the same in the United States Hockey League. In addition, the Avalanche’s East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, have advanced to the conference semifinals.

-The Moncton Wildcats have jumped out to a 2-1 lead in their QMJHL Semifinal matchup with the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Avalanche prospect Kelsey Tessier netted an assist Friday in a 5-3 win and was then named the game’s first star on Sunday after scoring twice and adding a helper in a 5-2 Moncton victory. Drummondville came back Tuesday and posted a 2-1 win, with Tessier assisting on Moncton’s lone goal. The Wildcats will aim to take a 3-1 series advantage when the puck drops for Game Four on Wednesday.

- Joel Chouinard has recorded one point in three games, but the Victoriaville Tigres have dropped two of the first three games of their QMJHL Semifinal series to the Saint John Sea Dogs. Saint John took a 4-2 decision on Friday, followed by a 5-1 win on Saturday, with Chouinard being held pointless in both contests. The defenseman recorded an assist on Tuesday as his club topped the Sea Dogs, 6-3. Game Four of the series will take place on Friday.

The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors find themselves in a 3-1 hole in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Barrie Colts. The Majors were blanked, 3-0, in Game One on Wednesday but bounced back with a 5-2 triumph in Friday’s Game Two. Mississauga captain Cameron Gaunce picked up two assists in the victory.

The Majors were then handed a pair of 3-1 losses on Saturday and Monday, with Gaunce totaling one assist. Mississauga will look to extend the series when the teams meet up in Game Five on Wednesday evening.

Nathan Condon and the Fargo Force have split the first two games of their second-round Clark Cup Playoffs matchup against the Omaha Lancers. Fargo was blanked, 2-0, in Friday’s opener, but won the following night by a 4-2 count. Condon scored a power-play goal and assisted on the game-winning tally for the Force. The series will resume with Game Three on Wednesday.

Charlotte Checkers
The Avalanche’s ECHL affiliate is currently battling the Cincinnati Cyclones in the American Conference Semifinals of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The teams split the first two games in Charlotte, with the Cyclones squeaking out a 4-3 win on Friday and the Checkers taking a 5-0 decision on Saturday. Game Three of the best-of-seven series will be contested Wednesday.
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