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The first round of the Avalanche's "Play of the Year" voting comes to an end this session, with eight plays battling it out in the Norris division. Voting on this session ends on Monday, May 4 at 12:00 p.m. MT.
Be sure to cast your vote for each of the four match-ups below.
Round 1, Session 3 Winners: #3 Smyth Dangles (80.43%) defeats #30 Smyth's Breakaway (19.57%) #19 Budaj's Stop on Primeau (50.78%) defeats #14 McCormick's Work Pays Off (49.22%) #22 Lappy Runs Over Downey (60.96%) defeats #11 Svatos' Shootout Winner (39.04%) #6 Budaj Denies Kane (72.91%) defeats #27 Wolski's Shorty (27.09%)
MATCH-UP 1: #7 Milan Hejduk vs. #26 Milan Hejduk A pair of goals by the veteran sniper go head-to-head in the opening round.
Hejduk’s Wraparound – 1/29 vs. Toronto (55.66% in Week 16) Milan Hejduk scored his 17th goal of the year on a hustle play against the Maple Leafs. Wojtek Wolski chipped the puck into Toronto’s zone and Hejduk beat the Toronto defense to it before curling behind the net and tucking one past Vesa Toskala.
Hejduk Breaks Free – 1/31 vs. Anaheim (38.50% in Week 17) Milan Hejduk notched his 18th goal of the season against the Anaheim Ducks – a tally that came with the Avalanche short-handed. The forward stole the puck from Ducks defenseman Bret Hedican and streaked in all alone before beating Jonas Hiller low stick side. The short-handed tally was the sixth of Hejduk’s career and his 303rd goal overall.
MATCH-UP 2: #23 Paul Stastny vs. #10 Peter Budaj A nice feed by Stastny to set up a Hejduk goal takes on Budaj's save against Jeremy Roenick.
Stastny Sets Up Hejduk – 2/24 @ Atlanta (41.03% in Week 20) Paul Stastny, making his return to the lineup after a 26-game layoff due to a broken forearm, set up the first of two Milan Hejduk tallies against the Thrashers. With the Avalanche on a power play, Stastny made a pass across the crease to Hejduk, who buried his 22nd goal of the season.
Budaj Robs Roenick – 4/7 @ San Jose (51.11% in Week 26) With just under a minute remaining in regulation and the game still scoreless, Peter Budaj made a big stop on San Jose’s Jeremy Roenick. On a Sharks’ power play, Roenick found himself all alone in front of the Colorado goal. However, Budaj was able to stop the point-blank attempt to send the game to overtime.
MATCH-UP 3: #15 Andrew Raycroft vs. #18 David Jones Raycroft's denial of Henrik Zetterberg and Jones' acrobatic tally square off.
Raycroft Stops Zetterberg – 12/15 @ Detroit (48.28% in Week 10) Only seconds after a Colorado penalty had expired early in the second period, Detroit’s Brian Rafalski sent a hard pass down low to Pavel Datsyuk, who was stationed to Andrew Raycroft’s right. The netminder was lining up to stop a possible shot from Datsyuk, but the forward instead dropped a pass to linemate Henrik Zetterberg low in the left faceoff circle. Zetterberg blasted a one-timer, but Raycroft snared the puck with his glove to maintain Colorado’s 2-0 lead.
Jones Goes Airborne – 12/7 vs. Vancouver (45.76% in Week 9) Forward David Jones scored this goal by hustling from one end of the ice to the other before trying to split the defense by hopping around Vancouver defender Shane O’Brien. The Canucks’ blueliner got a piece of him, but Jones stayed with the play and – while suspended in mid-air – was able to somehow get his stick on the puck and knock it past Cory Schneider at 5:14.
MATCH-UP 4: #31 Wojtek Wolski vs. #2 Peter Budaj A Wolski wild card entry takes on a Budaj stop that earned the second overall seed in the tournament.
Wolski Downs Wings – 12/27 vs. Detroit (35.89% in Week 12) Wojtek Wolski took his familiar spot opening the shootout for Colorado and it once again paid dividends. On his attempt, Wolski faked to his backhand and Ty Conklin bit, so Wolski pulled back to his forehand and tucked one past the netminder’s outstretched right pad. It turned out to be the only goal in the shootout and gave Colorado a 4-3 win.
Budaj Robs H. Sedin – 11/12 at Vancouver (62.96% in Week 5) The Sedin twins teamed up in an attempt to foil Peter Budaj, but the goaltender was up to the task. Daniel made a feed to an open Henrik, who was stationed to Budaj’s left with a seemingly open net. Budaj quickly moved side-to-side and robbed the Canucks of a goal by getting a glove on Henrik’s attempt.