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Avalanche Farm Report: March 12

Colorado Eagles are rolling in their playoff push

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Spotlight On: Spencer Martin G, Colorado Eagles (AHL)

Goaltender Spencer Martin earned his third shutout of the season this week by making all 28 saves in a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Gulls on Saturday. The netminder's previous perfect games came on Jan. 25 against the Ontario Reign and on Dec. 12 versus the Tucson Roadrunners.

Martin owns an 8-9-2 record, 3.38 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in 20 games this year. The Oakville, Ontario, native is in his fourth season in the AHL after starting his career with the San Antonio Rampage, the Colorado Avalanche's previous affiliate.

The goaltender signed with the Avalanche on Oct. 5, 2014 and has played three games with the NHL club. He was drafted in 2013 by Colorado at No. 63 overall in the third round.

Colorado Eagles

A.J. Greer found the scoresheet in both games for the Colorado Eagles this past week, as they posted back-to-back shutouts at the San Diego Gulls and extended their win streak to six games.

On Friday, Pavel Francouz stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over San Diego. During a 4-on-4 situation, Greer and David Warsofsky set up Dominic Toninato to find the back of the net in the third period and the lone goal of the outing. Colorado shut down four power-play opportunities for the Gulls and outshot San Diego 28-24.

The following night saw Greer factor in both goals for the Eagles in a 2-0 shutout win over the Gulls. Mason Geertsen joined Greer on the scoresheet as the two assisted on a first-period tally from Tim McGauley. After a scoreless middle frame, Greer notched his 16th marker of the year to seal the victory with 2:54 left in the game. In 42 AHL games this season, Greer now has 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists), one shy of matching his career best from 2016-17 with San Antonio (38). Spencer Martin made 28 saves to earn his third shutout of the season.

Colorado is presently in a playoff position through 56 contests, standing in fourth place in the Pacific Division with a 30-22-4 record. The Eagles are two points behind second-place San Diego.

Upcoming Games:
March 12 vs. Ontario Reign
March 13 vs. Ontario Reign
March 16 at San Jose Barracuda

Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)

The Grizzlies fell three times this week but continue to rank third in the Mountain Division.

On Wednesday, Josh Dickinson and Josh Anderson both skated in a 1-0 loss at the Rapid City Rush. Goaltender Joe Cannata made 19-of-20 saves in the outing. Following the contest, Dickinson was reassigned to the Colorado Eagles.

The Grizzlies were held scoreless again on Friday, falling 3-0 to Rapid City. Utah outshot the Rush 41-24 as Cannata stopped 21-of-23 shots he faced.

Utah found the back of the net three times on Saturday and battled Rapid City into a shootout before ultimately dropping the contest 4-3. Cannata served as the backup netminder in the outing as the Grizzlies outshot the Rush 34-27. Anderson skated in all three outings this past week and has tallied one goal and four assists through 44 contests this season. Cannata, who has played in 34 games for Utah this year, sports a 15-13-4 record, 2.78 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

The Grizzlies return to the ice on Thursday to begin a three-game homestand against the Rush.

NCAA

University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame swept its quarterfinal series against the Michigan State University Spartans in two games at the Big Ten Tournament last week. On Friday, Cam Morrison registered three shots on goal as the Fighting Irish topped the Spartans 1-0. Notre Dame held Michigan State scoreless the following game as well, beating them 2-0. Morrison recorded another three shots while Nate Clurman posted a plus-2 rating. Nick Leivermann also skated in both outings and has two points (one goal, one assist) during his freshman season. Clurman, another first-year skater on the team, has also generated two points (two assists) this season, while Morrison, a junior, has accumulated 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 28 games this campaign. With the victories, Notre Dame advances to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals and will face Sampo Ranta and the University of Minnesota on Saturday. Notre Dame went 1-3-0 against Minnesota during the regular season.

Shane Bowers (Boston University): The Terriers wrapped up their regular season on Saturday with a 6-0 loss at the University of Maine. Bowers won 10-of-15 faceoffs in the loss. The BU sophomore has racked up 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 33 contests this season. He also recorded two short-handed goals as well. Boston University will begin the Hockey East Playoffs with a best-of-three first-round series against UMass Lowell on Friday. The Terriers split their series with UMass Lowell during the regular season, going 1-1-0.

Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts): Makar extended his point streak to five games (three goals, five assists) as his team concluded the regular season. The Avalanche prospect factored on two of the three goals (two assists) scored by UMass in a 4-3 loss to the University of Connecticut of Friday. The helpers brought his season total to 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists), doubling the amount of points from his freshman campaign and the most ever recorded in a single season by a UMass defenseman. He leads the Hockey East Conference in scoring and ranks second overall among NCAA blueliners. The Minutemen begin the Hockey East Quarterfinals on Friday with a best-of-three series against the University of New Hampshire. UMass owned a 2-0-0 record against UNH during the main campaign.

Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Ranta and his team swept the University of Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals this week. On Friday, the Gophers battled the Wolverines to a 3-2 overtime victory. Ranta, who accumulated 14 points (five goals, nine assists) during his freshman regular season with Minnesota, notched an assist on the goal that sent the game into the extra period. He did not reach the scoresheet on Saturday, but his team beat Michigan 4-1. On Saturday, the Gophers will be in South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals. Minnesota went 3-1-0 against the Fighting Irish during the regular season.

Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Smirnov and the Penn State Nittany Lions beat the University of Wisconsin in a three-game quarterfinal series this past week. Penn State dropped the first contest 4-3 but rallied the following evening for a 6-2 win. In the series-determining clash on Sunday, Smirnov had an assist on the game's opening marker for his 14th helper and 22nd point (eight goals, 14 assists) of the year. The game eventually went into overtime and the Nittany Lions lit the lamp at 10:50 into the extra frame to continue its postseason. Next up, Penn State will visit Big Ten top-seed Ohio State University on Sunday in the conference semifinals.

Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Weiss recorded another multi-point performance this week as the University of Nebraska Omaha concluded the regular season with a pair of losses against the University of North Dakota. Weiss recorded a goal and an assist on Saturday to help send the game into overtime, but the team eventually fell 5-4 in the extra frame. The Mavericks began the weekend with a 2-1 loss to the Fighting Hawks on Friday. In 23 contests during his first year with Nebraska, Weiss put up 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and has four points (one goal, three assists) in his last four games. The Mavericks will begin a best-of-three series in the NCHC Tournament on Friday against the University of Minnesota Duluth. UNO dropped both of its contests against Minnesota Duluth this past year.

OHL

Brandon Saigeon (Oshawa Generals): Oshawa won its first two games of the week before dropping its final contest on Sunday. Saigeon extended his point streak to three games with his 51st assist of the season on a power-play marker in the Generals' 7-1 rout of the North Bay Battalion on Friday. Oshawa beat the Ottawa 67's 3-2 the next night in Saigeon's 300th OHL game before falling 3-0 to the 67's on Sunday. Saigeon ranks 12th in the OHL with 88 total points (37 goals, 51 assists) this season generated with Oshawa and the Hamilton Bulldogs. With a 41-20-4 record, the Generals rank fourth in the Eastern Conference and have clinched a playoff berth.

WHL

Nick Henry (Lethbridge Hurricanes): Henry is now on a 10-game point streak (six goals, 11 assists) after recording a point in all three games the Hurricanes played this week. On Wednesday, Henry registered two assists to help Lethbridge to a 4-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. The recently-signed Avalanche prospect found the back of an empty net on Friday, sealing a 5-2 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers. On Saturday, the Hurricanes extended their win streak to a season-high six games as they topped the Calgary Hitmen 7-4. Henry notched another assist in the outing and has helped his team clinch home-ice advantage in Round 1 of the WHL Playoffs. Lethbridge is 9-1-0-0 in its last 10 contests and, with a 38-18-5-5 record this season, ranks second in the Central Division. Having split time between the Regina Pats and Hurricanes this year, Henry has racked up 91 points (27 goals, 64 assists) in 67 contests. He ranks tied for second in the league for helpers and holds the seventh spot for overall scoring. The team finishes the regular season against the Red Deer Rebels on Friday and Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday.

KHL

Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv Yaroslalv advanced to the West Conference Semifinals this week after beating HC Sochi in six games. In the fifth game of the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Lokomotiv shutout HC Sochi with a 3-0 win. The club secured its place in the second round on Thursday with a 5-3 victory. Kovalenko did not skate in either matchup but has produced one assist in three playoff appearances so far. This is the third year in a row that Lokomotiv has made it to the conference semifinals. The club will face off against SKA Saint Petersburg to begin a best-of-seven series on Wednesday. During the regular season, Kovalenko registered five goals and one assist in 33 games.

Russia Jr.

Danila Zhuravlyov (Irbis Kazan): Zhuravlyov wrapped up the regular season with Irbis Kazan of Russia's junior league after completing the Supreme Hockey League (VHL) season with Bars Kazan. The 18-year-old defenseman finished his first full year of pro hockey with Bars Kazan by registering five points (five assists) through 40 outings. His club missed the playoffs after losing the tiebreaker in the standings. He then skated in the final four regular season games for Irbis Kazan, which also missed the postseason. Zhuravlyov represented Russia in seven contests at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship where he registered one assist.

Shamil Shmakov (Sibirskie Snaipery): Shmakov's season came to an end on March 1 after Sibirskie Snaipery failed to qualify for the playoffs. In 23 appearances with Sibirskie this season, Shmakov posted a 7-11-1 record with a .915 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average. He was named the MHL Goaltender of the Month (East) for November after posting a .963 save percentage, 0.99 goals-against average and 5-0 record in seven games played.

Czech Republic

Petr Kvaca (Ceske Budejovice): Ceske Budejovice continued to compete in the first round of the playoffs this week, winning its series against AZ Residomo Havirov 4-2. On Tuesday in Game 3, Kvaca started in net and made 35-of-36 saves to help his team to a 2-1 victory. The Avalanche prospect served as the backup the following night in Game 4 as his team won again, beating Havirov 4-3 to take a 3-1 series lead. Kvaca was back between the pipes during Friday's contest and stopped 21 shots in a 3-2 loss. On Saturday, Kvaca was the backup in Ceske Budejovice's 4-1 victory to win the series in six games. Kvaca appeared in 20 outings during the regular season and accumulated two assists, three shutouts, a 1.80 goals-against average and .924 save percentage to go with a 12-7 record. Ceske Budejovice begin the semifinals on Friday against VHK Robe Vsetin.

Finland

Justus Annunen (Hermes, Mestis): As the team's regular season is almost over, Hermes picked up two more wins this week. Annunen served as the backup on Wednesday as his team beat Tuto Hockey 3-2. He then started in net on Saturday, making 25 saves to help his team to a 3-2 victory over KeuPa HT. With a 28-15-5 record, Hermes stands tied for first in the Mestis league. Annunen sports a 13-8 record along with a 2.77 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. Hermes wraps up its season this week with a matchup against KeuPa HT on Wednesday and RoKi Rovaniemi on Friday.

Sweden

Adam Werner (Farjestad BK, SHL): Farjestad extended its win streak to four games this week. Werner sat as the backup on Tuesday as Farjestad beat Brynas 4-1 and on Thursday when his club won by the same score over Orebro. He appeared between the pipes on Saturday, stopping 21 shots to earn his 15th win of the year in a 2-1 victory over Vaxjo. Werner has appeared in 25 contests with Farjestad this year, producing a 15-6-2 record, 2.03 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. Farjestad concludes the 2018-19 regular-season campaign with a clash against Lulea on Tuesday and Djurgarden on Thursday. With a 27-6-4-13 record, Farjestad ranks second in the league and has clinched a playoff berth.

Gustav Olhaver (Tingsryds AIF, Allsvenskan): Tingsryds AIF went 1-1-0 this week. Olhaver registered one shot on goal in a 2-1 loss against Vasterviks IK and skated in Friday's outing against Oskarshamn when the club won 3-2 in overtime. Olhaver generated eight points (four goals, four assists) in 51 appearances with Tingsryds this year. The club finished the regular season in 12th place with an 18-25-5 record. The team missed the postseason but also missed in having to play in a series to avoid relegation.

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