Prospect Spotlight: Logan O'Connor
Logan O'Connor hit the 10-goal mark on Saturday after he scored his ninth of the season to spot the Eagles an early 1-0 lead over the Stockton Heat and notched his 10th in the third period. His two-goal night sprung Colorado to a critical 4-3 win against a division rival, a team that's currently one spot ahead in the standings.
O'Connor also recorded an assist the night before, in the Eagles 6-2 win against the Bakersfield Condors. He saw his season-long, four-game point streak end on Monday after he tallied three goals and two assists during the stretch (Jan. 11 to 18).
O'Connor signed an entry-level contract with the Avalanche in 2018 after playing three seasons at the University of Denver. Earlier this season, as the Avalanche dealt with injuries, O'Connor was called up for seven games from Nov. 19 to Dec. 4. He scored his first NHL goal in the Avs 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 27. He has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 31 games this year with the Eagles.
The Eagles beat the Bakersfield Condors 6-2 on Friday, before earning a 4-3 win against the Stockton Heat on Saturday. Colorado fell in the second of two straight contests versus the Heat with a 5-0 loss on Monday.
The first game of the week featured a long list of contributors. Shane Bowers and Jayson Megna both turned in two-point nights (one goal, one assist) in the 6-2 win over Bakersfield, while Sheldon Dries, Jacob MacDonald and Calle Rosen each added another goal. Martin Kaut was credited with three assists and T.J. Tynan earned two on the night. A.J. Greer, Logan O'Connor and Anton Lindholm all notched one helper. Adam Werner saved 23 of 25 shots on goal to reach his 14th win (14-7-1-2 after Monday).
In the second contest, a 4-3 win over Stockton, O'Connor scored two goals and Dan Renouf added two more points (one goal, one assist). Tynan had two assists for the second straight game while Dries and Greer each added one.
Despite their loss on Monday, the Eagles (21-13-3-1) remain in third place in the Pacific Division. Tynan leads the team with 29 points (three goals, 26 assists) in 26 games. Dries sits in second with 28 (15 goals, 13 assists) and MacDonald is third with 25 (seven goals, 18 assists).
Jan. 24 vs. San Antonio Rampage
Jan. 25 vs. San Antonio Rampage
Jan. 31 at Tucson Roadrunners
The Grizzlies won their third straight on Monday, as Josh Dickinson converted on his opportunity in a shootout to secure a 2-1 victory over the Idaho Steelheads.
Dickinson notched two assists in the game on Friday, a 4-1 win against the Wichita Thunder, including one on the game-winner. Ty Lewis earned an assist on the insurance goal. And in Saturday's 3-1 win, Dickinson added another assist before Travis Barron scored an empty-net goal.
Barron has 24 (10 goals, 14 assists) in 30. Dickenson has 15 (10 goals, five assists) in 12 games and Brandon Saigeon has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 34 games. Lewis was named the ECHL Player of the Week for Jan. 13-19 after he had seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games. He is third on the team in points with 34 (18 goals, 16 assists) in 26 contests this season.
The Grizzlies (23-11-5-2) jumped to second in their division this week and will play a back-to-back set at home against the Allen Americans on Friday and Saturday. Utah then travels to Atlanta for two straight against the Atlanta Gladiators on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Boston College: Alex Newhook scored a goal and Drew Helleson earned an assist in the Eagles 3-2 win over UMass Lowell on Friday. Both players also skated in the Eagles 4-3 win over Boston University on Saturday. Newhook has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 20 games and Helleson, a defenseman, has six (one goal, five assists). Boston College (15-5) plays a back-to-back set at home against Maine on Friday and Saturday.
University of Notre Dame: The Irish tied Ohio State 4-4 on Friday and lost to the Buckeyes 2-1 on Saturday. Cam Morrison, Nick Leivermann and Nate Clurman did not record a point over the weekend though the former still leads the team in points with 18 (six goals, 12 assists) in 24 games. Leivermann has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 22 games and Clurman has six assists in 24 games. Notre Dame (10-10-4) plays Wisconsin at home on Friday and Saturday.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): The Gophers lost an exhibition contest to the U.S. Under-18 team on Friday, 2-1, but Sampo Ranta earned an assist on Minnesota's lone goal. Ranta, who competed for Finland in the 2020 World Juniors, has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 20 regular season games this year. Minnesota (8-10-4) plays the Buckeyes at home on Friday and Saturday.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Penn State tied the University of Michigan 4-4 on Saturday, responding after a 6-0 shutout loss to the Wolverines the night before. Denis Smirnov skated in both outings over the weekend and has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 23 games this year. The Nittany Lions (16-7-1) travel to Michigan State for back-to-back games against the Spartans on Friday and Saturday.
Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): Matthew Stienburg earned an assist in Cornell's 3-1 win over Northern Michigan on Saturday, one night after skating in the Big Red's 2-2 tie with Northern Michigan. Stienburg has a goal and three assists in 15 games this year. Cornell (13-1-3) plays at home against Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Nebraska Omaha tied University of Denver in back-to-back games over the weekend, 1-1 on Friday and 2-2 on Saturday. Tyler Weiss skated in both games and recorded an assist in the second contest, giving him 16 points (three goals, 13 assists), third-most on the team, in 23 games. Nebraska Omaha (9-10-5) plays two straight at Colorado College on Friday on Saturday.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Alex Beucage had three assists in Rouyn-Noranda's 6-2 win against Val-d'Or Foreurs on Wednesday to help his team go 2-0-1 this week. The Huskies opened the week with a back-to-back set against the Quebec Remparts and fell 5-4 in a shootout on Friday before earning a 4-2 win on Saturday. Beaucage also recorded an assist in the first game and he now has a team-leading 55 points (30 goals, 25 assists) in 45 games this year. The Huskies (22-19-2-2) play the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday before a meeting Val-d'Or again on Sunday.
Vancouver Giants: The Vancouver Giants went 2-1-0 this week after it played three games in three days. Vancouver won 4-1 on Friday versus the Victoria Royals before Bowen Byram picked up an assist in Vancouver's 6-2 win over the Victoria Royals on Saturday, a game in which Trent Miner saved 19 of 21 shots he faced to earn his eighth win of the season. The Giants lost 4-0 to the Kamloops Blazers on Sunday with Miner serving as the backup goaltender. Byram has 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 30 games this season and Miner is 8-7-2 with a .901 save percentage and a 2.85 goals-against average. Vancouver (19-19-2-2) plays the Everett Silvertips on Thursday, then the Kelowna Rockets in a home-and-home set on Saturday and Sunday.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Luka Burzan scored two goals in Brandon's 6-0 win against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday, bringing his season total to a team-leading 24 tallies in 44 games. He also leads the Wheat Kings with 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists). Burzan skated in the Wheat Kings 3-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen on Friday but did not record a point. Brandon (24-17-1-2) plays the Victoria Rebels on Friday, followed by the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday, Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday and Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): The Americans lost both games of a back-to-back set at the Kamloops Blazers on Friday and Saturday, by scores of 12-3 and 9-0. Sasha Mutala earned an assist in the first game, giving him a team-leading 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in 41 contests this year. Tri-City (14-23-4-1) plays the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, then the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday.
Shamil Shmakov (Springfield Jr. Blues): Shamil Shmakov has not played since Nov. 28 when he was with the USHL's Cedar Rapid RoughRiders as he dealt with an injury. He was acquired by the NAHL's Springfield Jr. Blues on Dec. 31. He has yet to play in a game for his new team.
Justus Annunen (Karpat): Justus Annunen saved 21 of the 23 shots he faced in Friday's 3-1 loss to Lukko. It marked the first regular season loss for Annunen, who's returned to Liiga recently after competing for Finland in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. Karpat beat Assat 6-5 in a shootout on Saturday with Annunen as the backup. Annunen is 11-2-1 this year with a .944-save percentage and a 1.32 goals-against average, best in the league in both stats. Karpat (25-8-7) plays Ilves on Thursday, then TPS on Saturday and KalPa on Wednesday.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo Moscow fell 2-0 to Ak Bars Kazan on Tuesday, after losing to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 6-4 on Thursday. Sergei Boikov has been out with an injury since Nov. 16. He has two goals in nine games this season. Dynamo Moscow (30-15-7) plays Vityaz Moscow on Thursday before a rematch against Torpedo on Tuesday.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv Yaroslavl fell 3-1 to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Region on Tuesday. Nikolai Kovalenko played 13:23 in the outing and has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 44 games. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (26-20-4) plays CSKA Moscow on Thursday, then Vityaz Moscow Region on Saturday and HC Sochi on Monday.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars Kazan earned a 2-0 win over Dynamo Moscow on Tuesday, after losing 3-1 to Kunlun RS Beijing on Thursday. Danila Zhuravlyov, who rejoined the team after competing for Russia in the IIHF World Junior Tournament, skated in both games. Ak Bars Kazan (34-11-4) plays Salavat Yulaev Ufa on Thursday, Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg on Saturday then Traktor Chelyabinsk on Monday and Vityaz Moscow on Wednesday.