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Yip Finds His Scoring Touch

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Yip Finds His Touch

After serving as a healthy scratch in three of the Colorado Avalanche’s past four games – including the team’s most recent contest on Saturday against the Boston Bruins – Brandon Yip certainly responded during Monday’s 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues.

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Yip scored a pair of goals during the middle frame to mark the fourth two-goal game of his young career and was also unwillingly involved in a key sequence late in the game that led to a big tally.

Spending most of the evening on an effective energy line that included Cody McLeod and Philippe Dupuis, Yip opened the game’s scoring tonight with a wrist shot that eluded St. Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak at the 1:21 mark of the second period.

The Vancouver native added another goal late in the first period with the Avs trailing the Blues by a 2-1 count. During an Avalanche power play, Yip put a shot on goal from the low right circle that was stopped by Halak, but the winger grabbed the rebound, circled around the net and scored on a quick wraparound with 2:54 remaining in the middle frame.

The tallies broke a 13-game goal drought for the winger, who last scored on Dec. 13 during a 7-5 Avalanche victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center.

Despite not even being on the ice for another Avalanche power-play goal in the final frame, Yip had an impact on the play. Seven and a half minutes into the third period, Yip was whacked in the face by St. Louis right wing Brad Boyes while skating with the puck through the neutral zone. Yip was bloodied on the play, leading to a four-minute power play for the Avalanche.

Just over three minutes into man advantage, Kevin Shattenkirk utilized a Ryan Stoa screen and picked the corner of the net with a wrist shot to give the Avs a 3-2 advantage.

In addition to his two goals, Yip also tied for the team lead with six shots on net.

“It was huge, I think, not only just scoring goals, just playing the right way," said Yip. "I think everyone did that tonight. We showed a great effort, it’s a team win.”

Stoa, meanwhile, had his strongest game since being recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Jan. 19. The forward also had six shots on net and delivered two hits, but most importantly, he netted what turned out to be the game-winning goal during the third period. The tally, which was assisted by Adam Foote and Kyle Cumiskey, put the Avs up 4-2 with 8:42 remaining in the contest.

On the play, Stoa’s shot just trickled over the goal line before being batted out by a St. Louis defender. The original call on the ice was that the puck didn’t make it all the way into the net, and play moved to the opposite end. At the next whistle, a replay confirmed what Stoa initially believed – that the goal was good.

“I knew it was close, just like the one they disallowed the other night," said Stoa. "It was close enough that I didn’t know for sure. I put my hands up because I thought it was in and fortunately it was.”

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Century Mark For Wilson
Defenseman Ryan Wilson suited up in his 100th NHL game tonight and marked the occasion by picking up an assist.

Wilson, who was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames at the March 4, 2009 trade deadline, recorded the lone helper on Yip’s first goal of the evening.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Wilson made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 campaign by skating in 61 games with Colorado. He has now totaled 32 points (6g/26a) and 62 penalty minutes in his 100 career contests, all of which have come in an Avalanche uniform.

Forsberg Update
Peter Forsberg was again on the ice this morning, skating alongside injured center Ryan O’Reilly and Avalanche assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre prior to Colorado’s morning skate. Forsberg and O’Reilly also stayed on the ice as Colorado’s players took part in their normal morning routine.

Forsberg wasn’t available to the media today, but will speak to reporters after Tuesday’s practice.
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