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This Week In Avalanche Hockey: March 16

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF March 16-22
All Times Mountain

Wed, March 16 @ Vancouver (8:00 p.m.)
Thu, March 17 @ Calgary (7:00 p.m.)
Sat, March 19 @ Edmonton (8:00 p.m.)
Tue, March 22 vs. Columbus (7:00 p.m.)

They Said It...

“We’re going to try to get on a roll here. If we end good, then next year it will be that much easier to get back into it and get off to a good start.”

-Forward Brandon Yip on the team’s main goal as the regular season winds down

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

Heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote are tied for the most career assists by a defenseman in franchise history with 203.

Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, hosts Kyle Keefe and Julie Browman are hanging out at the Avalanche Charity Brunch, hosted by the Avs Better Halves. 

Kyle and head coach Joe Sacco talk about the importance of the event, while Julie checks out what the Avalanche players are featuring in their “favorite things baskets.” 

Also, Kyle talks to captain Adam Foote as he serves brunch to the fans, and we give viewers a front row seat for the fashion show, which features kids from The Children’s Hospital.

Colorado will spend most of the upcoming week on the road. Beginning Wednesday, the team will embark on a three-game road trip through Western Canada that sees them play Northwest Division rivals Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. The Avalanche will then return home for a Tuesday night contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Avs will travel to Vancouver to face the league-leading Canucks on Wednesday evening. It will be the sixth and final meeting between the teams this season. Vancouver won the first four meetings (one in overtime) before the Avs pulled out a 4-3 overtime win on Jan. 18 at Pepsi Center.

Colorado and Calgary will meet up on Friday for the fifth time this year. The Flames have won each of the first four matchups, including a 9-1 win on Valentine’s Day in Denver. Calgary holds the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference through Tuesday’s games, so each of the club’s remaining contests will be big as they make a push for the playoffs.

The Oilers are currently at the bottom of the NHL with 55 points (23-38-9), but Edmonton has played the Avs very tough this season. The Oilers won the first meeting between the teams, 3-2, on Nov. 25, but Colorado earned a 4-3 shootout win on Dec. 30. Edmonton has since won the past two meetings, taking each contest by a 5-1 final count.

Colorado will wrap up the week by returning home to face Columbus in the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season. The Avs won the first two contests by identical 5-1 scores, but Columbus took a 3-1 decision on Feb. 11 in Ohio.

On Monday afternoon, the Avalanche announced the signing of 2010 first-round pick Joey Hishon.

Along with being drafted and attending training camp, signing an entry-level contract is one of many steps in a prospect’s route to the NHL. But if there was anyone more excited than Hishon on Monday, it was Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly, who is a good friend of Hishon’s.

“After he signed he called me and we talked for a while,” said O’Reilly. “It’s great to officially make him a part of the organization. He’s really excited and I’m really excited too. How often do you get your best friend on the same team as you? It’s a great thing.”

O’Reilly has seen his buddy play a handful of times this season by viewing online video streams, and believes that Hishon has regained the form that made him such a hot commodity in 2008-09 prior to an injury plagued 2009-10 campaign.

“I think after all the injury stuff he faced, he was definitely a bit off last year,” noted O’Reilly. “But now that he’s over that, he’s playing with confidence and the way he knows he can play. He’s playing his game, going into tough areas and isn’t worried about changing his game. When he does that, he’s very effective and is a great player.”

-We recently caught up with forward David Jones, who answered Five Quick Questions for

-Brandon Yip discusses how to stay positive in the face of adversity, Brian Elliott describes the design on his mask and much more in the latest Avalanche Mailbag

-University of Michigan forward Luke Moffatt is featured in this week’s Farm Report

-Staying on the prospect front, University of Minnesota goalie Kent Patterson was honored by the WCHA this past week

-Jonas Holos earned Avalanche “Play of the Week” honors for his hit on Edmonton forward Liam Reddox

-Craig Button, a hockey analyst for NHL 'On the Fly' on the NHL Network, recently offered some insight on a few of the top prospects eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

-From the General Managers’ meetings: An examination of Rule 48 and its effect

-The NHL Live crew recaps Commissioner Gary Bettman’s five-point plan for concussion prevention

-The NHL is raising money for disaster relief in the wake of last weekend’s tragic earthquake in Japan and the resultant tsunamis which have affected the entire Pacific

-Kroenke Sports Charities will host the annual Mile High Dreams Gala, A Toast to Our Teams, on Tuesday, March 29. This unique event gives fans the opportunity to interact with players, coaches, alumni, dancers and mascots from the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth

-The Avalanche will host a Pepsi Student Rush night on March 22 when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to town. Tickets are $15 with a student ID at the Pepsi Center box office on game day. Pepsi Student Rush t-shirts can be redeemed at Pepsi Center with Student Rush stickers found on Pepsi products

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