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Avalanche Farm Report: March 26

Notre Dame wins its second consecutive Big Ten championship

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Spotlight On: Cam Morrison, LW, University of Notre Dame

Morrison netted his second goal of the postseason on Saturday, the game-winner, to lead Notre Dame to its second consecutive Big Ten Championship in a victory over Penn State. It was Morrison's second game-winning tally in a tournament championship game after he scored in overtime in last season's final against Ohio State University.

The forward is in his third season with the Fighting Irish and has accumulated 21 points so far (10 goals, 11 assists) through 30 outings. The junior was named the Big Ten's All-Tournament Team after scoring in back-to-back games of the conference playoffs.

Morrison was selected in the second round (40th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2016 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound left wing has racked up 67 points (30 goals, 37 assists) in 110 contests in his collegiate career.

Colorado Eagles

Although the Eagles fell twice this week against the Manitoba Moose, they still gained a key point in the standings.

On Friday, David Warsofsky recorded a team-high six shots on goal in a 2-0 loss against the Manitoba Moose. The Eagles shut down 2-of-3 penalties they took and outshot Manitoba 33-24. Pavel Francouz made 22 saves in net.

On Saturday, Colorado battled the Moose to a 3-2 overtime loss. Logan O'Connor found the back of the net for the 16th time this year in the first period, while A.J. Greer lit the lamp on a power play to notch his 18th marker of the campaign. Sheldon Dries factored on both goals (two assists) bringing his season total to six helpers while Warsofsky and Sergei Boikov also registered assists in the outing. The game went into overtime tied 2-2, but Manitoba netted the game-winner 1:15 into the extra frame to finish the evening. Colorado went 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Francouz stopped 28 shots, and the goaltender now owns a 25-15-3 record this season along with a 2.62 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

With 71 points, the Eagles stand tied for third in the Pacific Division and are in a playoff position with six contests left in the regular season.

Upcoming Games:
March 29 at Tucson Roadrunners
March 30 at Tucson Roadrunners
April 6 at Chicago Wolves

Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)

The Grizzlies clinched a spot in the 2019 Kelley Cup Playoffs this week as the team went 1-1-0.

On Friday, Utah beat the Allen Americans 5-2 to secure the club's place in the postseason. Josh Anderson recorded two shots on goal while Joe Cannata served as backup netminder in the victory.

The team fell to the Americans the following day, converting on 3-of-7 power plays but losing 6-3. Similar to Friday, Anderson registered two shots and Cannata dressed but stayed on the bench for the duration of the clash as the backup. Anderson has accumulated five points (one goal, four assists) in 49 appearances this year. Cannata has played 36 games with Utah this season, generating a 16-14-2 record, .905 save percentage and 2.79 goals-against average.

The Grizzlies have made the playoffs 11 times in the past 12 seasons. With seven games remaining in the campaign, Utah has 76 points and ranks fifth in the Western Conference. The club returns to the ice on Wednesday to take on the Wichita Thunder.

NCAA

University of Notre Dame: Nate Clurman skated alongside Cam Morrison on Saturday, as Morrison notched the game-winning goal in the second period to help Notre Dame capture the Big Ten Championship with a 3-2 victory over Penn State University. He has now tallied 10 goals and 11 assists in his junior season with the Fighting Irish. It is the second year in a row the team is the Big Ten Tournament champions. Fellow Avalanche prospect Nick Leivermann did not play in the game. Notre Dame now heads to NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season where it will be a No. 2 seed. The Fighting Irish will play Clarkson University in the Northeast Regional Semifinals on Friday.

Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts): Makar saw his seven-game point streak (five goals, seven assists) come to an end on Friday as his team fell 3-0 to Boston College at the Hockey East Semifinals. Makar registered a team-high six shots in the loss. The defenseman has put up 46 points this season (15 goals, 31 assists) and was named the Hockey East Player of the Year prior to the contest on Thursday. He was also named to the Hockey East First-Team and announced as a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Despite the loss, UMass advances to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed and will face off against Harvard on Friday.

Shane Bowers (Boston University): Bowers and the Terriers fell 2-1 in overtime to Northeastern at the Hockey East Semifinals on Friday. Bowers notched four shots on goal in the contest and finished the season with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games during his sophomore campaign. Bowers, a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, also represented Canada on the world stage this year, playing five games and recording two assists at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Although Penn State outshot the Fighting Irish 48-29 and held Notre Dame scoreless on two power-play chances, the Nittany Lions fell 3-2 to Notre Dame in the Big Ten Championship Game, ending their 2018-19 campaign. The Nittany Lions finished with a 22-15-2 overall record and will not advance to the NCAA Tournament. Smirnov notched four shots in the outing and generated 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in his junior year with Penn State. The forward registered a career-high four points (two goals, two assists) this season (Feb. 22 against Wisconsin) and produced one assist in the Big Ten tournament run.

Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Ranta finished out his season on March 16 as the Gophers fell to Notre Dame at the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals. In his freshman year, Ranta played in 36 outings with Minnesota, racking up 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). He recorded a season-high three points (three assists) against Notre Dame on Jan. 11.

Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Weiss' season ended on March 16 in Game 2 of the NCHC Tournament Quarterfinals against Minnesota-Duluth. The freshman produced 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 25 games after missing the first part of the season due to injury.

OHL

Brandon Saigeon (Oshawa Generals): Saigeon extended his scoring streak to three games this week as the Generals won the first two contests in the first round of the OHL Playoffs. On Friday, Saigeon notched a goal and two assists to help Oshawa top the Peterborough Petes 7-0. The forward registered another multi-point performance on Sunday, recording two assists as his club beat the Petes 8-2. Saigeon finished the regular season 12th in OHL scoring with a career-best 92 points (37 goals, 55 assists) in 68 games split between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Generals.

WHL

Nick Henry (Lethbridge Hurricanes): Henry and the Hurricanes are 2-0 against the Calgary Hitmen in the first round of the WHL Playoffs. On Friday, Henry scored the first goal for Lethbridge as his team beat Calgary 3-2 in overtime. The Avalanche prospect tallied again in Game 2 in a 4-1 victory over the Hitmen. Henry is now on a 14-game point streak--which included the final 12 outings of the regular season--and has notched 23 points (10 goals, 12 assists) over that span. The forward finished the regular season with 94 total points (29 goals, 65 assists), with 54 (14 goals, 40 assists) coming while with the Lethbridge. Henry was traded to the Hurricanes midseason from Regina, where he put up 15 goals and 25 assists in 25 games.
average and 5-0 record in seven games played.

Czech Republic

Petr Kvaca (Ceske Budejovice): Kvaca posted two shutouts in a row this week as Ceske Budejovice won its playoff series 4-1 and the league championship. On Tuesday, Kvaca turned away all 19 shots he faced to help his team to a 2-0 victory in Game 3 over VHK Robe Vsetin. He served as backup in Game 4 as the team fell 4-3. It was the first and only loss of the series for Ceske Budejovice, which beat Vsetin 2-0 again on Friday with Kvaca registering a 37-save shutout. Ceske Budejovice won the league title after finishing with a better record than Kladno, which won its semifinal series as well. Kvaca led the second-tier Czech league with a 1.00 goals-against average, .960 save percentage and has gone 210 minutes without letting in a goal. During the regular season, he had a 12-7 record, 1.80 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and three shutouts in 19 games. Ceske Budejovice now begins a series against Pardubice on Friday with a chance to move up to Czech Extraliga next season.

Finland

Justus Annunen (Karpat): Annunen served as the backup this past week for Karpat's men's team during the Liiga Playoffs. Karpat is up 3-0 in its best-of-seven series against Ilves after winning 4-3 in overtime on Friday, 4-0 on Saturday and 2-1 on Monday. He appeared in one game with Karpat during the regular season on March 14, stopping 18 of 22 shots in an overtime loss. The goaltender spent most of the campaign with Hermes of the second-tier Mestis league, where he produced a 13-8-0 record, 2.77 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. Hermes is up 2-1 in its first-round playoff series against KeuPa HT.

Sweden

Adam Werner (Farjestad BK, SHL): Farjestad is 1-1 in its first round series of the Swedish Hockey League Playoffs. Werner started between the pipes in Game 1 against HV71 on Friday, and the netminder turned aside 22-of-24 pucks in a 2-1 loss. He served as backup on Sunday, as Farjestad rallied for a 3-1 victory. In 26 contests during the regular season, Werner generated a 15-6-3 record along with a 2.02 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and three shutouts.

Gustav Olhaver (Tingsryds AIF, Allsvenskan): In his first season with Tingsryds AIF, Olhaver generated eight points (four goals, four assists) in 51 appearances. His season came to a close on March 8 as the club failed to make the playoffs. Olhaver's 51 games played were a career-high for the 21-year-old.

Russia

Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL): Lokomotiv was eliminated by SKA St. Petersburg in the second round of the KHL Playoffs last week. The team lost the series 4-1 after falling 3-1 on Tuesday in Game 4 and then losing 5-4 in overtime on Thursday to end its season. Kovalenko skated in both contests. The forward produced six points (five goals, one assist) in 33 regular-season appearances with Lokomotiv and added two assists in seven playoff games.

Danila Zhuravlyov (Bars Kazan, VHL): 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 earned a bronze medal in January with Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he registered one assist in seven contests.

Shamil Shmakov (Sibirskie Snaipery, MHL): 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

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