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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - March 18

by Jeff Jacobson / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche will return home from a three-game road trip to welcome Northwest Division rival Edmonton to Pepsi Center Thursday. The Avs then have a short rest before returning to action Sunday in a road matchup with San Jose. Colorado has seen three of its last four games go past regulation, including two games that needed a shootout to decide a winner. The club claimed a one-goal win in its most recent contest in Denver, a 2-1 shootout victory over Minnesota on March 12. The Avs own an 18-16-0 record at home this season.


Catch the Avs as they take on Ales Hemsky and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers on March 19 at Pepsi Center.


UPCOMING GAMES
Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Thurs, March 19 EDMONTON 7:00 p.m. Altitude HD / AM 1510
Sun, March 22 at San Jose 6:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510


THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:

EDMONTON OILERS
Colorado and Edmonton will meet for the sixth and final time this season and the second time in six days. Facing Edmonton on March 14, the Avs collected a 3-2 overtime win as John-Michael Liles notched the game winner just 42 seconds into the extra period at Rexall Place. The Avalanche holds a slight edge in the season series at 3-2 (2-1 road, 1-1 home), while the franchise owns a 58-53-8-3 advantage in the overall series. The Avs previously topped the Oilers at home on Oct. 23, claiming a 4-1 victory at Pepsi Center. Edmonton winger Ales Hemsky heads the team in points (56), goals (21) and assists (35), but has managed just two assists in five games against the Avs.

SAN JOSE SHARKS
Joe Thornton leads the San Jose Sharks in assists (55) and points (77) this season.
Sunday’s contest marks the third of four meetings between the Avs and Sharks this season and Colorado’s first trip to San Jose. Colorado/Quebec leads the overall series with a 35-20-5-1 mark and is 18-11-1-0 on the road, including a 3-1 win in the club’s most recent trip to HP Pavilion on Feb. 6, 2008. The Sharks currently occupy the No. 2 spot in the West. The club features Joe Thornton, who leads the Sharks in points (77) and assists (55), and former Av Rob Blake, who served four and a half seasons in Denver (2000-06). Avalanche head coach Tony Granato spent his final five seasons as a player with the Sharks (1996-2001). Defenseman Scott Hannan made his NHL debut with San Jose during the 1998-99 campaign and spent parts of eight seasons with the Sharks.

GAMING WITH PETER BUDAJ
Avalanche netminder Peter Budaj is known around the locker room for being an avid video game player. In this feature, the Slovakia native talks about his gaming tendencies and offers up his favorite video games of all-time. Budaj has seen action in 49 games this season, and is 3-1-1 with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in his last five starts.

Hannan
AVSCAST: SCOTT HANNAN
Defenseman Scott Hannan was our guest in the latest episode of AvsCast. In this interview, Hannan talks about his childhood hockey idol and his hobbies away from the rink, while also reflecting on his adjustment to living in Denver.

AvsCast – March 12: Scott Hannan

Also, catch up on any installments you may have missed.
 
ASK AN AV: CHRIS STEWART
ColoradoAvalanche.com is offering fans the opportunity to ask Avalanche forward Chris Stewart a question. Since being recalled from Lake Erie (AHL) on Dec. 5, the 6-foot-2, 228-pound forward has seen action in 45 of 46 games, and is Colorado’s leading rookie scorer with 10 goals and 18 points. To pose a question to Chris, send an email to avalanche@pepsicenter.com with "Ask an Av" in the subject line. Be sure to include your first name, city and state/province/country. Questions must be received by Friday, March 20th. Check back to ColoradoAvalanche.com next week to see Stewart's responses to fans’ questions.

FARM REPORT: POSTSEASON TALK
This week's Farm Report is all about the postseason. Lake Erie is fighting for a spot in the AHL Playoffs, the NCAA is in the midst of conference tournament play and the OHL and QMJHL are set to open their postseasons.

VOTE FOR JOE SAKIC AS BC COMMUNITY CHAMPION
Avalanche Captain Joe Sakic is on a short list of five athletes across the country in the running for British Columbia’s 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. Voting has been extended through Monday, March 23.

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 25) features: Avs defenseman Scott Hannan teaching Altitude’s Peter Ruttgaizer how to win the one-on-one battle on the ice, forward Ben Guite’s player clinic with Colorado’s sled hockey team, The Battle of Ontario: Chris Stewart vs. Cody McCormick and promo bloopers/outtakes.
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