2020 IIHF World Junior Championship
The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, which ran from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, featured four Colorado Avalanche prospects: Bowen Byram (Canada), Justus Annunen (Finland), Sampo Ranta (Finland), and Danila Zhuravlyov (Russia). Byram and Zhuravlyov met in the gold medal game on Sunday and Team Canada took home the gold.
Byram, Colorado's first-round pick in 2019 (No. 4 overall), earned an assist on the goal that sparked Canada's come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over Russia to win the gold medal. Byram notched two assists in seven games.
Zhuravlyov, Colorado's fifth-round pick in 2018 (No. 146 overall), skated in all seven games for Russia and the defenseman had two assists and a plus-3 rating for his country. He picked up his second medal at the World Juniors, this time a silver after he also earned bronze with Russia in 2019.
Annunen, the Avs' third-round pick in 2018 (No. 64 overall), turned in a 30-save performance in Finland's 1-0 shutout of the United States in the quarterfinals. Finland went on to lose 5-0 to Canada in the semis. The goaltender finished the tournament with a .916 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average in seven contests. He was in net for 362:01 minutes, second-most among the 11 goalies. Ranta, drafted by the Avalanche in the third-round in 2018 (No. 78 overall), played in all seven games for Team Finland and recorded two assists.
The tournament was held in the Czech Republic this year and with Canada and Russia earning the gold and silver medals, respectively, Sweden went home with the bronze. Next year's IIHF World Junior Championship will take place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, Canada from Dec. 26, 2020 until Jan. 5, 2021.
Adam Werner saved all 30 shots he faced to lead the Colorado Eagles to a 1-0 shutout over the Manitoba Moose on Friday, improving his record to 12-5-1-2 with a .915 save percentage and 2.70 goals-against average.
Shane Bowers and Dan Renouf assisted on the only goal of the game. Bowers now has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 24 contests.
The Eagles lost 4-3 in overtime the next night. A.J. Greer scored his eighth goal while Calle Rosen added two assists to bring his point-total to 11 (two goals, nine assists) in 19 games. Bowers, Sheldon Dries, Jacob MacDonald and T.J. Tynan each earned an assist on the night. Dries has 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 31 games and Tynan has 23 (three goals, 20 assists) in 20 games. Adam Werner stopped 20 of 24 shots on goal.
Colorado (18-10-3-1) is in third place in the Pacific Division, gearing up for a back-to-back set at home against the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday and Saturday, before traveling to face the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday.
Jan. 10 vs. Tucson Roadrunners
Jan. 11 vs. Tucson Roadrunners
Jan. 15 at San Jose Barracuda
The Utah Grizzlies played three-straight contests against the Rapid City Rush, from Jan. 3 to 5, winning the first game before losing the next two.
Travis Barron turned in a two-point night (one goal, one assist) in the Grizzlies 6-1 win on Friday, and Ty Lewis added a goal. The former now has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 23 games, more than doubling his total from last year, while the latter has 26 (14 goals, 12 assists) in 19 games, also doubling his previous mark.
Lewis also had a two-point night (one goal, one assist) in the next game, a 3-2 shootout loss, and Barron earned an assist in Sunday's 5-2 loss. Brandon Saigeon skated in all three games and now has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 27 games.
Utah (18-10-4-2) faces a four-game road trip next, starting against the Wichita Thunder on Friday. The Grizzlies then play the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday, before a back-to-back set at the Allen Americans on Monday and Tuesday.
Boston College: Alex Newhook earned an assist in the Eagles 8-3 win over Vermont on Saturday, their first game after nearly a month off. Drew Helleson also skated and blocked two shots in the win. Newhook has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 16 games, including five in the last five games. Helleson has five points (one goal, four assists) in 16 games. Boston College (12-4) plays a home-and-home set against UMass on Friday and Saturday.
University of Notre Dame: Cam Morrison turned in a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in Notre Dame's 4-1 win over Western Michigan on Sunday. Nate Clurman also had an assist in the win, his fifth on the year. The Irish tied Western Michigan 1-1 on Friday, as Morrison scored the lone goal. He has 15 points in 19 games (five goals, 10 assists), the second most on the team. Nick Leivermann, who skated in both games over the weekend, has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 19 games. Notre Dame (10-7-3) plays two straight against Michigan on Friday and Saturday.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Sampo Ranta represented his country at the 2020 IIHF World Juniors and recorded two assists in seven games for Finland in the tournament. Finland made it to the semifinal, falling to eventual champion, Canada. The Golden Gophers (7-9-4) play a back-to-back set against Michigan State on Friday and Saturday.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Denis Smirnov skated in Penn State's back-to-back wins--by scores of 3-2 and 2-0--over Niagara University on Friday and Saturday. Smirnov has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 20 games this year, needing seven more to surpass his mark from last season (22). The Nittany Lions (15-6) play Robert Morris University on Saturday.
Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): Matthew Stienburg scored his first collegiate goal in Cornell's 5-2 win over Ohio State on Friday, in the Big Red's first game of the Fortress Invitational at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Stienburg, who has two points (one goal, one assist) in 11 games, also skated in Cornell's 2-2 tie against Providence College on Saturday. The Big Red (11-1-1) plays Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Friday and then Union College on Saturday.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Tyler Weiss notched an assist in Nebraska Omaha's 2-2 tie against Maine on Friday, his 15th point of the season (three goals, 12 assists) and third straight game with an assist. Weiss skated in the 3-2 loss to Maine on Saturday but saw his point streak snapped. Nebraska Omaha (8-9-3) plays back-to-back games against North Dakota on Friday and Saturday.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Alex Beaucage scored and added an assist in Rouyn-Noranda's 5-2 loss to Sherbrooke on Saturday, after skating in its 4-0 loss to Drummondville on Friday. Rouyn-Noranda also fell to Blainville-Boisbriand 7-3 on Wednesday. In 38 games, Beaucage leads his team with 48 points (30 goals, 18 assists), 14 of which have come since Dec. 1. The Huskies (19-17-2-1) play at Sherbrooke on Thursday, before two straight at Rimouski on Saturday and Sunday.
Vancouver Giants: Bowen Byram was competing at the 2020 IIHF World Juniors and earned an assist in Canada's 4-3 championship win over Russia on Sunday. Bryam finished with two assists in seven games. Trent Miner has not played since Dec. 28, in a 25-save win. Miner is 7-7-0 this year with a .901 save percentage. In both players absence last week, Vancouver lost 2-1 in overtime to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday and fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday. The Giants (17-16-2-2) play a home-and-home set against the Spokane Chiefs on Friday and Saturday.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Luka Burzan scored two goals in the Wheat Kings 5-0 win over the Regina Pats on Sunday and added a goal in Brandon's 4-3 win versus the Medicine Hat Tigers on Tuesday, bringing him to a team-leading 42 points (21 goals, 21 assists) on the year. The Wheat Kings also beat the Prince Albert Raiders 1-0 on Friday. The Wheat Kings (20-17-1-2) play the Red Deer Rebels on Friday and the Prince George Cougars on Wednesday.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Sasha Mutala picked up two assists in the Americans 6-2 loss to the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday. He also scored a goal in their 7-3 loss to the Kelowna Rockets on Sunday. Mutala now has 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 35 games this year, and he's on a 10-game point streak (four goals, 10 assists). The Americans (13-18-4-1) play the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday, then the Regina Pats on Saturday before a back-to-back set against the Victoria Rebels on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Shamil Shmakov (Springfield Jr. Blues): Shamil Shmakov, who had not played for the USHL's Cedar Rapids Roughriders since Nov. 28 as he dealt with an injury, was traded to the NAHL's Springfield Jr. Blues on Dec. 31. Shmakov had a 4-3-0 record with a .901 save percentage and a 3.03 goals-against average in seven games this season with Cedar Rapids. He has not played with his new team as he is still injured.
Justus Annunen (Karpat): Justus Annunen saved all 30 shots he faced in Finland's 1-0 win over the United States in the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Juniors Tournament on Thursday. Finland lost 5-0 in the next round to the eventual gold-medal winner, Team Canada. Annunen saved 34 of 39 shots in the semis and 23 of the 26 shots he faced in the bronze medal game on Sunday versus Sweden, giving him a .916 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average in seven contests. Annunen was in net for 362:01 minutes, second-most among the 11 goalies who played at the tournament. Meanwhile, Karpat played one game this week, a 3-0 win against SaiPa on Saturday. This week, Karpat will take on TPS on Friday, Lynx on Saturday and Poleaxe on Wednesday.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo Moscow fell 4-1 to CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, one day after earning a 4-2 win against Amur Khabarovsk. Dynamo Moscow shutout Kunlun RS 2-0 on Friday before blanking Spartak Moscow 3-0 on Sunday. Sergei Boikov has been out with an injury since Nov. 16, scoring a goal in his most recent game. He has two goals in nine games this season. Dynamo Moscow (28-13-6) plays Salavat Yulaev on Friday and SKA St. Petersburg on Sunday.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv Yaroslavl defeated Salavat Yulaev 2-1 in overtime on Wednesday. Nikolai had two assists in Lokomotiv's 5-0 win over Kunlun RS on Sunday after helping his team earn a 2-0 victory versus Amur Khabaroovsk on Friday. He has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 40 games, more than tripling his total from last year. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (26-17-3) plays Sibir Novosibirsk on Friday and Barys Nur-Sultan on Sunday.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): Danila Zhuravlyov was competing in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Tournament and had two assists in seven games playing for Russia, which took home the silver medal. The defenseman had a plus-3 rating in the tournament. This week in his absence, Ak Bars Kazan won 4-3 in overtime against Traktor Chelyabinsk. Ak Bars (31-8-4) defeated Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2-0 on Tuesday. They play Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Region on Friday, then Admiral Vladivostok on Sunday and Amur Khabarovsk on Wednesday.