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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - March 11

by Jeff Jacobson / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche will play four Northwest Division games this week, including two contests against Minnesota. The Avs will host the Wild at Pepsi Center on Thursday, before departing on their longest road trip of the month with visits to Edmonton, Vancouver and Minnesota. Colorado is 4-3 in its last seven meetings with Northwest opponents.


Don’t miss your chance to catch the Avs as they take on division rival Minnesota Thursday night (March 12) at Pepsi Center. Be one of the first 5,000 fans through the doors and receive a dry erase board.


UPCOMING GAMES
Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Thurs, March 12 MINNESOTA 7:00 p.m. Altitude HD / AM 1510
Sat, March 14 at Edmonton 8:00 p.m. Altitude 2 / FM 101.5
Sun, March 15 at Vancouver 8:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510
Tues, March 17 at Minnesota 6:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510


THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:

MINNESOTA WILD
Thursday marks the fifth meeting between the Avs and Wild this season and Minnesota’s third and final trip to Denver. The Wild paid visits to Pepsi Center on Nov. 6 and Jan. 4, collecting wins on both occasions. Tuesday’s contest will be the final match-up of the season between the two teams as the Avs will travel to St. Paul for the third time this season. Colorado leads the overall series with a 27-14-3-5 mark, compiling a 16-7-2-0 record at home and an 11-7-1-5 mark on the road. Minnesota is the middle of a stretch that has it playing nine of 10 games on the road. The Wild features Andrew Brunette, who spent three seasons with Colorado from 2005-08 before signing as a free agent with Minnesota last summer. Daniel Tjarnqvist spent the 2005-06 season with the Wild, competing in 60 games.

EDMONTON OILERS
This weekend’s tilt marks the fifth match-up between the Avs and Oilers, with the season series split at two games a piece. Colorado dropped the first meeting at Rexall Place on Oct. 12, but tallied a 3-2 shootout victory in its most recent trip to Alberta on Nov. 15. Darcy Tucker scored with 10.7 seconds left in regulation, then added the game winner in the fifth round of a shootout. That contest was Colorado’s 1000th since moving from Quebec City in 1995. The Avalanche franchise holds the overall series advantage at 57-53-8-3 and is 12-5-1 in the last 18 games in Edmonton. Avs winger Ryan Smyth made his NHL debut with the Oilers, spending his first 12 seasons with the club. Tjarnqvist also played in Edmonton, seeing action in just 37 contests during the 2006-07 campaign due to an injury.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Colorado will take on Vancouver for the third time this season when it travels to British Columbia on Sunday. The Avs have won eight consecutive games over the Canucks, including a pair of shootout wins this year. Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos scored in the shootout and Peter Budaj made 31 saves in the contest to give the Avs a 2-1 win at General Motors Place on Nov. 12. The most recent match-up saw Colorado tally a 5-4 shootout victory at Pepsi Center on Dec. 7. Tjarnqvist forced overtime, scoring with 2:50 left in regulation while Wolski, Svatos and Milan Hejduk scored in the shootout. Through the two games, Paul Stastny has tallied four assists on the team’s five regulation goals. The Avalanche/Nordiques hold a commanding lead in the all-time series, boasting a 62-39-15-4 mark and a 30-20-7-3 record on the road.

NYCHOLAT ENDURES LONG JOURNEY TO COLORADO
After being traded to the Avs on the day of the March 4 trade deadline, Lawrence Nycholat was in Chicago, coming from Vancouver, on his way to Philadelphia to meet Calgary and was re-routed to Colorado. Confused? Imagine how Nycholat felt after a whirlwind couple of days.

FARM REPORT: MONSTERS ON A ROLL; STOA CAPTURES WCHA SCORING TITLE
The Lake Erie Monsters won eight of nine games from Feb. 20 – March 8, which included a 6-1-0 mark on a seven-game homestand. The Monsters moved within five points of fourth-place in the North Division.

University of Minnesota forward Ryan Stoa finished as the 2008-09 WCHA scoring champion with 36 points (19g/17a) in 27 league games. Stoa, Colorado's first selection (second round, 34th overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft, has 21 goals and 20 assists in 33 games overall, placing him seventh in the nation in points-per-game (1.24).

Read more about Stoa, the Monsters’ playoff push and check out a spotlight on Matt Hendricks
, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday.

Sakic
VOTE FOR JOE SAKIC AS COMMUNITY CHAMPION
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic is on a short list of just five athletes across the country in the running for Sportsfunder Community Champion. The award recognizes an athlete who has made extraordinary contributions in their sport and in the community and has inspired others to do the same. Cast your vote for Joe Sakic as Sport BC's Community Champion. The deadline for voting has been extended to Monday, March 23, so cast your vote for Sakic today!

NHL NETWORK FEATURES T.J. HENSICK
In this NHL Network feature, Avalanche forward T.J. Hensick talks about how life on the road is very similar to life at home – with much of his time being spent in a hotel. The Michigan native has seen action in 47 contests this season, recording 18 points (4g/14a).

Click here to view the feature on Avalanche TV

AVALANCHE HOSTS READ TEAM EVENT
The Avalanche hosted a live Read Team webcast on March 6. Avalanche players Kyle Cumiskey and David Jones read to a third grade class from Centennial Elementary School, before fielding questions about playing hockey and the importance of reading.

Get full information on the program, details on how to sign up for Read Team and view a photo gallery and video from the Avs’ most recent event.

AVALANCHE ALL-ACCESS
The weekly Avalanche show on Altitude Sports & Entertainment features a behind-the-scenes look at Avalanche players and coaches. This week’s show (March 18) includes: Avs defenseman Scott Hannan teaching Altitude’s Peter Ruttgaizer how to play defense along the boards, features about the artwork on goalie masks and testing some of the Avs’ current event knowledge, as well as a reel of the Altitude promos taped with Avs players.

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