The Colorado Eagles start their season on Friday with the first of back-to-back home games against the Stockton Heat.
Colorado lost both of its preseason outings last week but showed improvement in the box score from the first contest to the second. After losing 3-0 in the opener against the San Jose Barracuda, the Eagles converted on a few more offensive opportunities the next night in a 5-3 loss. Forwards Igor Shvyrev, Julien Nantel and Michael Joly all netted goals.
Down 4-2 midway through the third period, the Eagles pulled goalie Hunter Miska for the extra attacker, but the Barracuda took advantage by burying another shot. However, Colorado stayed aggressive, subbing Miska again for the extra skater but this time capitalized as Joly hit a one-timer from the right circle to make it a 5-3 game, the eventual final score.
Prior to Friday's contest, the Avalanche made a trade with San Jose, acquiring goaltender Antoine Bibeau for defenseman Nicolas Meloche. The two players switched locker rooms that morning, and Bibeau started against his former club that night.
Oct. 4 vs. Stockton Heat
Oct. 5 vs. Stockton Heat
Oct. 11 at Ontario Reign
Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)
The Utah Grizzlies begin preseason competition on Friday at home against the Idaho Steelheads. The Grizzlies will then travel to Idaho for a rematch the next night, before the teams meet twice more in Utah to open the regular season on Oct. 11 and 12.
Travis Barron, currently the only signed Avalanche player on the Grizzlies, returns to Utah for the start of the 2019-20 season. Barron notched eight points (two goals, six assists) in 12 games last year for the Grizzlies.
Boston College: Forward Alex Newhook and defenseman Drew Helleson will take the ice on Saturday when the Eagles face the University of New Brunswick in an exhibition. The Avalanche selected Newhook in the first round (No. 16 overall) in 2019 and took Helleson one round later (No. 47 overall). Newhook notched 103 points (38 goals, 64 assists) last year in the British Columbia Hockey League while Helleson posted 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) at the U.S. National Team Development Program.
University of Notre Dame: Three Avalanche prospects open their regular season on Oct. 11 as the Fighting Irish take on Air Force at home. Prior to the season opener, the Irish face the U.S. National Team Development Program in an exhibition on Sunday. Cam Morrison recorded 21 points last season at Notre Dame (11 goals, 10 assists), ranking sixth on the team despite playing in at least four fewer games than the top five leaders. Defensemen Nate Clurman (three assists) and Leivermann (one goal, one assist) skated in 39 and 23 games, respectively, during their freshmen campaigns.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Ranta was the Avalanche's third-round pick in 2018 (No. 78 overall) and starts his second season with the Golden Gophers on Oct. 11 when they travel to play Colorado College. Before that, Minnesota will face Mount Royal in an exhibition on Sunday. Ranta recorded 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 36 games in his freshman year.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Smirnov enters his senior season at Penn State, which opens its 2019-20 regular season at home against Sacred Heart University on Oct. 11 after playing an exhibition game against the University of Ottawa on Sunday. Smirnov, the Avalanche's sixth-round pick (No. 156 overall) in 2017, tallied 22 points in 37 outings last season (eight goals, 14 assists).
Matthew Steinburg (Cornell University): Stienburg's first game with the Big Red is an exhibition contest against Nipissing University on Oct. 18. Cornell then has an exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program on Oct. 26 before officially kicking off the new campaign on Nov. 1 against Michigan State. Before all that, Cornell has its annual Red/White scrimmage on Oct. 18. Drafted by the Avalanche in the third round in 2019 (No. 63 overall), Steinburg became the highest-selected Cornell player since 2007 when Riley Nash was taken No. 21 overall by the Boston Bruins. In 93 games over the last two years with St. Andrew's College in Ontario, Steinburg scored 60 goals and added 68 assists.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): Weiss is set to start his sophomore season at UNO after recording 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 25 games last year. The Avalanche drafted him in the fourth round in 2018 (No. 109 overall). Omaha plays an exhibition contest on Monday against the University of Manitoba and opens the regular season at home versus Alabama Huntsville on Oct. 11.
Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Beaucage has six points (four goals, two assists) in his first five games of the season. Drafted by the Avalanche in the third round in 2019 (No. 78 overall) Beaucage recorded 79 points (39 goals, 40 assists) last season, more than doubling his total from his first year in the QMJHL.
Vancouver Giants: After a strong performance in training camp with the Avalanche, Bowen Byram returned to the Giants and immediately made an impact. Byram, who recorded 26 points in the 2019 WHL Playoffs (eight goals, 18 assists), already has five assists in his first three games of the 2019-20 season. He was the Avalanche's first pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2019 draft. Goaltender Trent Miner, the Avalanche's seventh-round pick (No. 202 overall) this past summer, has started in three games for Vancouver and has a 4.07 goals-against average and .842 save percentage. In 32 games last year, Miner posted a 24-5-2 record, 1.98 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and three shutouts.
Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Mutala notched four points (one goal, three assists) in the Americans first game of the season on Sept. 20 before adding four more (two goals, two assists) in the next three games. Mutala, who's currently tied for the second most points in the WHL (eight), recorded 41 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 2017-18, his second year with the team.
Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Burzan assisted on two goals in the Wheat Kings first game and then scored twice the next night, first the equalizer then the game-winner. The Avs' sixth-round pick in 2019 (No. 171 overall) leads his club in points (five) and shots on goal (16) through four games.
Justus Annunen (Karpat Oulu): Annunen, a third-round pick of the Avalanche in 2018 (No. 64 overall) has been in net four times this season, posting a 1.48 goals-against average and .941-save percentage. Karpat has games on Thursday against Assat and Saturday versus SaiPa.
Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Boikov has played in three games with Dynamo Moscow this season. Dynamo has three games next week: Saturday versus Avtomobilist, Monday versus Sibir and Wednesday versus Traktor.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotive Yaroslavl): Kovalenko has three points (two goals, one assist) in nine games so far this season. He was drafted by the Avalanche in the sixth round in 2018, No. 171 overall. His team plays next on Oct. 13 against Kunlun Red Star Beijing.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Ak Bars Kazan): the Avalanche's fifth-round pick in 2018 (No. 146 overall), has three assists in 10 games so far in 2019-20, his first season in the KHL. Zhuravlyov's team takes the ice next on Sunday against Dinamo Minsk.