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The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche/Maple Leafs Notebook

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Young Honored

Former Avalanche forward Scott Young missed the 15-year reunion of the 1996 Stanley Cup championship team in October, but he received a couple of pretty nice consolation prizes.

The first arrived on the day of the reunion, when he welcomed a new child into the world. The second came on Thursday night, when he was honored by the Avalanche Alumni Association prior to Colorado’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The winger received a nice ovation from the home crowd and was then honored with a video tribute,
a ceremonial puck drop between Avalanche assistant captain Milan Hejduk and Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf and a commemorative painting produced by renowned artist Stephen Holland.

Young became the 12th individual to be honored by the Alumni Association. Colorado recognized 10 former players during the 2010-11 campaign: Joe Sakic, Alexei Gusarov, Shjon Podein, Uwe Krupp, Mike Keane, Adam Deadmarsh, Claude Lemieux, Curtis Leschyshyn, Mike Ricci and Valeri Kamensky. In addition to honoring the 1996 Stanley Cup champions on Opening Night this season, former Avalanche defenseman and current assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre also had an Alumni Night in December.

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Hunwick Out, Gaunce In, Olver & Wilson Hurt
Defenseman Matt Hunwick missed tonight’s game with a back injury, and with captain Adam Foote still day-to-day with a leg ailment, the Avalanche recalled blueliner Cameron Gaunce from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Gaunce (who, by the way, made it to Denver in time to get into Colorado’s 2010-11 team photo this morning) skated with Jonas Holos and was involved in one of the game’s most crucial sequences.

With just over 11 minutes remaining in the first period, rookie forward Mark Olver was on the receiving end of a big open-ice hit by Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek. Visibly shaken after the hit, Olver tried crawling back to the bench while play continued into Toronto’s defensive zone.

The whistle blew when Gaunce decided to stick up for his teammate and fight Komisarek, who is three inches taller and had 40 extra pounds on his side. Gaunce was bloodied during the fight and went straight to the Avalanche dressing room.

It was announced at the beginning of the second period that Olver had suffered a head injury and would not return. Gaunce spent the remainder of the opening frame in the locker room following the bout, but came back out for the start of the second.

At the beginning of the third period the Avalanche revealed yet another injury. This time, it was defenseman Ryan Wilson who left the contest with a knee injury and did not return.

Winnik Streak
After netting the game-tying goal with 3.3 seconds left in regulation during Tuesday’s shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers, Daniel Winnik opened the scoring in tonight’s game with a short-handed tally at the 5:55 mark of the first period.

With Cody McLeod in the box for roughing, Winnik skated up the right wing and threw a backhand attempt on goal. The shot was stopped by Toronto goalie James Reimer, but the rebound bounced out and hit a backchecking Dion Phaneuf before caroming into the net. Jay McClement picked up an assist on the play, his first point in an Avalanche uniform.

The tally was Winnik’s 11th of the season, tying the career high he set during his rookie campaign of 2007-08 with the Phoenix Coyotes. That year, he also set career bests with 26 points (11g/15a) and 79 games played.

Through 71 games this season, the winger has 23 points (11g/12a).

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