Spotlight On: Troy Bourke
Troy Bourke was featured a few weeks ago in the Farm Report Prospect Spotlight as his season with the Prince George Cougars was winding down. Bourke finished second on the Cougars in scoring this season with 85 points (29 goals and 56 assists). At 19 years old, the young center has proved capable of putting up points quickly at the junior level.
After Prince George finished short of a playoff spot in the Western Hockey League, Bourke continued his season this past weekend with the Lake Erie Monsters after he signed an amateur tryout contract with the Avalanche's American Hockey League affiliate last Wednesday.
Bourke had a dazzling debut Friday with the Monsters, scoring his first professional goal on a rebound while lying on the ice. The goal opened the game's scoring and ended up being the game-winner in Lake Erie's 5-0 victory over Rochester. Despite being “excited and pretty nervous,” Bourke was also able to pick up two assists for a solid three-point outing in his first pro game.
"The guys made me feel pretty comfortable," Bourke said after Friday's game. "I give them a lot of props for keeping me level-headed."
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Bourke was able to chip in with another assist in the Monsters’ 3-0 win over the Americans on Sunday. He has four points in his first two games as a pro and will look for his scoring abilities at the junior level to continue in the professional ranks.
Lake Erie Monsters
Sami Aittokallio was spectacular for the Lake Erie Monsters this past weekend against Rochester. In fact, he was so good that the goaltender was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday. Aittokallio stopped all 48 shots he faced in the two games and has set a personal shutout streak of 172 minutes and 54 seconds. He currently has a 12-11-2 record this season for the Monsters.
On Friday, the Monsters were able to put up plenty of goals in support of Aittokallio, securing a 5-0 victory over the Americans. Recent addition Troy Bourke, who signed an amateur tryout contract last Wednesday, was able to open the scoring for Lake Erie midway through the first period when he scored on a rebound off a shot by Matt Hunwick. Mark Olver was also credited with an assist on the play.
Olver would pick up another assist along with Colin Smith on a second-period goal from Michael Schumacher. JT Wyman would score consecutive goals to push the Monsters’ lead to 4-0 before Olver closed the night with another goal to match Bourke with a three-point game.
The two teams would face off again on Sunday to close the weekend set. Behind the second of Aittokallio’s shutouts, the Monsters bested the Americans 3-0. It was the fourth consecutive game that Lake Erie was able to register a point during the homestretch of its season.
Guillaume Desbiens, Stefan Elliott and Michael Sgarbossa were the goal scorers for the Monsters. The first goal came on a slap shot by Desbiens in the first period and was followed just 43 seconds later when Elliott was able to score his 12th goal of the season off of a pass by Olver. Sgarbossa would pick up his goal midway through the second period after being set up by Bourke and Hunwick.
The Monsters are currently 5-3-1 in March and are fighting to stay alive for the playoffs with their season winding down. They are in 12th place in the AHL Western Conference but sit only seven points out of a playoff spot.
March 26 at Chicago
March 28 at Milwaukee
March 29 at Chicago
Kent Patterson was back in Denver with the Cutthroats after a recent stint with the Lake Erie Monsters. He was strong in his return, stopping 36 of 38 shots in a tough 3-2 shootout loss last Wednesday to Arizona.
Patterson stopped 48 of 49 shots in Friday night’s 2-1 Cutthroat victory, the second game of a three-game set with the Sundogs. He would sit out of the rubber match of the series on Sunday, with Denver losing 4-2. Patterson is now 22-9-7 on the season for the Cutthroats and has a goals-against average of 2.68
March 28 at Allen
March 29 at Allen
March 30 at Tulsa
Kieran Millan (Wheeling Nailers): Millan was not in net for the Nailers this week as Wheeling went 1-1. The Nailers picked up their victory on Wednesday in a 6-2 matchup with Toledo before falling to Evansville, 4-3, on Friday. Millan has appeared in three games for the Nailers this season, going 2-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average.
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Bigras appeared in 55 games for the Attack and had 26 points (four goals and 22 assists) during the regular season. He was voted Best Defensive Defenseman in the OHL Western Conference by league coaches. The Attack is currently down 2-1 in its first-round matchup with Sault Ste. Marie. Bigras had two assists on Friday in Owen Sound's 5-4 win in the series opener, but the Attack is down in the series after losing 7-3 on Saturday and 5-3 on Monday.
Joseph Blandisi (Barrie Colts): Blandisi and the Colts split the first two games of their opening-round series with Sudbury. They were able to take Game 1 on Thursday with a 3-2 road win. The Colts lost Game 2 in overtime by a 4-3 margin. Blandisi appeared in 47 games during the regular season with Ottawa and Barrie. He had 50 points on 24 goals and 26 assists.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): Clarke appeared in 65 regular-season games for the Petes this season, tallying 48 points on 21 goals and 27 assists. The Petes trail Kingston 2-0 in their seven-game series after losing 4-1 on Friday and 5-4 on Sunday.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Martin and the Steelheads are trailing 2-0 to Oshawa in their opening-round matchup. They lost the opener 6-0 on Friday and were beat 3-2 on Sunday. Martin made 33 saves in Game 1 and stopped 36 shots in Game 2. Despite the rough start to the playoffs, Martin was named the best puck-handling and second-best shootout goalie in the Eastern Conference by OHL coaches.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): Bourke's junior team's season is over after Prince George failed to qualify for the WHL playoffs. Bourke closed his season by appearing in 69 games for the Cougars and finishing with 85 points on 29 goals and 56 assists. He signed an amateur tryout contract with Lake Erie last Wednesday.
Cody Corbett (Edmonton Oil Kings): Corbett signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Avalanche on March 5. The Edmonton defenseman appeared in 65 games for the Oil Kings this season, totaling 61 points (17 goals and 44 assists). Edmonton is currently up 2-0 on Prince Albert in its first-round matchup of the WHL playoffs. They opened the series with a 5-3 win on Saturday before taking Game 2 by a 3-1 score on Sunday.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): Geertsen and the Giants trail Portland in WHL Western Conference Quarterfinals after the Winterhawks took the first two games of the series. Portland won 4-3 in Game 1 on Friday and picked up a 3-0 victory in Game 2 on Saturday. Geertsen has eight total penalty minutes in the first two games of the series. He finished the regular season by appearing in 66 games, scoring four goals and contributing 19 assists.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Butcher and the Pioneers were busy this week with their season lives on the line. Denver was successful as it secured a No. 4 seed in the Northeast Regional of the NCAA Tournament after winning the inaugural NCHC Tournament. It defeated Miami (OH) 4-3 in the championship game on Saturday. Butcher had an assist in the finals and played a key role in Friday’s 4-3 semifinal win over Western Michigan. DU, which had to win four straight elimination games to make the national tournament, will face Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): Condon and the No. 1 ranked Gophers were upset 3-1 by Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday. Minnesota was able to keep its top seed as the Gophers are No. 1 overall and will play Robert Morris in the first round of the NCAA Tournament's West Regional on Saturday.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffatt and the Wolverines’ season ended on Thursday after a 2-1 double overtime loss to Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Moffatt finished his senior season by appearing in 34 games and tallying 25 points (13 goals and 12 assists). After wrapping up his college career with the Wolverines, Moffatt signed an amateur tryout contract with the Lake Erie Monsters on Monday.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): Storm and St. Cloud State have earned an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies will be a No. 3 seed in the West Regional and will face Notre Dame in the first round on Saturday. SCSU lost to Miami (OH) in the first round of the NCHC Tournament on March 14-15.
Gus Young (Yale University): Young appeared in 33 games for Yale this season and had a plus-9 rating. The senior finished the regular season with 18 points, tallying seven goals and 11 assists. His college career is over as the Bulldogs failed to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Holos and Lokomotiv are currently tied 2-2 in their second-round matchup with SKA. They opened the series with a 1-0 loss on Thursday before bouncing back with consecutive wins to take a brief 2-1 series lead. Lokomotiv won 5-4 in overtime on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. SKA evened the series on Monday with a 6-1 victory.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Torpedo's season ended with a 2-1 loss to Salavat Yulaev. Parshin did have an assist in Game 7 and appeared in 46 regular-season games for Torpedo. He had 33 points (15 goals and 18 assists).
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars’ season is finished after they lost their first-round playoff series, 4-2, to Sibir. Vincour picked up an assist in both games 4 and 6 of the series. He appeared in 39 games this season for Ak Bars and scored six goals to go along with five assists.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Walker and Medvescak were eliminated in the first round of the KHL playoffs, losing in four games to Lev. Walker played 36 games this season with Medvescak and had three points (one goal, two assists), a minus-11 rating and 20 penalty minutes.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Westlund's Farjestad club won their quarterfinal series 4-1 after defeating Brynas IF 4-3 in Game 5 on Monday. After winning Game 1 by a 2-1 score on March 16, Farjestad won 4-2 in Game 2 on Tuesday and 2-1 in Game 3 on Thursday. Brynas avoided being swept with a 2-0 win in Game 4. Westlund played 11 games this season with Farjestad's SHL team and finished with a minus-3 rating. He has 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 34 games with the Farjestad's J20 team.