Prospect Spotlight: Denis Smirnov
Denis Smirnov earned three points (one goal, two assists) last weekend as his team swept the University of Minnesota to bring his season total to 10 points (four goals, six assists). The senior forward extended his point streak to three games and has helped Penn State to a 9-2-0 mark.
Smirnov was a sixth-round draft pick (No. 156 overall) for the Colorado Avalanche in 2017 after his freshman season at Penn State. He entered this season with 96 career points (42 goals, 54 assists), making him the fifth-highest all-time point-scorer for Penn State.
Additionally, Smirnov had scored a program-high 10 game-winning goals in his three years prior to this season. He is also only of seven players in Penn State hockey history to score a hat-trick.
The Colorado Eagles split a back-to-back series away at the Bakersfield Condors on Friday and Saturday. Colorado shutout Bakersfield 3-0 on Friday, scoring one goal in each period. Sheldon Dries (one goal, one assist) and Calle Rosen (two assists) both recorded multi-point outings, while Conor Timmins and Mark Alt each found the back of the net for the second time this season. Timmins and Dries were named the second and third stars of the game.
The Eagles fell 3-2 to the Condors on Saturday, with Timmins again scoring the first goal of the game and his third of the season. Rosen notched another helper, as did Nick Henry, Jacob MacDonald and Erik Condra. Dries also scored again on a power-play, his sixth goal of the season.
Colorado will hit the road this weekend for a back-to-back series at the San Jose Barracuda starting Friday.
Nov. 22 at San Jose Barracuda
Nov. 23 at San Jose Barracuda
Nov. 29 at Stockton Heat
The Utah Grizzlies played two games this weekend, defeating the Wheeling Nailers 2-1 on Friday before falling 3-2 to the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday.
The Nailers outshot the Grizzlies 35-22 on Friday but Utah still managed to get the win. Ty Lewis (boarding) and Brandon Saigeon (interference) were both called for minor penalties in the contest.
Saigeon was called for tripping in the second period of the matchup against the Wings, bringing him to 10 total penalty minutes this season. He has recorded four points (four assists) in 10 games with the Grizzlies and has taken 17 shots overall.
The Grizzlies are 4-7-2-1 this season and will next host the Orlando Solar Bears on Friday and Saturday and the Florida Everblades on Wednesday.
Boston College: No. 14 Boston College swept the University of Vermont last weekend on the road. Alex Newhook recorded a goal and assist in Friday's 5-1 victory, while Drew Helleson notched a helper as well. Newhook extended his point streak to four games in the win and recorded three shots, finishing with a plus-2 rating for the game. Helleson also finished with a plus-2 rating and is plus-6 on the seaason. While both players were quiet in Saturday's 3-0 victory, they are both in the top-10 point-scorers for the Eagles with Newhook's eight points (five goals, three assists) in fourth place and Helleson's four points (one goal, three assists) tied for eighth. The 7-4-0 Eagles will next host the Yale Bulldogs on Tuesday.
University of Notre Dame: The No. 3 University of Notre Dame split its back-to-back series at the Wisconsin Badgers last weekend. The Fighting Irish were shut out by the Badgers 3-0 on Friday, though Cam Morrison, Nick Leivermann, and Nate Clurman all recorded at least one shot in the contest. Notre Dame rallied on Saturday to defeat Wisconsin 5-4 in overtime. Clurman notched two assists on Saturday on the first and second Notre Dame goals of the game to record his first career multi-point game. Leivermann recorded a helper of his own in the victory. Morrison had a quiet weekend but has scored nine points (two goals, seven assists) this season to put him in a tie for third highest on the team. Leivermann (two goals, three assists) and Clurman (five assists) both have five points on the season after 10 games. The 8-1-1 Fighting Irish will stay on the road to play back-to-back games at Michigan State University on Friday and Saturday.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers fell in both games of their back-to-back series against Penn State last weekend. Sampo Ranta netted the second and final goal for Minnesota in the third period of Friday's 8-2 loss. Ranta also found the back of the net in Saturday's 6-3 loss, scoring the final goal of the game for the Gophers. Ranta has at least a point in five consecutive games and now has eight points (four goals, four assists) this season and the Gophers own a 4-6-2 record. Minnesota will nest host the Wisconsin Badgers for a back-to-back series starting Friday.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): The No. 6 Nittany Lions defeated the University of Minnesota 8-2 on Friday and 6-3 on Saturday in Minneapolis. Denis Smirnov notched an assist on Friday on the second goal of the game for Penn State. Penn State scored two more times in the second and four times in the third period to claim the first victory of the weekend. Smirnov recorded another helper and tallied the final goal of the game on Saturday to help give Penn State the sweep. Smirnov has 10 points (four goals, six assists) this season and is currently on a three-game point streak. Penn State (9-2-0) will host Ohio State University on Friday and Saturday in its last conference matchup of the month.
Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): The No. 2 Cornell Big Red won both games on the road last weekend to remain undefeated. On Friday, Cornell defeated Clarkson University 4-2 by scoring two goals in both the second and third periods. Cornell then claimed a 6-1 victory over the St. Lawrence Saints on Saturday to improve its win streak to six games. Matthew Stienburg did not record a point in either game, but he finished Saturday's contest with a plus-1 rating. Stienburg has one point (one assist) this season and has played in all six of his team's games. Cornell is 6-0-0 so far and will host Quinnipiac University on Friday and conclude its back-to-back set against Princeton University on Saturday.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): No. 18 University of Nebraska Omaha split a back-to-back series at Western Michigan University last weekend. The Mavericks fell 3-2 to the Broncos on Friday after Tyler Weiss notched an assist in the second period on Omaha's first goal of the game. This was the first of three helpers for Weiss on the weekend, as he recorded two more during Saturday's 6-3 victory over Western Michigan. He had two shots of his own and ended the game with a plus-1 rating. Weiss has recorded nine points this season (two goals, seven assists) in the nine games he has played in. The Mavericks moved to 6-3-1 as they return home to play the Miami of Ohio RedHawks on Friday and Saturday.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Rouyn-Noranda split its back-to-back series last weekend, defeating the Saint John Sea Dogs 6-3 on Friday and falling 3-2 to the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday. Alex Beaucage notched a goal and an assist on Friday to lead his team to the victory and finish as one of five Huskies to record a multi-point game. Beaucage also recorded an assist in Saturday's loss and was named the third star of the game. The Huskies faced the Victoriaville Tigers on Wednesday, winning 4-3 in overtime. Beaucage did not find the scoresheet in the win, but is second on Rouyn-Noranda with 28 pointst (16 goals, 12 assists) and leads the team in goals. The Huskies (12-9-2-1) will take on the Gatineau Olympiques on Friday and Shawnigan Cararactes on Saturday.
Vancouver Giants: The Vancouver Giants shut out the Prince George Cougars 4-0 on Saturday before being shut out 6-0 by the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday. Bowen Byram also played for Team WHL against Team Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series on Thursday and he had one shot on net in a 4-3 shootout loss. With the Giants, Bryam ended Saturday's game with a plus-2 rating and had one shot on net in Sunday's loss. Trent Miner played on Sunday, allowing six goals on 40 shots faced. The Giants also played on Wednesday at the Portland Winterhawks and fell 3-1 with Byram scoring Vancouver's lone goal. Over the 12 games he has played, Miner has a 5-5-2 starting record and has earned a 2.80 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage and Byram has tallied 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) this season. The Giants (11-10-2) will return home to face the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday in their only game of the week.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Luka Burzan and the Brandon Wheat Kings went 2-1 on the road this week after he also played for Team WHL against Team Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series on Thursday. Burzan had two shots on net in a 4-3 shootout loss to wrap up the tournament. He then arecorded a helper in a 4-3 loss to the Red Deer Rebels with Brandon on Saturday. In Sunday's 5-4 shootout win over the Edmonton Oil Kings, Burzan scored in the skills competition to help bring his team the victory. Brandon shut out the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-0 on Tuesday to complete the three-game road trip. Burzan received the second star for the game after scoring and adding a helper. He has a team-leading 80 shots on goal and 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) this season. The Wheat Kings are 11-13-0 so far as they head home to face the Calgary Hitmen on Friday and the Regina Pats on Saturday.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): The Tri-City Americans fell 4-3 to the Spokane Chiefs at home on Saturday. Sasha Mutala recorded a helper on the Americans' second goal of the game to make the score 3-2. Mutala took four shots in the game, putting him in a two-way tie for second-most shots on his team in the contest. His one point this week brought him to 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) this season, securing his spot at the top goal and assist-scorer, as well as the leading point-getter for the Americans. Tri-City (11-7-1) will play three games this weekend beginning with the Winnipeg ICE on Friday, then hosting the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday and Everett Silvertips on Sunday before and finishing the week against the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday.
Shamil Shmakov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders): Shamil Shmakov served as the backup goaltender in both of the RoughRiders' games this week. Cedar Rapids played back-to-back games at home, beating the Lincoln Stars 3-0 on Friday before falling to the Tri-City Storm 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. In his five games this season, Shmakov has earned a 2.87 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. The RoughRiders moved to 9-6-1 on the season to be in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Cedar Rapids goes on the road this weekend to face the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday and Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday.
Justus Annunen (Kärpät): Kärpät won both of its games this week, defeating the Pelicans 3-0 on Friday and TPS 6-2 on Saturday. Justus Annunen was not in goal for the shutout, but he was between the pipes on Saturday to get his 10th win of the season. He remains the only goaltender in the league without a loss and is the only rookie netminder to have more than 250 saves this season. He holds a 1.28 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage after 12 games, the highest save percentage of any goalie who has played 10 or more games. Kärpät will play back-to-back games this weekend against Lukko on Friday and Ässät on Saturday. It will also take on JYP on Tuesday.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo played went 3-0-1 this week in its four games. The club hosted Barys Nur-Sultan on Thursday winning 3-2 in overtime. Sergei Boikov had one hit, blocked shot and shot on net and skated for 5:48 total. In Dynamo's 4-2 victory over Sibir Novosibirsk on Saturday, Boikov scored the first goal of the game 7:12 into the first period. This was his second goal of the season, giving him two points total for the current campaign. Dynamo continued the hot streak with a 6-4 victory over Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on Monday, where Boikov did not skate. To finish the week, Dynamo visited Dinamo Riga on Wednesday and won 4-3 in overtime without Boikov in the lineup. Dynamo Moscow moved to 18-9-3 this season and will next take on Jokerit Helsinki on Friday and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on Tuesday.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hosted two of its three games this week, winning both contests on its home ice and falling in a shootout on the road on Wednesday. In Thursday's 6-3 victory over Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, Nikolai Kovalenko recorded an assist, helping make the score 3-0 in the first period. Kovalenko also logged 15:04 of ice time on Thursday, the second-most of any forward. He recorded the second goal of the game in Saturday's 5-1 win over Salavat Yulaev Ufa, making it 2-0 for his team. On Wednesday, Lokomotiv faced Spartak Moscow and lost 4-3 in a shootout, its first shootout loss of the season. Kovalenko had a shootout opportunity and now has seven points (four goals, three assists) this season. Lokomotiv moved to 15-13-1 on the season heading into matchups against HC Sochi on Friday and Jokerit Helsinki on Sunday.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars Kazan extended its win streak to four games with two victtories this week. Kazan began the week by defeating Traktor Chelyabinsk 4-1 at home on Thursday. Danila Zhuravlyov recorded an assist on the final goal of the game, his seventh helper of the season. Zhuravlyov has tallied seven points (seven assists) in the 21 games he has played and owns a plus-8 rating. Ak Bars traveled to take on Sibir Novosibirsk on Wednesday and claimed a 4-1 victory over the team. Zhuravlyov had two penalty minutes and played a total 11:51 in the game. Ak Bars is now 22-5-1 this season and has a league-high 45 points. The club will travel to face Barys Nur-Sultan on Friday before playing Salavat Yulaev Ufa on Sunday and Sibir Novosibirsk on Wednesday.