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Avalanche Farm Report - Jan. 2

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

The Albany River Rats won three of four games last week, improving to 18-14-2 on the season. The River Rats beat Wilkes Barre/Scranton 4-2 on Wednesday, Dec. 27, and lost 4-2 to the Hershey Bears on Friday, Dec. 29. Albany then won two games, a 2-1 decision over Binghampton on Dec. 20 and a 7-3 victory over Bridgeport on Sunday, Dec. 31. The Avalanche's CHL affiliate, the Arizona Sundogs, took over the Southwest Division lead after winning three of four games last week. The Sundogs (14-12-1) beat the Rocky Mountain Rage 5-3 on Wednesday before winning two straight against division rival New Mexico. Arizona won 5-3 on Friday, Dec. 29 and 8-3 the following night. The Sundogs ended their three-game winning streak with a 2-1 loss to New Mexico on Sunday, Dec. 31.

  • Ben Guite had at least one point in each of Albany's four games last week, including a goal and an assist in the River Rats' 7-3 win over Bridgeport on Sunday and two assists in Albany's 2-1 victory over Binghamton on Saturday, Dec. 30.
  • River Rats forward Matt Murley had a goal and an assist, earning first star of the game honors, in Albany's 4-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, Dec. 27. Jeff Finger (two assists) and Ben Guite (two assists) also had multiple-point games, while goaltender Tyler Weiman stopped 26 of 28 shots to earn second star of the game.
  • Arizona Sundogs defenseman Mike Vernace was selected to represent the Southern Conference at the 2007 CHL All-Star Game, to be held Jan. 17, at Bossier-Shreveport, Louisiana. Vernace was recalled to the Albany River Rats of the AHL on Dec. 28 and had two assists in the River Rats' 7-3 win over Bridgeport.
  • Ryan Steeves scored a goal in the Arizona Sundogs' 5-3 win over New Mexico on Dec. 29 and added three assists in the Sundogs' 8-3 victory over the Scorpions the following evening. Teammate Dan DaSilva had a goal and an assist in each of the games.
  • University of Minnesota sophomore Ryan Stoa scored a goal in Team USA's 3-2 overtime win over Sweden on Sunday, Dec. 31, and had an assist in USA's 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Finland on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at the IIHF World Junior Championships to help Team USA advance to the semifinal round. USA faces Canada in the semifinals on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 a.m. MST.
  • Chris Stewart had five assists in three games with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs last week, including three assists in the Frontenacs' 12-4 win over Erie on Jan. 1.
  • Nigel Williams scored a power play goal in Saginaw's 4-1 win over Sault Ste. Marie on Dec. 28 and added another power play tally in the Spirit's 4-3 loss to Windsor on Dec. 29. Williams also had three assists in Saginaw's 4-1 win over Kitchener on Saturday, Dec. 30.
  • University of Miami (Ohio) forward Justin Mercier scored in both of the Redhawks' games last weekend.
  • T.J. Hensick had an assist in Michigan's 4-1 win over Michigan Tech on Dec. 29. His 27 assists lead the NCAA. Teammate Billy Sauer stopped 27 of 28 shots in the game and had 31 saves in the Wolverines' 4-1 loss to Michigan State the following evening.
  • Ohio State junior Tom Fritsche made his season debut over the weekend and had an assist in both of the Buckeyes' games - a 4-1 win over Minnesota-Duluth on Friday and a 5-3 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. Fritsche had been sidelined for the first half of the season with ulcerative colitis.
  • Brett Hemingway had two assists in the University of New Hampshire's 5-2 loss to Cornell on Dec. 29 and added a goal in the Wildcats' 5-2 win over Western Michigan on Dec. 30.
  • Dartmouth junior David Jones scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal in the Big Green's 4-1 loss to North Dakota on Dec. 29, earning third star of the game honors.
  • Goaltender Ian Keserich was named second star of the game after making 28 saves in Tri-City's 2-1 loss to Sioux City on Dec. 29.
  • The WHL's Prince George Cougars acquired center Chris Durand from the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for center Brett Robertson on Dec. 27.
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