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Avalanche Farm Report: April 4

The first round is over in the Canadian Hockey League's playoffs

by Heather Ward / ColoradoAvalanche.com

San Antonio Rampage 

The San Antonio Rampage dropped a 5-2 decision to the Tucson Roadrunners on Tuesday night at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.

Gabriel Bourque didn't waste any time for San Antonio, scoring 37 seconds into the opening period. Rocco Grimaldi followed suit and lit the lamp exactly one minute later on a power play to help the Rampage grab an early 2-0 lead. Mason Geertsen, Felix Girard, Colin Smith and Erik Gelinas all collected helpers on the early tallies.

However, Tucson rallied with four goals to steal the lead and later scored an empty-netter to skate away with the win.  

Spencer Martin started between the pipes for San Antonio and made 28 saves.  

On Thursday, forward A.J. Greer was named the San Antonio Rampage 2016-17 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his contributions to the community. Greer is one of 30 finalists for the AHL's 2016-17 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award.

The Rampage began weekend play on Friday at AT&T Center against the Stockton Heat but got burned, falling 3-2.

The Heat started the match with two early goals in the first period, but Gelinas scored on a great one-time slap shot from the blue line for his first goal of the season to get the Rampage back within one at 2:36 of the middle period. Grimaldi tied the game 2-2 at 8:14 of the second period with his 29th marker of the year.  

Colin Smith registered two assists and Grimaldi and Gelinas each tacked on a helper for multi-point nights.

Stockton picked up the two points in the end after the club found netting halfway through the third period.

Martin got the nod in net for the second game in a row and made 33 stops.

The following night, Ben Storm made his professional debut as the Rampage lost 5-3 to the Heat. Storm, who is on an amateur tryout, was the 153rd overall pick by the Avalanche in the 2013 draft.

Stockton got on the board first, but Smith tied the game for the Rampage on a power play with help from Bourque at 7:34 of the opening stanza.

Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Smith struck again and deflected a shot past Stockton goaltender Jon Gillies to cut the deficit back to one. Bourque recorded his second assist of the night and Grimaldi picked up a helper as well. Gus Young then took advantage of a loose puck and lit the lamp at 8:39 to the knot the game at 3-3 in the second period.

However, the Heat scored back-to-back goals in the final frame to complete the series sweep.

Joe Cannata started in the crease and made seven saves in the first period before being relieved by Martin, who finished out the match with nine stops.

Grimaldi leads the team and is third in the AHL with 29 goals. He has also contributed 22 assists in 68 games this year.

He'll have to wait to add to his total as Grimaldi and defenseman Duncan Siemens was recalled by Colorado Monday for the team's matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center on Tuesday night.

San Antonio hits the road this week to take on the Charlotte Checkers for two contests before hosting Bakersfield for two at home over the weekend.

Upcoming Games:
April 4 at Charlotte
April 5 at Charlotte
April 7 vs. Bakersfield
April 9 vs. Bakersfield

Colorado Eagles (ECHL)

The Colorado Eagles (46-19-5) dropped to second place in the Mountain Division with 97 points after going 1-2 against the Idaho Steelheads last week.

The Eagles were doubled up 2-1 by the Steelheads on Wednesday. Idaho scored on the power play and slipped another puck into the net in the second period to gain a 2-0 lead.  

Colorado fought back in the game with a goal 4:11 left in the middle frame to get within one. The team pulled goaltender Kent Simpson for an extra attacker late in the third period but could not find the equalizer.

The Eagles defeated Idaho 3-2 on Friday and tied the franchise record for the most wins in a single season with their 46th victory of the year.

Trailing 2-1 after the first period, tension between the two teams ignited. There were four fights in the final 40 minutes and the contest ended with a combined 90 penalty minutes. Colorado rallied with two goals in the third period to skate away with the win.

The Eagles were unable to set a new team record for wins on Sunday as they were shutout 3-0. Idaho found twine in the first period and capitalized twice in the second period to skate away with the victrory.  

Colorado now heads north to take on the rival Rapid City Rush on Friday for a two-game series to close out the regular season.

OHL

Travis Barron (Ottawa 67's): The Ottawa 67's were knocked out of the OHL Playoffs, losing their first-round series 4-2 against the Mississauga Steelheads. Ottawa lost 2-1 in Game 3 on Tuesday and 6-4 in the fourth contest on Thursday to be on the brink of elimination. The 67's returned with a 5-3 victory on Friday in Game 5 but could not continue their momentum and lost Game 6 by a 5-1 score on Sunday. Barron left the match early on Thursday due to an upper-body injury after an incident with Mississauga's Nicolas Hague, who was suspended indefinitely by the league. Barron did not compete in the last two games. The forward scored one playoff goal in four contests. Ottawa finished the regular season seventh in the Eastern Conference (26-34-8), with Barron recording 13 goals and 21 assists in 59 competitions.

QMJHL

J.C. Beaudin (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): The Huskies advanced to the second round of QMJHL Playoffs after defeating Halifax Mooseheads in six contests. The club shutout the Mooseheads 2-0 in Game 3 on Tuesday night, and Beaudin recorded an assist in the win. The forward picked up another helper in the team's 3-1 loss on Wednesday. In Game 5, Rouyn-Noranda fought through three periods of overtime and eventually won 6-5 on Friday. Beaudin scored a marker and recorded a pair of helpers in the triple-overtime victory. On Monday night in the sixth game versus Halifax, Beaudin registered a tally as the team won 5-2 to clinch the series. Beaudin has recorded seven points (one goal and six assists) in the playoff run so far. He finished the regular season with 30 goals and 50 assists in 65 outings.

Nicolas Meloche (Charlottetown Islanders): The Charlottetown Islanders advanced to the next round of the QMJHL Playoffs after defeating Baie-Comeau in four games. Nicolas Meloche and the Islanders won 3-1 on Tuesday in Game 3 and 4-1 on Wednesday to sweep the series. Meloche has recorded one marker and one assist in four playoff games. He totaled 47 points (16 goals and 31 assists) in 61 regular season matches.

WHL

Josh Anderson (Prince George Cougars):  The Prince George Cougars started last week with a dominating 6-1 victory in Game 3 of their first-round series versus the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday. The Cougars then fell 5-4 on Thursday and 5-3 on Saturday to fall behind 3-2 in the series. Anderson and the team were unable to advance to the next round after losing 4-2 in Game 6 on Monday. Prince George had finished third in the Western Conference with a 45-21-6 record. Anderson competed in all six playoff matches, recording a plus-1 rating and four penalty minutes. He scored three tallies and contributed eight assists in 69 contests during the 2016-17 regular campaign.  

NCAA

Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver Pioneers will set out for Chicago this week to compete in the Frozen Four, taking on Notre Dame and fellow Avs prospect Cam Morrison on Thursday in the national semifinals. Will Butcher has recorded seven goals and leads the team with 29 assists in 41 outings this year. The senior defenseman was named to the Hobey Hat Trick last week as one-of-three finalist for the 2017 Hobey Baker Memorial Award that honors college hockey's top player. The award will be announced on Friday.

Tyson Jost (University of North Dakota): The University of North Dakota (21-16-3) concluded it season with a 4-3 double-overtime loss to Boston University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Tyson Jost finished second on the team in points (35), goals (16-tied) and assists (19) in 33 contests. Jost, who was selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. The forward made his NHL debut Friday night in the Avs' 2-1 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center.

Cam Morrison (University of Notre Dame): The University of Notre Dame will battle against the University of Denver in the Frozen Four at the United Center in Chicago on Thursday. Morrison has collected 11 goals and 12 assists in 39 games.

Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): St. Cloud State University's finished the 2016-17 season 16-19-1 and lost in two games to North Dakota in the NCHC Quarterfinals. Ben Storm had one playoff assist and finished the season with a total of four helpers in 29 competitions. Storm signed an amateur tryout with the San Antonio Rampage on March 18 and made his professional debut on Saturday in the team's 5-3 loss to the Stockton Heat.

Sweden

Gustav Olhaver (Rogle BK J20, Super Elit): Gustav Olhaver and Rogle BK concluded their season after losing their best-of-three playoff series 2-1 to HV71. Olhaver, who had one assist in the postseason, collected 16 goals and 23 assists in 38 contests during the regular season. He also played in 10 games with Rogle in the Swedish Hockey League, tallying an assist.

Adam Werner (Bjorkloven, Allsvenskan): Adam Werner and Bjorkloven did not make the playoffs after finishing the regular season in 11th place with a 20-26-6 record. Werner posted a 12-13 record and registered a 2.98 goals-against average, .892 save percentage and two shutouts in 25 games this year. 

Wilhelm Westlund (Timra IK, Allsvenskan): Wilhelm Westlund and Timra IK wrapped up the 2016-17 season after being eliminated from the Meca Hockey Race by IK Pantern. The defenseman finished with one tally and eight helpers during the regular season and had three points (one goal and two assists) in five postseason outings.

Slovakia

Maximilian Pajpach (HK Poprad, Slovak Extraliga): Maximilian Pajpach split time this season between HK Poprad of Slovak Extraliga and MHC Martin B in Slovakia's second-tier pro league. Pajpach had a 4.22 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage in nine games for Poprad. He recorded a 7.05 goals-against average and a .828 save percentage in five contests with MHC Martin B. Pajpach also played in four games with Poprad's under-20 team, where he's registered a 3.41 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

KHL

Denis Parshin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa): Denis Parshin and Salavat Yulaev Ufa finished the 2016-17 season with 88 points (27-20-13) and lost in five games against AK Bars in the East Conference Quarterfinals. Parshin had two assists in five postseason contests after recording 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) in 53 regular-season games.

Andrei Mironov (Dynamo Moscow): Andrei Mironov and Dynamo Moscow concluded the regular season with 112 points (39-16-5) and finished third in the West Conference. The club was eliminated from the KHL playoffs in four games by SKA Saint Petersburg in the West Conference Semifinals. Mironov had three assists in nine playoff games and scored one goal and three helpers in 18 regular season matches. 

High School

Nate Clurman (Culver Academy): Nate Clurman and Culver Academy have been invited to compete at nationals next week. Culver wrapped up the regular season and recently competed in the Mid-Am under-18 districts, where the team fell 3-2 to Columbus in the final.

Central Interior Hockey League

Luke Walker (Terrace River Kings): Luke Walker helped the Terrace River Kings win the Coy Cup in the Central Interior Hockey League in British Columbia. Walker led all players in postseason scoring with seven points (three goals and four assists) in five games after he recorded 24 points (12 goals and 12 assists) in 14 regular-season contests. In the best-of-three championship series against the Williams Lake Stampeders, Walker scored a goal in Game 1 but Terrace lost 4-2 on March 4. The River Kings rallied in the next two road contests, as Walker had a four-point night (goal and three assists) in a 5-4 overtime win on March 11 before the club took the series with a 2-1 victory the next night.

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