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Avalanche Farm Report - Nov. 7

Justus Annunen picked up another shutout in Liiga

by Kate Reed /

Prospect Spotlight: Justus Annunen

In 11 games with Karpat Oulu, Justus Annunen currently leads all goaltenders in Finland's Liiga with five shutouts and a 1.21 goals-against average. He also owns a .952 save percentage, which is second in Liiga, and has yet to suffer a regulation loss this year with him sporting a 9-0-2 record.

Karpat is in second place in the league with a 13-4-1 record over 18 games and is coming off a 2-0 win last Saturday against HIFK, which saw Annunen post a 26-save shutout.

Annunen was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round (64th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old was born in Kempele, Finland, and is 6-foot-4 and 207 pounds. He has been with the Kärpät system since playing for the U18 squad beginning in 2016-17 and made his Liiga debut with the men's team in the 2017-18 season.

Last season was Annunen's first full campaign of pro hockey and he appeared in 22 contests with Hermes in Finland's second-tier Mestis league.

Annunen has participated in international games for the Finnish National every year since 2015-16 and skated at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship. He is a hopeful to make Finland's squad for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Colorado Eagles

The Colorado Eagles had a busy week with two back-to-back sets against the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign. Colorado first traveled to San Diego last weekend but dropped both games of the series.

Goaltender Adam Werner was between the pipes in the 5-4 loss on Friday and made 30-of-35 saves. The Eagles' four goals were scored by Conor Timmins, Sheldon Dries, Igor Shvyrev and Julien Nantel, with Timmins' being his first pro tally. T.J. Tynan, Dan Renouf, Josh Dickinson, Jacob MacDonald, Colin Campbell and Shane Bowers all recorded assists as well. The game was tied 4-4 until 11:19 of the third period when San Diego scored the game-winning goal and held on for the victory

The Gulls came out on top on Saturday, defeating Colorado 5-2 after scoring three goals in the first period. MacDonald tallied the first goal for the Eagles in the second period, which was assisted by Tynan and Logan O'Connor. Dries and Bowers also recorded an assist each in the third period on the Eagles' second goal from Campbell. Both teams finished with 29 shots on goal in the game.

The Eagles rebounded on Tuesday with a 4-0 victory on home ice against the Ontario Reign. Werner posted his first AHL shutout after stopping all 30 shots he faced, while Dries, O'Connor, Nantel and Tynan all scored.

Colorado wasn't as successful the following night as the Reign turned the script for its own 4-0 win at the Budweiser Events Center. Werner made 23-of-26 saves in the in the loss.

Upcoming Games:
Nov. 9 at Texas Stars
Nov. 12 at San Antonio Rampage
Nov. 15 vs. Bakersfield Condors

Utah Grizzlies

The Utah Grizzlies finished a three-game series against the Idaho Steelheads last Sunday. The Grizzlies came out on top on Friday in Idaho, defeating the Steelheads 5-4. Travis Barron recorded three shots on goal in the win, tied for the second-most for the Grizzlies.

Saturday's matchup couldn't be determined in regulation and ended in a 3-2 overtime loss for the Grizzlies. Barron notched an assist on each Utah goal.

The final game of the three-game set ended in a 1-0 loss for the Grizzlies, the first time they have been shutout this year. The Grizzlies ended the night with 25 shots, including one from Barron. Forward Brandon Saigeon did not play in any of the three contests.

On Monday, the ECHL announced that Josh Dickinson was named the league's player of the month for October after he recorded nine goals and two assists in seven games, including back-to-back hat tricks on Oct. 16 versus Wichita and Oct. 18 at Allen.

Dickinson was recalled to the AHL Colorado Eagles last Thursday, while Barron was called up on Monday.

Utah is now 3-4-3 on the season and in sixth place in the Mountain Division. Travis Barron has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the 10 games so far, while Brandon Saigeon has four points (all assists) in six games played. The Grizzlies will play a back-to-back series away at the Kansas City Mavericks this weekend, beginning on Friday.


Boston College: Boston College split its back-to-back series, losing 1-0 to the University of New Hampshire on Friday before defeating Providence College 3-2 on Saturday. Friday's game was the second shutout loss of the season for the Eagles, with the first coming against the University of Denver on Oct. 18. Alex Newhook won five of the nine faceoffs he took against New Hampshire. Newhook helped lead his team to a victory on Saturday with a power-play goal in the second period, the first goal for the Eagles. Drew Helleson recorded three shots on goal on Saturday and spent two minutes in the penalty box for tripping. Boston College is now 3-4-0 this season and will play a back-to-back series with the University of Connecticut beginning on Friday.

University of Notre Dame: The University of Notre Dame tied the University of Minnesota 2-2 in the first game of the back-to-back series on Friday but eventually fell 3-2 in the second overtime to lose the extra point in the conference standings. Cam Morrison recorded an assist on Notre Dame's second goal of the game, only to have the Golden Gophers score the tying marker 18 seconds later. Morrison and Nick Leivermann helped bring the team a 5-3 victory over Minnesota on Saturday with three assists from Morrison and two goals by Leivermann. Nate Clurman skated in both contests and has two assists and a plus-11 rating in six games this year. Morrison now has two goals and six assists this season, while Leivermann has registered four points (two goals, two assists). The Fighting Irish moved its record to 5-0-1 and 1-0-1 in conference play. Notre Dame will next take on Ohio State University at home on Friday and Saturday.

Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Sampo Ranta and the University of Minnesota tied Notre Dame University 2-2 on Friday before winning 3-2 in double overtime to gain the extra conference point. Ranta recorded three shots in the contest and spent two minutes in the penalty box for boarding. In Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Fighting Irish, Ranta recorded an assist on the first goal of the game. In his eight games played, Ranta has three points (two goals, one assist). The Golden Gophers will travel to Ann Arbor this weekend to play the University of Michigan in a back-to-back series that starts Friday.

Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Denis Smirnov helped the Nittany Lions take a 6-1 victory over the University of Wisconsin on Thursday. Smirnov scored a power-play goal in the second period to make it a 4-1 game for Penn State. The two teams faced off again on Friday, this time a 4-2 win for PSU over the Badgers. The now 6-1-0 Nittany Lions were without Smirnov on Saturday. Smirnov is the fifth leading point-getter for Penn State with six points (two goals, four assists). The Nittany Lions will take on Michigan State University at home on Friday and Saturday.

Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): Cornell University swept Michigan State University in a back-to-back series on Friday and Saturday. The Big Red defeated the Spartans 3-2 on Friday in its first game of the regular season. Matthew Stienburg spent two minutes in the penalty box for elbowing in his NCAA debut. Stienburg registered one shots in the 6-2 victory over Michigan State on Saturday and ended the game with a plus-2 rating. Cornell will put its undefeated 2-0-0 record to the test this weekend when the school plays its home opener against Brown University on Friday before hosting Yale University on Saturday.

Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): The Mavericks claimed a win as the visiting team by defeating the University of Alaska Anchorage 4-3 on Thursday. Tyler Weiss recorded one assist on the goal that gave Omaha the lead early in the second period. In the second half of the back-to-back on Friday, the teams tied 3-3. Tyler Weiss scored two goals in the contest, bringing his season total to four points (two goals, two assists) after five games. Omaha owns a 4-1-1 record this season and will return home for a back-to-back series against Wisconsin starting on Friday.


Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Alex Beaucage and the Huskies fell 2-1 in overtime to the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Thursday. Beaucage led his team to a 3-1 victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Saturday, scoring the first goal of the game and later the third goal for the Huskies. Beaucage has tallied 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) this season, leading the 9-8-2 Huskies in goals and points. Following the league contests, Beaucage participated in the Canada-Russia for Team QMJHL against Russia's junior select team. He played in both games, a 4-3 loss on Monday in Saint Johns, New Brunswick, and a 4-3 overtime win on Tuesday in Moncton, New Brunswick. Rouyn-Noranda next games are against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in a back-to-back series starting Friday.


Vancouver Giants: The Vancouver Giants defeated the Tri-City Americans 6-3 on Friday and the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-2 on Sunday. Bowen Byram recorded two assists in the matchup on Friday and finished with a plus-2 rating. Goaltender Trent Miner entered the game at the start of the second period after the starting netminder allowed three goals. Miner played 40 minutes and stopped all 17 of the shots he faced. Miner started in goal in Saturday's victory and saved 33 of the 35 shots he saw, moving his season record to 4-4-0 and giving him a .900 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average. Byram continues to be a leader for the Giants with 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 16 games this season, making him the club's fourth leading scorer. Vancouver will split a back-to-back series against the Portland Winterhawks this weekend, with Friday's outing in B.C. and Saturday's in Oregon.

Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): The Brandon Wheat Kings shutout the Swift Current Broncos 5-0 on Friday. Luka Burzan recorded two assists on two power-play goals to help seal the victory. The Wheat Kings proceeded to fall to the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-2 on Saturday at home. Burzan finished with one assist and five shots in the game. Brandon completed the three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Red Deer Rebels and won 5-2, with Burzan having a goal in the outing. He leads the team with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 18 games. The Wheat Kings have another busy week as they play at Prince Albert on Friday and Saskatoon on Saturday before returning home on Monday to face Winnipeg.

Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Sasha Mutala and the Tri-City Americans defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-2 at home on Friday. Mutala recorded one assist on the first goal for the Americans in the second period. Mutala again assisted on the first goal of the game in a 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Giants on Saturday. He won all four of his faceoffs against the Giants and still leads his team with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) over 14 games. The Americans are 8-6-1 with 17 points and will play at the Calgary Hitmen on Friday, at the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday and at the Edmonton Oil Kings on Monday.


Shamil Shmakov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders): Shamil Shmakov did not skate in either of the RoughRiders' losses last weekend. Cedar Rapids fell 4-3 to the Lincoln Stars on Friday and 4-3 to the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Saturday. Shmakov has played in five games for the RoughRiders and has a 3-2-0 record with a 2.87 goals-against average and .900 save percentage on the season. Cedar Rapids will next take on the Fargo Force on Friday and Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday.


Justus Annunen (Kärpät): Justus Annunen recorded his league-leading fifth shutout win of the season after making 36 saves in Karpat's 2-0 victory over HIFK on Saturday. He remains without a regulation loss after playing 642:30 minutes in 11 games this season. Annunen has recorded a 1.21 goals-against average and .952 save percentage this season; he also has two assists. Kärpät is 13-4-1 and next plays the Pelicans on Nov. 15 and TPS on Nov. 16. 


Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Dynamo Moscow defeated Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4-1 on Thursday. Sergei Boikov did not take the ice in the game but did skate in Dynamo's 4-3 loss to Avangard Omsk on Sunday. He was on the ice for 5:12 over nine shifts and has one goal this season. Dynamo is now 14-8-3 this season and plays Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on Tuesday

Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Nikolai Kovalenko and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl defeated Jokerit Helsinki 4-1 on Thursday on the road. Kovalenko did not record any points on Thursday but made up for it by scoring a goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over SKA St. Petersburg. Kovalenko scored an even-strength goal to tie the game 1-1 in the second period. Lokomotiv eventually tallied the game-winning marker on a power play in the third period. The club fell 5-2 to Admiral Vladivostok on Monday, bringing its record to 12-13-0. Kovalenko has recorded five points (three goals, two assists) this season in 22 games. Lokomotiv next plays HC Sibir Novosibirsk on Tuesday.

Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): Danila Zhuravlyov did not skate in Ak Bars Kazan's 4-2 loss to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on Saturday or its 2-0 win over Severstal Cherepovets on Monday. Zhuravlyov has played in 19 games this year and has recorded six points (six assists) so far. Ak Bars is 19-5-1 this season and next takes on Avangard Omsk on Tuesday.

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