Spotlight On: Will Butcher
University of Denver freshman and Avalanche prospect Will Butcher has been a pleasant surprise in his first season with the Pioneers. The defenseman has three goals and one assist in his first 16 games of his collegiate career and his coach expects him to only improve with time.
“He's good. His biggest strength is how smart of an athlete he is," said first-year DU head coach Jim Montgomery of Butcher to the Denver Post on Oct. 11. "When you teach him something, he instantly gets better. His poise and vision are a strength. We're looking for him to be part of the nucleus of the team."
The 18-year-old hails from Madison, Wis., and was a fifth round draft selection for the Avalanche this past summer after spending two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Last week, Butcher was invited to attend the U.S. National Junior Team training camp for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. The rear guard will be one of 29 players at the training camp, which begins Dec. 15 in Minnesota, and will attempt to make Team USA's final 23-man roster for the Dec. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014 tournament.
Butcher is figured to have a good shot at making the U.S. squad with him having already won two medals for the Americans at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship (silver in 2013 and gold in 2012). He also had a strong showing this past summer at USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, where he scored two goals and had four assists in five exhibition games.
The United States is the defending champion at the world juniors.
Lake Erie Monsters
Calvin Pickard was in goal Thursday night and stopped 29 shots to secure a 2-1 victory for the Monsters over the Toronto Marlies. After Toronto scored the game's first goal, Bryan Lerg tied the contest in the second period with a power-play tally. Matt Hunwick had the assist on the goal and then scored one of his own midway in the third period. Hunwick's second goal of the season came while Lake Erie was shorthanded, and it held up as the game winner.
Lake Erie continued the winning trend the next night as it hosted Hamilton and won 4-1. Colin Smith led the Monsters in scoring with two goals, while Joey Hishon and Hunwick also posted goals in the victory. Pickard was back in the net for the Monsters and earned his second straight victory by making 22 saves.
Lerg scored his 11th goal of the season, and Markus Lauridsen was also able to find the back of the net in Sunday’s 6-2 loss to Hamilton. Despite making 22 saves, Pickard's winning streak came to an end in the loss. The Monsters goalie is now 7-7-1 this season.
The Monsters are 12-10-0 this year and are ranked third in the AHL's North Division. Lake Erie has a couple of big games this weekend, including playing an outdoor contest on Friday in Rochester against the Americans.
Friday's outdoor game will be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in Western New York, on SportsTime Ohio in northeast Ohio and nationally on DirecTV (channel 662), Dish Network (channel 431/5431) and AT&T U-Verse (channel 735/1735). The game will also air live on SportsNet in Canada. Live video of outdoor contest will also be available to subscribers of AHL Live (ahllive.com).
The Outdoor game at Frontier Field in Rochester will re-air on the NHL Network in the United States at 10 a.m. MT on Saturday.
Dec. 11 at Rochester
Dec. 13 at Rochester
Dec. 15 at Utica
Kent Patterson was in goal for the Cutthroats' 3-2 shootout loss to St. Charles on Friday night. Patterson stopped 20 shots in the contest and now has a 6-4-3 record this season. Kieran Millan was in the net for Saturday’s 4-2 victory over St. Charles. Millan made 34 saves in the victory and improved his record to 5-2-1 on the season.
Dec. 11 vs. St. Charles
Dec. 13 vs. Arizona
Dec. 14 vs. Arizona
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Owen Sound prevailed over the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday night with a 5-2 victory. Bigras had an assist in Friday night’s 5-3 win over Guelph. The Attack fell 6-2 on Saturday night to the London Knights.
Joseph Blandisi (Ottawa 67’s): The 67’s were shutout by Erie, 2-0, on Friday night. Ottawa could not make up the five-goal deficit on Sunday night and lost 7-2 to Barrie.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): Peterborough fell 6-1 on Thursday to Erie. The Petes lost 6-0 on Friday at Oshawa.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Mississauga was unable to get back into the win column after three more losses this weekend. Martin had 22 saves in Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Niagara. Martin was in goal briefly in Saturday’s 8-1 loss to Sudbury. Martin stopped 32 shots in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to North Bay. Martin is now 13-16-1 this season.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): The Cougars were unable to clinch a shootout victory on Friday as they lost 4-3 to Tri-City. Bourke posted three assists in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Tri-City.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): The Giants fell 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday against Kelowna. Vancouver topped Kootenay 3-2 on Wednesday. The Giants suffered a 4-2 loss to Victoria on Friday, but they returned on Saturday to defeat the Royals 7-4. Geertsen had a goal in Saturday’s victory.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The Pioneers came out even this weekend against Miami University (Ohio). DU won 3-1 on Friday and lost 4-2 on Saturday.
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): The Gophers ended their weekend with a tie and a victory over Michigan State. Condon had an assist in Friday’s 2-2 tie against the Spartans. The Gophers beat the Spartans 3-2 on Saturday.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffatt and the University of Michigan suffered a 5-4 overtime loss in Wednesday’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): Storm and St. Cloud State swept its two-game series this weekend with the University of Minnesota Duluth. St. Cloud overtook Minnesota Duluth 4-2 on Friday and 5-1 on Saturday.
Gus Young (Yale University): Yale suffered a 4-1 loss to Dartmouth on Friday and tied with Harvard, 2-2, on Saturday.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv fell 4-1 to Dinamo Riga on Wednesday. The club came back on Friday and earned a 1-0 overtime victory over Lev Prague. Lokomotiv suffered a 5-3 loss on Sunday to Slovan Bratislava.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Parshin had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Vityaz Moscow Region.
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars earned a 3-2 win over Vityaz Moscow Region on Tuesday. The club was shutout 3-0 by Dynamo Moscow on Thursday.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Medvescak shutout Sibir 2-0 on Wednesday. The club came back and earned its own shutout on Friday, defeating Admiral 2-0. Medvescak lost 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday against Amur.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Farjestads fell 4-1 to Skelleftea AIK on Tuesday. The club came back to defeat MODO Hockey 6-3 on Saturday.