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Avalanche Farm Report: Oct. 31

Luka Burzan continues to star for the Brandon Wheat Kings

by Zach Shapiro /

Colorado Eagles

The Colorado Eagles split a back-to-back set with the San Jose Barracuda last weekend, winning the first game 4-2 on Friday before falling 4-0 on Saturday. 

Colorado started fast in the first contest as Michael Joly and Nick Henry both scored in the first three minutes to spot the Eagles an early 2-0 lead. Henry's goal was the first of his professional career. After San Jose cut the deficit to one in the second period, Julien Nantel reclaimed the two-score advantage for Colorado with the eventual game-winner in the third period. T.J. Tynan secured the win with an empty-net goal, while Colorado goaltender Adam Werner saved 33-of-35 shots to earn his fourth victory of the year.

The second game saw the Barracuda race to a 4-0 lead in the first period. Werner started the contest and made three saves before being replaced in net. Goaltender Hunter Miska denied all 24 shots he faced in the final two frames, but the deficit proved too steep to overcome for Colorado.

Through seven games, Tynan leads the Eagles in points with eight (one goal, seven assists) while Joly has the most goals with four. Werner is 4-2-0 this season with a .906 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average.

Jayson Megna was the first Eagles played called up this season as he was recalled to the Avalanche on Tuesday and made his debut with the club in Wednesday's game against the Florida Panthers.

Colorado has four division games this week, with two in San Diego over the weekend before hosting Ontario on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Budweiser Events Center.

Upcoming Games:
Nov. 1 at San Diego Gulls
Nov. 2 at San Diego Gulls
Nov. 5 vs. Ontario Reign
Nov. 6 vs. Ontario Reign

Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)

The Utah Grizzlies dropped two straight games to the Rapid City Rush last Friday and Saturday, losing both by 4-3 scores, the second of which was in a shootout. 

Josh Dickinson scored twice in the first game, first to take a lead and then to bring the score to 4-3, the eventual final. Dickinson picked up another assist in the second game--as did Travis Barron on the same goal--before the Grizzlies lost in a shootout. Dickinson and Barron are tied for the team lead in points with 11, which is also tied for third-most in the ECHL. Dickinson has nine goals (league lead) and two assists, while Barron has six goals and five assists. 

Forward Brandon Saigeon also found the scoresheet this week with an assist in Friday's game.

Defenseman Josh Anderson played in both contests before being recalled to the AHL Eagles on Monday.

The Grizzlies, who are 2-3-2 and in fourth place in the Mountain Division, will play the Idaho Steelheads in three straight games beginning on Friday. 


Boston College: The Eagles lost 6-2 to Providence College on Friday as Alex Newhook and Drew Helleson each put two shots on goal in the contest. Newhook and Helleson both scored their first collegiate goals in a 6-4 loss to University of Denver on Oct. 19. Boston College is 2-3-0 and plays at the University of New Hampshire on Friday before a rematch at Providence College on Saturday. BC is ranked No. 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll.

University of Notre Dame: The No. 4-ranked Fighting Irish is out to a 4-0-0 start after back-to-back wins over Lake Superior State on Friday and Saturday. In the first game, a 5-2 win, Cam Morrison notched assists on the first and last goals of the game while Nick Leivermann recorded a helper on the second tally. Nate Clurman picked up an assist in the 6-4 win the following night and finished the weekend with a plus-6 rating. Notre Dame travels to Minnesota next for back-to-back games against the Golden Gophers on Friday and Saturday. Morrison has four points (two goals, two assists) this year, while Leivermann and Clurman both have two assists.

Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): Sampo Ranta posted three shots on goal in Minnesota's 5-2 loss to University of Minnesota Duluth on Friday, the first of a home-and-home set. He sent another shot to the net in the Gophers' 2-0 loss the next night against the Bulldogs in Duluth. Ranta has two goals in five games this year. Minnesota is 3-3-0 and plays Notre Dame in a back-to-back set on Friday and Saturday. 

Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Penn State responded from a 4-1 loss to University of Alaska Fairbanks on Oct. 18 with a 2-1 win over Robert Morris University a week later on Friday. Denis Smirnov sent three pucks to the net in the game and now has 19 shots on goal for the season, the second most on the team through five games. He's tied for third on PSU in points with five (one goal, four assists). The No. 12 Nittany Lions are 4-1-0 and play their next two games against Wisconsin on Thursday and Friday.

Matthew Stienburg (Cornell University): After skating in the annual Red-White Game on Oct. 17, Matthew Stienburg didn't suit up in Cornell's next two exhibition games against Nipissing University on Oct. 20, a 6-2 win, or against the U.S. National Team Development Program last Saturday, a 3-0 win. Cornell opens its regular season with a two-game weekend series at Michigan State on Friday.

Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska Omaha): After having a weekend off following its 2-1 win over Ohio State on Oct. 19, Nebraska Omaha heads north to play Alaska-Anchorage on Thursday and Friday. Tyler Weiss is still looking for his first goal of the season after posting an assist in three games played. He's recorded at least one shot in every contest he's skated in and has helped Nebraska Omaha to a 3-1-0 record so far this year. 


Alex Beaucage (Rouyn-Noranda): Earning first star honors in a 5-3 win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Thursday, Alex Beaucage scored the game-winning goal in the third period after assisting on Rouyn-Noranda's first and third goals of the game. He then scored the Huskies' first goal on Saturday and assisted on the second in a 4-3 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders. Beaucage then tallied his team-leading 13th goal of the season on Wednesday at the Drummondville Voltigeurs, but the Huskies lost the outing 5-2. Beaucage leads his team in scoring with 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) and has eight multi-point games this season, including seven in October. Rouyn-Noranda (8-8-1) is in fourth place in the Western Conference and has games this week on Thursday against the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Saturday versus the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada.


Vancouver Giants: Trent Miner saved 30 of 33 shots on goal on Sunday in the Giants' 3-2 overtime loss to the Prince George Cougars. Despite the defeat, Miner was recognized as the game's Third Star. Bowen Byram skated in both contests last weekend--Vancouver also lost 3-2 to the Everett Silvertips on Friday in a game Miner did not play in--but didn't show up on the scoresheet in either one. Byram is fourth on the Giants in scoring with 12 points on the season (two goals, 10 assists). Miner has a 2-4-1 record with a .884 save percentage and 3.27 goals-against average in seven games this year. Vancouver will face the Tri-City Americans next on Saturday before returning home to play the Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday. 

Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings): Luka Burzan scored the Wheat Kings' first goal on Saturday in an eventual 5-1 win over the Swift Current Broncos. He also assisted on the game-winner before tallying the fifth goal for Brandon to earn first star of the night. That was his second three-point game of the season. Burzan didn't record a point in Brandon's 5-2 loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes the previous night on Friday, but he had a shot on goal in the outing. Burzan leads his team in points with 13 (seven goals, six assists) in 15 games, as well as in shots on goal (53). The Wheat Kings (6-9-0) are in fifth place in their division and play the Swift Current Broncos on Friday and the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. Brandon completes the three-game homestand on Tuesday versus the Red Deer Rebels

Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans): Sasha Mutala, who leads his team in points with 15 (seven goals, eight assists), scored the game-winning goal for Tri-City on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars. One night earlier, in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Prince Albert Raiders, Mutala recorded a goal and an assist. After 12 games this year, Mutala is well on pace to set a personal high in WHL scoring after recording 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 65 contests last year. The Americans (7-5-1), third place in their division, play the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday and the Vancouver Giants on Saturday. 


Shamil Shmakov (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders): Shamil Shmakov played the first 33:10 for Cedar Rapids against the Green Bay Gamblers on Saturday before being replaced in net after making 11 saves on 17 shots in a 7-4 loss. He did not play in the RoughRiders' 8-3 win over the Madison Capitols on Friday. Shmakov has a 3-2-0 record, .900-save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average in five contests this season. The RoughRiders (6-4-0) are tied for fourth place in their conference. They next play at the Lincoln Stars on Friday and then against the Dubuque Fighting Saints on Saturday.


Justus Annunen (Karpat): Justus Annunen, who earned a shutout and a 5-3 win in his previous two starts, stopped 26 of 29 shots he faced to lead Karpat to a 4-3 win over HPK on Saturday. After HPK raced out to a 3-0 lead, Annunen locked down the net for the final 38 minutes of play in Karpat's comeback victory and even picked up an assist in the second period. Annunen, who did not play in Karpat's 7-1 win versus KalPa the previous night on Friday, was back in the cage on Wednesday against Lukko. He played the final 40 minutes of the game and stopped 13-of-14 shots in the club's 4-2 victory. Annunen has an 8-0-2 record, .945 save percentage, 1.33 goals-against average and four shutouts this season. Karpat owns an 11-1-4 mark on the year and has a quiet week ahead with just one contest, Friday against HIFK.


Sergei Boikov (Dynamo Moscow): Sergei Boikov and Dynamo Moscow had a quiet week with just one game. Boikov played 6:47 in a 1-0 win against Avangard Omsk on Tuesday. In six games this year, Boikov has one goal, which was the game-winner in Dynamo's 4-1 win over Admiral Vladivostok on Oct. 23. Dynamo Moscow plays Salavat Yulaev Ufa on Thursday and Avangard Omsk on Sunday.

Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Nikolai Kovalenko picked up an assist on Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's first goal in its 3-2 comeback win in overtime against Barys Nur-Sultan on Thursday. He also had three hits that night in 13:04 of ice time. Kovalenko then played 14:03 and had a plus-1 rating on Saturday in a 4-3 overtime win against SKA Saint Petersburg and skated 14:28 in a 2-1 loss to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Tuesday. The Avs prospect has two goals, two assists and 29 hits in 18 games this year. Lokomotiv (10-12-0) has a busy week ahead with contests on Thursday versus Jokerit Helsinki, Saturday versus SKA Saint Petersburg, Monday versus Admiral Vladivostok and Tuesday versus Sibir Novosibirsk.

Danila Zhuravlyov (AK Bars Kazan): Danila Zhuravlyov assisted on the game-winning goal in AK Bars Kazan's 3-1 win over Amur on Monday. He also assisted on the first goal in his team's 3-2 win over Barys Nur-Sultan on Saturday with him seeing 13:22 of ice time. The club completed the perfect week with a 2-0 win on Wednesday against Admiral Vladivostok. In 19 games this season, Zhuravlyov has six points (all assists), 10 shots on goal and 11 blocked shots. AK Bars Kazan, which is 17-4-1 this year and is in first place in its conference, plays next on Saturday against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk and on Wednesday versus Severstal Cherepovets.

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