San Antonio Rampage
The San Antonio Rampage finished 27-42-7 in the Pacific Division and closed out the 2016-17 campaign on a winning note, defeating the Texas Stars 6-3 in Cedar Park.
Highlights from the season include recording the franchise's 500th win on Jan. 27 over the Ontario Reign and finishing ninth in the league in fan attendance.
Right wing Rocco Grimaldi led the team in points (55), goals (31) and assists (24) in 72 games played. He set a franchise record for most goals scored in a single season and finished tied for third in the league. The Anaheim, California, native moved up to eighth place in scoring in franchise history. Grimaldi also collected one helper during his four-game stint with the Colorado Avalanche. He was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for his play from Jan. 22-29, after he scored four goals, including two game-winners, and added an assist for five points in three games.
Off the ice, Rampage forward A.J. Greer won the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL's Man of the Year. The honor is awarded to a player for outstanding contributions to his community and charitable organizations. Some of Greer's contributions included working with local children's hospitals and raising awareness about childhood cancer. On the ice, the forward finished second on the team in goals (15), points (38) and assists (23-tied) after 63 competitions.
Greer and goaltender Spencer Martin were named to the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic and competed in the round-robin tournament from Jan. 29-30 at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The Rampage saw 20 player-recalls to the Avalanche this season, including 12 different skaters, six of whom made their NHL debuts. Sam Henley recorded his first NHL goal during his debut on Nov. 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. J.T. Compher made his league debut on March 2 at the Ottawa Senators and finished out the last 21 games with the Avs, recording three goals and two assists. The center tallied 13 goals and 17 assists in 41 games with the Rampage.
Brendan Ranford made a noticeable impact after he was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on March 1 at the NHL Trade Deadline. The left wing recorded 17 points (four goals and 13 assists) in 21 contests with the Rampage.
The Colorado Eagles (ECHL)
The Colorado Eagles picked up three road wins last week and advanced to the second round of the playoffs after defeating the Idaho Steelheads in five games. It was the franchise's first ECHL playoff series victory.
Colorado started the week with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday. Leading 2-1 in the second period, Julien Nantel found twine and put the team up by two markers. Idaho closed the gap to 3-2, but the Eagles answered on a power play with one second left to close out the contest.
Colorado collected power-play and short-handed tallies to skate away with the victory.
On Friday, the Eagles rallied from an early deficit for a 6-5 overtime victory in Game 4.
After falling down 4-0 by the middle of the second frame, Colorado answered with back-to-back goals to cut into the lead. Idaho then slipped one puck past the Eagles' netminder to gain a 5-2 edge.
With time dwindling down, Nantel lit the lamp for the Eagles to spark a late surge in the last two and a half minutes. Colorado then scored two markers with under two minutes remaining in regulation, including one with nine second left, to force the game into overtime. Alex Belzile finished the game 41 seconds into the extra frame with his second tally of the night and put the Eagles up 3-1 in the series.
The following evening, Colorado doubled up the Steelheads 6-3 in Game 5 to advance to the Mountain Division Finals.
Nantel struck first for the Eagles, extending his goal streak to three games with his third playoff tally just 1:42 into the opening frame. Sergei Boikov recorded an assist on the second goal of the contest to help extend the lead.
Exchanging scoring chances, Idaho cut the lead to 4-3 midway through the second period. Colorado answered with a power-play goal to reclaim the lead and recorded an empty netter for the only third-period marker to skate away with the victory.
The Eagles face the Allen Americans in the second round of the playoffs next week.
Game 1 - April 28 at Allen
Game 2 - April 29 at Allen
Game 3 - May 3 vs. Allen
Travis Barron (Ottawa 67's): The Ottawa 67's were knocked out of the OHL Playoffs after losing their first-round series in six games to the Mississauga Steelheads. Barron left Game 4 with an upper-body injury after an incident with Mississauga's Nicolas Hague, who was suspended indefinitely by the league for the play. Barron did not compete in the final two playoff games. The forward scored one goal in four postseason contests. Barron recorded 13 goals and 21 assists in 59 competitions during the regular season as Ottawa finished seventh in the Eastern Conference (26-34-8).
J.C. Beaudin (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): The Huskies were eliminated from the QMJHL Playoffs in seven games by the Chicoutimi Sagueneens after falling 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday. J.C. Beaudin scored a marker in Game 7 and recorded 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) in 13 playoff games. The forward put up 30 goals and 50 assists in 65 regular-season outings.
Nicolas Meloche (Charlottetown Islanders): Nicolas Meloche and the Charlottetown Islanders started the third round of the playoffs against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada last week and are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. The Islanders shutout the Armada 3-0 on Thursday but were overcome 5-4 on Friday. Charlottetown looks to take the series lead in Game 3 on Tuesday. Meloche has recorded two markers and three assists in 10 playoff games so far. He totaled 47 points (16 goals and 31 assists) in 61 regular-season matches.
Josh Anderson (Prince George Cougars): The Prince George Cougars were eliminated from the WHL Playoffs after losing in six games in the first round to the Portland Winterhawks. Prince George finished third in the Western Conference with a 45-21-6 record. Anderson competed in all six playoff matches, recording a plus-1 rating and 12 penalty minutes. He scored three tallies and contributed eight assists in 69 contests during the 2016-17 regular campaign.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Will Butcher and the University of Denver Pioneers won the 2017 NCAA National Championship. The Pioneers defeated Minnesota Duluth 3-2 in the final to bring home Denver's eighth national title. Butcher also won the 2017 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to college hockey's top player, and received first team All-American honors during his senior campaign. The defenseman recorded seven goals and led the team with 30 assists in 43 outings this year.
Tyson Jost (University of North Dakota): The University of North Dakota (21-16-3) concluded its season with a 4-3 double-overtime loss to Boston University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Tyson Jost finished second on the team in points (35), goals (16-tied) and assists (19) in 33 contests. Jost, who was selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche on March 29. The forward made his NHL debut on March 31 and competed in the Avalanche's final six competitions. Jost scored his first NHL goal on April 6 against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center.
Cam Morrison (University of Notre Dame): The University of Notre Dame finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 23-12-5 overall record. Cam Morrison and the team competed in the Frozen Four at the United Center in Chicago but lost 6-1 against the University of Denver in the national semifinals. Morrison scored the Fighting Irish's only goal in the semifinal match and finished the year with 11 goals and 12 assists in 39 contests.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): St. Cloud State University finished the 2016-17 season 16-19-1 and lost in two games to North Dakota in the NCHC Quarterfinals. Ben Storm had one playoff assist and finished the season with a total of four helpers in 29 competitions. Storm signed an amateur tryout with the San Antonio Rampage on March 18 and made his professional debut on April 1.
Gustav Olhaver (Rogle BK J20, Super Elit): Gustav Olhaver and Rogle BK concluded their season after losing their best-of-three playoff series 2-1 to HV71. Olhaver, who had one goal in the postseason, collected 15 goals and 23 assists in 38 contests during the regular season. He also played in 10 games with Rogle in the Swedish Hockey League, tallying an assist.
Adam Werner (Bjorkloven, Allsvenskan): Adam Werner and Bjorkloven did not make the playoffs after finishing the regular season in 11th place with a 20-26-6 record. Werner posted a 12-13 record and registered a 2.98 goals-against average, .892 save percentage and two shutouts in 25 matches this year.
Wilhelm Westlund (Timra IK, Allsvenskan): Wilhelm Westlund and Timra IK wrapped up the 2016-17 season after being eliminated from the Meca Hockey Race by IK Pantern. The defenseman finished with one tally and eight helpers during the regular season and had three points (one goal and two assists) in five postseason outings.
Maximilian Pajpach (HK Poprad, Slovak Extraliga): Maximilian Pajpach split time this season between HK Poprad of Slovak Extraliga and MHC Martin B in Slovakia's second-tier pro league. Pajpach had a 4.22 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage in nine games for Poprad. He also recorded a 7.05 goals-against average and a .828 save percentage in five contests with MHC Martin B and played in four games with Poprad's under-20 team, where he's registered a 3.41 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.
Denis Parshin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa): Denis Parshin and Salavat Yulaev Ufa finished the 2016-17 season with 88 points (27-20-13) and lost in five games against AK Bars in the East Conference Quarterfinals. Parshin had two assists in five postseason contests after recording 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) in 53 regular-season outings.
Andrei Mironov (Dynamo Moscow): Andrei Mironov and Dynamo Moscow concluded the regular season with 112 points (39-16-5) and finished third in the West Conference. The club was eliminated from the KHL playoffs in four games by SKA Saint Petersburg in the West Conference Semifinals. Mironov had three assists in nine playoff games and scored one goal and three helpers in 18 regular-season matches.
Nate Clurman (Culver Academy): Culver Academy went 3-1 in USA Hockeys U-18 Tier I National Championship. Nate Clurman registered a helper in the team's heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Mid-Fairfield Chiefs in the semifinals. Clurman recorded six goals and 22 assists in 36 competitions this season.
Central Interior Hockey League
Luke Walker (Terrace River Kings): Luke Walker helped the Terrace River Kings win the Coy Cup in the Central Interior Hockey League in British Columbia. Walker led all players in postseason scoring with seven points (three goals and four assists) in five games after he recorded 24 points (12 goals and 12 assists) in 14 regular-season contests. In the best-of-three championship series against the Williams Lake Stampeders, Walker scored a goal in Game 1 but Terrace lost 4-2 on March 4. The River Kings rallied in the next two road contests, as Walker had a four-point night (goal and three assists) in a 5-4 overtime win on March 11 before the club took the series with a 2-1 victory the next night.