Prospect Spotlight: Sampo Ranta
Sampo Ranta went on a six-game point streak from Nov. 2-22, notching four assists through the first three games before scoring a goal in each of the next three. He has the second-most points on the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers with nine (five goals, four assists).
Ranta, who was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round in 2018 (No. 78 overall), played in his native Finland before joining the USHL in 2016-17. He skated for the Sioux City Musketeers for two years and finished his second season in 2017-18 with 37 points (23 goals, 14 assists).
As a freshman at Minnesota in 2018-19, Ranta recorded 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). He's well on pace to set new personal NCAA highs this year.
Ranta was also on Team Finland's squad for the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase in August and is expected to represent his country at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in December and January.
The Colorado Eagles (9-8-0-0) split a back-to-back set against the San Jose Barracuda, winning the first game 4-1 on Friday before losing 6-2 on Saturday.
Sheldon Dries and Jacob McDonald both scored a goal on the first night, and Mark Alt, Nick Henry and Conor Timmins (two) each picked up assists in the win. Goaltender Adam Werner made 35-of-36 saves in the victory.
Dries scored again in the second game, his team-leading eighth goal of the season, while McDonald, Jayson Megna and Igor Shvyrev all earned an assist. Dries leads the team with 14 points (eight goals, six assists) and is on a four-game point streak that started on Nov. 15 in a 3-0 win over the Bakersfield Condors. Werner and Antoine Bibeau split time in net in the second contest against San Jose, with Werner stopping nine of 12 shots, while Bibeau made nine-of-12 saves.
The Colorado Avalanche made a pair of roster moves on Sunday, recalling Calle Rosen and sending A.J. Greer back to Loveland.
Nov. 29 vs. Stockton Heat
Nov. 30 vs. Stockton Heat
Dec. 3 at Tucson Roadrunners
Dec. 4 at Tucson Roadrunners
The Utah Grizzlies won back-to-back 2-1 games in overtime against the Orlando Solar Bears on Friday and Saturday. Utah continued its extra time success on Wednesday with a 5-4 overtime win versus the Florida Everblades.
Brandon Saigeon did not skate in any of the games this past week.
The Grizzlies (7-7-2-1) continue their series against the Everblades with home games on Friday and Saturday.
Boston College: The Eagles played a rare Tuesday game against Yale University and won 6-2 thanks to two assists by Alex Newhook, who now has five goals and five assists on the year. Drew Helleson also played against Yale and has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in 12 games. The Eagles travel to Harvard on Friday, then have a full week off before starting a back-to-back set with Notre Dame at home on Dec. 6.
University of Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish tied Michigan State 1-1 on Friday and then lost to the Spartans 3-2 on Saturday, but Cam Morrison registered an assist in both games while Nick Leivermann scored a power-play goal the second night. This season, Morrison has nine points (two goals, seven assists) and Leivermann has five (two goals, three assists). Nate Clurman also skated in both games, adding two shots on goal the first night. Notre Dame plays Bowling Green at home on Friday and then on the road on Saturday.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Sampo Ranta scored in Minnesota's 4-1 win over Wisconsin on Friday and put another four shots on goal in the Gophers and Badgers' 3-3 tie on Saturday--though Wisconsin won 4-3 in a shootout to pick up the extra conference point. Ranta, who leads his team in shots on goal (39), has the second-most points on the club with nine (five goals, four assists). Minnesota (5-6-2) stays home and faces No. 6 North Dakota on Thursday and Friday.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): The fifth-ranked Nittany Lions split their back-to-back set against No. 11 Ohio State this weekend. Denis Smirnov assisted on the decisive goal in their 5-4 win on Friday and picked up another assist in their 4-3 loss on Saturday. He now has 12 points this season (four goals, eight assists). Penn State (10-2-0) plays at Merrimack College on Friday and then at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday.
Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): Cornell beat Quinnipiac 2-1 on Friday and Princeton 5-1 on Saturday. Matthew Stienburg skated in both wins and recorded two shots on goal in the second game. Cornell (8-0-0) plays Boston University at Madison Square Garden on Saturday before a six-day break.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Nebraska Omaha tied Miami of Ohio 3-3 on Friday, but the squad lost the extra conference point after Miami won 4-3 following a 3-on-3 overtime period. Omaha then lost 4-1 to the Redhawks on Saturday. Tyler Weiss skated in both contests. Nebraska Omaha (6-4-2) has next week off before a back-to-back set at home against Minnesota Duluth on Dec. 6-7.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Alex Beaucage registered three hits in Rouyn-Noranda's 2-1 loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday. The Huskies (13-10-2-1) travel to Baie-Comeau to play the Drakkar on Friday before back-to-back games at the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Saturday and Sunday. The club returns home to play the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday. Beaucage has registered 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) in 26 games this year.
Vancouver Giants: Bowen Byram picked up an assist on Saturday while Trent Miner saved 32-of-36 shots in the Giants' 5-4 overtime win over the Edmonton Oil Kings. Byram has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) on the year and Miner is now 4-1-1 in his last six starts. Overall, Miner has a 6-5-2 record and .903 save percentage. Vancouver (12-10-1-1) travels to play the Spokane Chiefs on Friday, then to Tri-City to take on the Americans on Saturday and finally finishes its road trip on Wednesday at the Victoria Royals.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Luka Burzan registered an assist in Wheat Kings' 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Hitman on Friday and in their 5-4 loss to the Regina Pats on Saturday. He's now on a four-game point streak (one goal, three assists) and leads his team with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists). The Wheat Kings (11-14-1-0) play the Winnipeg ICE on Friday before traveling to Winnipeg for a rematch on Saturday. Brandon returns home to play the Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Mutala had an assist on Wednesday but the Americans lost 2-1 to the Saskatoon Blades. Earlier in the week, Mutala recorded two assists in the Americans' 4-3 overtime loss to the Everett Silvertips on Sunday; he has a team-leading 24 points on the season (eight goals, 17 assists). Mutala also skated in Tri-City's 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg ICE on Friday and in its 2-1 loss to the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday. The Americans (11-9-2-1) stay home to play the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Shamil Shmakov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders): Shamil Shmakov saved 36-of-39 shots in 65 minutes in net, as the Roughriders beat the Green Bay Gamblers 4-3 in a shootout on Friday. Shmakov, who's 4-2-0 with a 2.85 goals-against average and a 905 save percentage, was the backup goalie on Saturday in a 4-2 loss to the Waterloo Black Hawks. Cedar Rapids (18-7-1-0) continues a three-game set with Waterloo on Thursday and Saturday, first away and then home.
Justus Annunen (Karpat): Justus Annunen saved 21 of 22 shots in Karpat's 3-1 win over Assat on Saturday, his 10th straight win in net. Annunen did not play on Tuesday against JYP, a 3-1 win for Karpat. Earlier in the week, he backed up Karpat's other goalie in the team's 2-0 win over Lukko on Friday. Karpat (17-4-1) plays HIFK on Friday and then SaiPa on Saturday and TPS on Tuesday. Annunen is 11-2-0 with a 1.26 goals-against average and a 947 save percentage, both of which rank highest in the league.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Sergei Boikov did not skate in any of Dynamo Moscow's game this past week. The defenseman last played on Nov. 16 against Sibir Novosibirsk and scored his second goal of the season that night. Dynamo Moscow lost 3-1 to Jokerit Helsinki on Friday before winning 4-1 against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on Tuesday. Dynamo (19-10-1-2) plays Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Region on Friday, then AK Bars Kazan on Sunday and CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Kovalenko scored twice on Sunday in a 3-2 shootout win over Jokerit Helsinki, setting a new personal high in goals (seven) in a season, and doing so in five fewer games than last year. Kovalenko also scored in his team's 5-2 win over HC Sochi on Friday. Lokomotiv closed the week with a 4-1 loss on Tuesday against Dynamo Moscow, a game in which Kovalenko registered one assist. Kovalenko has 11 points total (seven goals, four assists) this season. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (17-14-0-1) faces Dinamo Minsk on Friday, then Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg on Sunday and Metallurg Magnitogorsk on Tuesday.
Danila Zhuravlyov (AK Bars Kazan): Zhuravlyov and AK Bars Kazan won 2-1 in a shootout against Sibir Novosibirsk on Wednesday. He put two shots on goal in Sunday's 4-3 shootout win over Salavat Yulaev. Zhuravlyov skated 13:41 minutes in the 5-1 win over Barys Nur-Sultan on Friday, the most he'd been on the ice since Oct. 21. AK Bars Kazan (25-5-0-1 ) plays HC Sochi on Friday, then Dynamo Moscow on Sunday and SKA St. Petersburg on Wednesday. Zhuravlyov has recorded seven assists in 26 games played.