2020 IIHF World Junior Championship
Four Colorado Avalanche prospects are currently participating in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship: Justus Annunen (Finland), Bowen Byram (Canada), Sampo Ranta (Finland) and Danila Zhuravlyov (Russia). The tournament runs from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 and the preliminary round concluded on Tuesday.
Team Canada owned a 3-1-0 record in the preliminary rounds after only falling 6-0 to Russia on Saturday. The Canadians started the tournament with a 6-4 victory over the United States on Thursday and bounced back from the loss to Russia by defeating Germany 4-1 on Monday. Byram recorded an assist in Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Czech Republic for his first point of the tournament, and he leads the team with an average 19:12 on the ice per game and with 76:48 of total ice time. Canada takes on Slovakia in the quarterfinal on Thursday.
Annunen has played in three of Finland's four games so far, owning 1-2-0 record in the preliminary round. He has a 2.62 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage to rank third among all goaltenders in the tournament. He allowed three goals in his first game, a 3-2 victory for Sweden on Thursday, but helped his team to an 8-1 victory over Slovakia only two days later. Finland defeated Kazakhstan 7-1 on Sunday without Annunen between the pipes, but he and his team fell 5-2 to Switzerland on Tuesday. Ranta has notched two helpers and has a plus-3 rating to rank second on the team. Finland owns a 2-2-0 mark in the preliminary rounds and will take on Team USA in the quarterfinals.
Zhuravlyov has recorded two assists in Russia's four games during the preliminary round. Russia fell 4-3 to the Czech Republic on Thursday in its first game of the tournament before defeating the Canadians 6-0 on Saturday. Zhuravlyov notched one helper in the win over Canada, and another assist in Russia's 3-1 loss to the United States on Sunday. Russia claimed a 6-1 victory over Germany on Tuesday in its last game of the preliminary round to finish with a 2-2-0 mark in the first four games. Russia will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Colorado Eagles defeated the Tucson Roadrunners twice this week to extend their win streak to seven games.
The Eagles skated to a 4-3 victory in the first half of a back-to-back series on Saturday. Shane Bowers and Jacob MacDonald tallied for the Eagles in the first and second periods to take a 2-0 lead heading into the third. The Roadrunners scored three times in the third period, but Martin Kaut and Sheldon Dries found the back of the net to bring Colorado the victory. MacDonald notched a helper and was one of two players to have a multi-point game along with T.J. Tynan, who registered two assists. Logan O'Connor, Jayson Megna and Kevin Connauton all also tallied assists to help secure the win. Adam Werner also made 34 saves in the victory.
The Eagles extended their win streak by defeating the Roadrunners 4-1on Sunday. Megna, Nick Henry and A.J. Greer all scored in the contest while MacDonald registered an assist. The 17-10-3 Eagles are on their longest win streak of the season heading into a back-to-back series at the Manitoba Moose on Friday.
Jan. 3 at Manitoba Moose
Jan. 4 at Manitoba Moose
Jan. 10 vs. Tucson Roadrunners
Ty Lewis led the Utah Grizzlies to a 6-1 victory over the Tulsa Oilers on Friday. Lewis scored two goals and notched an assist and Josh Anderson added a helper in the contest to get the Grizzlies started with the lead. Lewis tallied again on Saturday in Utah's 5-4 shootout win over the Oilers, scoring the tying goal to send the game to extra minutes. Travis Barron recorded a helper as well to contribute to the Grizzlies' fourth straight win and bring his point total to 16 (seven goals, nine assists) this season. Utah finished the three-game series against Tulsa on Monday with a 4-1 victory over the club. Lewis and Brandon Saigeon both notched assists in the contest.
Lewis had a six-point series against the Oilers and is now the team's third leading point-getter with 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists). Saigeon has registered 10 points (four goals, six assists) this season on the 17-9-5 Grizzlies. Utah will stay at home to begin another three-game series against the Rapid City Rush on Friday that will conclude on Sunday.
Boston College: No. 5 Boston College is on its holiday break until Saturday when it hosts the University of Vermont. The Eagles are 11-4-0 this year and have not lost since Nov. 1 when they played the University of New Hampshire. Alex Newhook's 12 points (six goals, six assists) rank him fifth on his team, while freshman Drew Helleson has registered five (one goal, four assists) so far this year.
University of Notre Dame: The No. 15 Fighting Irish haven't played since defeating Penn State 3-0 on Dec. 14. Cam Morrison is the second leading scorer (tied) at the break with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists), while Nick Leivermann is tied for the fourth most points after registering 10 (three goals, seven assists). Defenseman Nate Clurman has five assists in his sophomore season so far. Notre Dame returns with a home-and-home series against the University of Western Michigan starting Friday.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Sampo Ranta is currently with Team Finland at the 2020 World Junior Championships. Meanwhile, Minnesota played in the Mariucci Classic on Saturday and Sunday and swept its two games, defeating Bemidji State 5-2 on Saturday and St. Cloud State 4-1 on Sunday. Ranta is tied for the third most points on his team after tallying 10 (seven goals, four assists) in his 18 games. Minnesota is 7-9-4 this season and will return from break for a back-to-back series at Michigan State on Jan. 10.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): No. 8 Penn State has been on break since falling 3-0 to Notre Dame on Dec. 14. Denis Smirnov is tied for fifth most points among the Nittany Lions after recording 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 18 games. Penn State is 13-6-0 this season and will host a back-to-back series against Niagara University beginning Friday.
Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): Cornell is ranked third in the NCAA with a 10-1-0 record this season. Matthew Stienburg has one assist this season and 12 shots after playing nine games with the Big Red. Cornell will enter into the Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas starting on Friday against Ohio State University and concluding against either Army West Point or Providence College on Saturday.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): The University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks have not played since defeating Arizona State 8-4 on Dec. 22. Tyler Weiss ranks third on his team with 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) after playing all but one game this season. The 8-8-2 Mavericks return to action with a back-to-back series at the University of Maine starting Friday.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Alex Beaucage and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies split a back-to-back series against the Val-d'Or Foreurs last weekend. Beaucage scored twice on Saturday and was named the second star of the game in the Huskies' 5-2 victory over the Foreurs. In the second half of the series on Sunday, Rouyn-Noranda fell 4-1 after Beaucage scored the only goal of the contest for the Huskies. The club hosted the Blanville-Broisbirand Armada on Tuesday and fell 8-1. Beaucage leads the Huskies with 46 points (29 goals, 17 assists) and is the 10th leading point-getter in the QMJHL. Rouyn-Noranda (19-14-3) will travel to face the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Friday and Sherbrooke Phoenix on Saturday.
Vancouver Giants: While Bowen Byram was playing for Canada's team at the World Junior Championships, the Vancouver Giants swept a back-to-back series last weekend, beginning with a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Royals on Friday. Trent Miner was in goal for the second half of the series, a 6-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets. He made 25 saves on 27 shots to give him a 2.90 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage this season. The Giants hosted the Royals again on Wednesday, this time falling 1-0 to Victoria. Bryam ranks fifth on his team with 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists) and is tied for the team-high with five power-play points. Vancouver owns a 17-15-2 mark this season and will begin another back-to-back series against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday, then travel to face Kelowna on Saturday.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): The Brandon Wheat Kings were swept in a home-and-home series by the Winnipeg ICE last weekend. After being shut out 4-0 on Friday, Brandon fell 3-2 on Saturday when the ICE scored twice in the third period to get the win. The Wheat Kings began another back-to-back series on Monday against the Regina Pats, defeating the club 4-1 with a goal from Luka Burzan. In the second half on Tuesday, Brandon won 3-1 against the Moose Jaw Warriors after Burzan scored twice in the contest. Burzan leads the 17-17-3 Wheat Kings with 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists) this season. Brandon will next face the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday and travel for a rematch against the Pats on Sunday.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Sasha Mutala recorded two assists--one in each game--this weekend as the Tri-City Americans were swept in a back-to-back series. The Americans lost 3-2 in overtime to the Portland Winterhawks on Friday after owning a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. The second half of the series ended in a regulation 5-3 loss to the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday on the road. Tri-City hosted Spokane on Tuesday and Mutala scored and added two assists to help his team earn a 5-4 overtime win. Mutala leads the Americans with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) this season. Tri-City owns a 13-16-5 record heading into a back-to-back series beginning against the Winterhawks on Saturday and finishing against the Kelowna Rockets on Sunday.
Shamil Shmakov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders): The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders split a back-to-back series last weekend against the Dubuque Fighting Saints, winning 6-5 on Friday and falling 3-2 on Saturday. On Tuesday, the RoughRiders traded the goaltender to the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL. Shmakov last played on Nov. 28 and owned a 3.03 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage with a 4-3-0 record with Cedar Rapids this season and is out with injury.
Justus Annunen (Kärpät): While Justus Annunen was competing with Team Finland in the 2020 World Junior Championships, Kärpät fell 5-2 to JYP on Thursday. Kärpät rallied to overcome an early deficit against the Pelicans on Saturday, claiming a 5-3 victory over the club. The team played again on Monday, this time taking on KalPa and defeating the club 3-1. Annunen has been playing with Team Finland since Nov. 23 and has not dressed in Liiga since then. He owns an 11-0-2 mark this season with a .947 save percentage and 1.226 goals-against average. His record puts him on top of Liiga among all goaltenders as a rookie and he is the only netminder in the league without a regulation loss.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo Moscow played both of its games this week outside of regulation, defeating Barys Nur-Sultan 4-3 in overtime on Friday and falling 5-4 to Metallurg Magnitogorsk in a shootout on Sunday. Sergei Boikov has not played since Nov. 16 due to an injury. He scored two goals this season in his nine games. Dynamo Moscow owns a 25-12-6 mark this season and will next host Kunlun Beijing on Friday before traveling to Spartak Moscow on Sunday.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Nikolai Kovalenko recorded an assist and logged 15:47 of ice time in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 4-3 loss in overtime to Jokerit Helsinki on Thursday. Lokomotiv fell 3-0 to Ak Bars Kazan on Saturday and Kovalenko spent 16:18 on the ice. His team faced CSKA Moscow on Monday, falling to the club 4-3 in overtime with a goal from Kovalenko. He has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) this season for the 23-17-3 club. Lokomotiv hosts its next two games, starting with Amur Khabarovsk on Friday and ending with Kunlun Beijing on Sunday.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars Kazan shut out Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3-0 on Saturday. Danila Zhuravlyov is playing with Team Russia in the 2020 World Junior Championships and has not played with Ak Bars since Dec. 8. He has eight points (one goal, seven assists) this season in the 30 games he has played. Ak Bars leads the Eastern Conference with a 29-8-4 record this season and will take on Traktor Chelyabinsk on Sunday.