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This Week In Avalanche Hockey: March 2

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF March 2-8
All Times Mountain

Sat, March 5 vs. Edmonton (8:00 p.m.)
Tue, March 8 @ Minnesota (6:00 p.m.)

They Said It...

“The third goal in the Calgary game I got knocked over when I wasn’t expecting it and it led to the goal. I wouldn’t quite say I’m fully an NHL player yet. I’m in the NHL, but I’m not a full NHL player. I haven’t earned that yet. But if anything, I think that would be my ‘Welcome to the NHL’ moment so far.”

-Rookie defenseman Cameron Gaunce, discussing his first few NHL contests

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks marked forward Jay McClement’s 242nd consecutive game played.  McClement has dressed in all 82 games during each of the last two seasons and has missed only two games in the last five years. Even if he appears in each of Colorado’s final 18 contests, he will actually only skate in 80 combined games this season because the Avalanche had played two more contests than the Blues at the time of his acquisition.

Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, hosts Kyle Keefe and Julie Browman hang out at the Avalanche practice facility to get a look at the newest Avs players.  Kyle talks with new Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, and Julie gets to know new Avalanche forward Jay McClement.  Plus, Mike Haynes talks with head coach Joe Sacco, and Peter McNab talks about dealing with the trade deadline in his “McNab Minute.”

Colorado has just two games this week (and only two in the next nine days). The club will host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night and then travel to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday evening.

The Avs and Oilers just met last Wednesday (Feb. 23) at Pepsi Center, which ended in a 5-1 Colorado loss. Colorado holds a 1-2-0 record against Edmonton this season, having dropped a 3-2 decision on November 25 and then earning a 4-3 shootout victory on Dec. 30. Matt Duchene (1g/3a) is Colorado’s leading scorer against the Oilers this season, while Taylor Hall (3g/2a) and Andrew Cogliano (2g/2a; +5 plus/minus rating) have come up big for the Oilers.

Colorado will then head to Minnesota to face the Wild on Tuesday for the sixth and final meeting between the teams this season (the Wild leads the season series, 3-2). Opposing players to watch out for will include Matt Cullen (3g/3a through the first five meetings) and Anti Miettinen (2g/4a).

After wrapping up its season series with Northwest Division rival Minnesota, Colorado will still have two more divisional games against Calgary, two versus Edmonton (including the season finale on April 10) and one against Vancouver this year.

Just from a look at the raw numbers, it appears Milan Hejduk enjoys playing against the Wild.

Despite appearing in just four of the Avs’ first five games against Minnesota this season, the veteran forward leads all Colorado players with six points (4g/2a) in contests against the Wild. Included in those numbers are two power-play goals and one game-winner. His four goals have come on only nine shots, giving him a 44.4% shooting percentage.

In fact, Hejduk has more career points against the Wild than any player in franchise history (dating back to 2000-01 when Minnesota entered the league). The Czech Republic native has posted 46 points (21g/25a) in 57 career games versus the Wild to go along with a +8 plus/minus rating. Over half of those goals (12) have come on the power play, and three have been game-winners.

-Rookie defenseman Cameron Gaunce has been making his presence felt during his first stint in the National Hockey League

-The Avalanche acquired defenseman Shawn Belle from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in exchange for defensive prospect Kevin Montgomery. Belle will report to Colorado’s AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters

-Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Jay McClement and others answered fan questions in the latest Colorado Avalanche Mailbag

-This week’s Farm Report puts Lake Erie winger Luke Walker under the prospect spotlight

-Brandon Yip sat down with to answer Five Quick Questions

-Erik Johnson earned Avalanche Play of the Week honors after scoring a goal against his old club, the St. Louis Blues, on Feb. 22

V. AROUND THE LEAGUE examines each of the deals across the league leading up to the trade deadline in a “Deadline Snapshot” feature

-For a list of every individual deal, check out’s “Trade Tracker” staff writer Corey Masisak ranks the top six trades that took place before the deadline

-Rick Sadowski of describes why Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman was content with having a relatively quiet deadline day

-The Colorado Avalanche Charity Brunch, hosted by the Avs Better Halves, is set for Sunday, March 6 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The event includes a silent auction, brunch and a fashion show with Avalanche players and coaches escorting ambassadors from The Children's Hospital.

-Avs fans can get two great deals for Saturday’s game against the Oilers. The first is an Arby’s Faceoff 4-Pack. With this package you’ll receive 4 tickets, 4 regular roast beef sandwiches, 4 small curly fries, 4 medium Pepsis and a $10 Altitude Authentics gift card (Redeemable at Denver area Arby's locations, not including Pepsi Center) for $99. The second is a KYGO Puck Pack, which gives you two lower-level tickets, two Pepsis and a $10 Altitude Authentics gift card for $98.50
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