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Avalanche Farm Report: March 23

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Spotlight On: Prospect Honors

Several Avalanche prospects were honored last week for their stellar play during the regular season.

-Mark Olver was named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in college hockey. The junior forward leads Northern Michigan University in goals (19), assists (29), points (48), power-play goals (t-6), game-winning goals (t-3) and short-handed tallies (2).

-Victoriaville blueliner Joel Chouinard is being honored for his performance both on and off the ice. Chouinard, who finished second among league defensemen with 68 points (23g/45a) during the regular season, is a finalist for the Emile “Butch” Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL’s top backliner. In addition, Chouinard is one of five finalists for the Marcel-Robert Trophy as the Scholastic Player of the Year.

-Boston University defenseman Colby Cohen was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star after finishing with 30 points (14g/16a) in 36 contests.

-After tying for the league lead in scoring by a defenseman with 72 points (19g/53a), Kelowna’s Tyson Barrie was named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team. Barrie is also a finalist for the WHL Defenseman of the Year, with the winner being announced on April 28.

Lake Erie Monsters
The Lake Erie Monsters had a light load this past week, playing home games on Friday and Saturday.

Lake Erie suffered a 5-3 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday. The Monsters fell behind 2-0 after the first period, but would get goals from Brian Fahey, Ryan Stoa and Ray Macias in the second to keep the game close. Heading into the third period down 4-3, Lake Erie could not muster up a goal and ended up losing 5-3. Tyler Weiman saved 25 shots in his first start since being injured Feb. 13.

The Monsters came back from Friday’s setback to beat the Abbotsford Heat, 3-2, on Saturday. T.J. Hensick opened the scoring for Lake Erie in the first period and the Monsters grabbed a two-goal lead when Brian Willsie fired one home. Abbotsford scored two goals of their own in the second period to tie it up, but Willsie would again score to give Lake Erie a 3-2 lead. With 35 saves from John Grahame, Lake Erie held on in the third for the win.

Lake Erie is now 31-32-0-7 and is fifth in its division, five points out of a playoff spot.

Charlotte Checkers
The Charlotte Checkers have officially extended their season. The Checkers clinched a playoff berth after topping Elmira, Reading and Trenton last weekend, extending their winning streak to seven games in the process.

Charlotte is now 38-20-4-3 and is second in the South Division and fourth in the American Conference.

-North Dakota and Avalanche prospect Brad Malone battled their way from the WCHA Final Five play-in game all the way to the WCHA Championship, where the Fighting Sioux earned a 5-3 win over St. Cloud State to claim the Broadmoor Trophy. 

After beating Minnesota Duluth, 2-0, in Thursday’s play-in game, North Dakota then topped the University of Denver by a 4-3 score in Friday’s semifinal match-up. Malone scored a short-handed goal in the third period that held up as the game-winner and also added an assist. Malone also scored in Saturday’s win over St. Cloud to help the Fighting Sioux earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. North Dakota is slated as the No. 2 seed in the Northeast Regional, where the school will face No. 3 Yale on Saturday in Worcester, Mass.

-Northern Michigan and Mark Olver will hold the No. 3 seed when the West Regional opens Friday in St. Paul, Minn. Olver recorded an assist Friday in the Wildcats’ 5-4 overtime victory over Ferris State in the CCHA Semifinals, but was held off the score sheet during NMU’s 2-1 loss to Michigan during Saturday’s championship game.

-Boston College and Avalanche prospect Paul Carey earned the No. 1 seed in the Northeast Regional after claiming the Hockey East Championship last weekend. After blanking Vermont, 3-0, in the conference semifinals, Boston College took home the title with a 7-6 overtime victory over Maine in the finals. The Eagles will face Alaska on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

-Boston University’s season came to an end Friday as the Terriers dropped a 5-2 decision to Maine in the Hockey East Semifinals. Boston University captain Kevin Shattenkirk recorded a goal and an assist in the loss, while Kieran Millan made 32 saves. Shattenkirk finished his junior campaign with 29 points (7g/22a) in 38 contests, while fellow blueliner Colby Cohen recorded 30 points (14g/16a) in 36 games. Millan wrapped up his sophomore season with a 16-16-0 record and a 3.15 goals-against average.

-Returning from injury just in time for the postseason, Kelsey Tessier has helped stake Moncton to a 2-0 lead in its best-of-seven QMJHL Quarterfinal series against Cape Breton. The center netted a hat trick and added an assist Friday as the Wildcats skated to a 6-3 win. Tessier then recorded three assists in Game Two, a 6-0 Moncton triumph on Saturday.

-Victoriaville defenseman Joel Chouinard has been held pointless in the first two games of his team’s QMJHL Quarterfinal series with Shawinigan. Victoriaville won Friday’s opener by a 6-2 score, but then dropped a 2-1 decision the following night.

-Saskatoon has jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in its best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Red Deer. Stefan Elliott has notched an assist in each of the Blades’ two victories – a 3-0 triumph on Saturday, followed by a 4-0 blanking on Sunday.

-Tyson Barrie and the Kelowna Rockets lost the first two games of their opening round series with the Everett Silvertips. Barrie recorded an assist in Friday’s opener, but Everett pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory. The defenseman was then held off the score sheet during Saturday’s 5-2 loss.

-Cameron Gaunce has helped the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors jump out to a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series with Peterborough. Gaunce picked up an assist Friday as the Majors won Game One by a 4-2 score. Mississauga then won Monday’s rematch, 2-1.

-The Kitchener Rangers hold a 2-1 lead in their playoff series against Saginaw thanks to some strong play from Brandon Maxwell. The goaltender made 27 saves in Friday’s opener, a 3-2 overtime victory for Kitchener. After suffering a 3-1 loss on Saturday, Maxwell (34 saves) and the Rangers came back with a 2-1 win on Monday night.

-Nathan Condon picked up an assist Saturday in Fargo’s 5-2 win over Tri-City and now owns 51 points (23g/38a) in 55 games this season.

Zachary Balside contributed to this report
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