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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - April 8

Avs Close Out Season With Three-Game Homestand

Wednesday, 04.08.2009 / 4:33 PM / Features
By Jeff Jacobson
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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - April 8
The Colorado Avalanche will conclude its 2008-09 season this week with a three-game homestand opening Thursday night against Dallas. The Avs will then welcome Vancouver for a Saturday afternoon tilt before hosting St. Louis on Easter Sunday in the club’s season finale.

SUNDAY IS FAN APPRECIATION DAY
The Avalanche will salute its great fans on Sunday, April 12, in its regular season finale. All fans in attendance will receive an Avs team poster and prizes will be given to lucky fans throughout the game. The celebration culminates with “JERSEYS OFF OUR BACKS” when Avs players autograph their jerseys and give them to randomly selected fans attending the game.

Don’t miss this special event, and also catch the Avs beforehand as they take on Dallas (April 9) and Vancouver (April 11).


UPCOMING GAMES
Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Thurs, April 9 DALLAS 7:00 p.m. Altitude HD / AM 1510
Sat, April 11 VANCOUVER 1:00 p.m. Altitude HD / AM 1510
Sun, April 12 ST. LOUIS 3:00 p.m. Altitude HD / AM 1510


THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:

DALLAS STARS
Thursday marks the fourth meeting between the Avs and Stars this season. Colorado holds a 2-0-1 edge in the season series, with the Avs capturing the win in the only contest thus far at Pepsi Center. In that Feb. 5 matchup, the most recent meeting between the teams, winger Cody McLeod scored the tiebreaking goal at the 12:49 mark of the third period to give Colorado a 3-2 victory. The Stars have struggled of late, recording a 2-7-2 mark over their last 11 contests, and have been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. Colorado/Quebec owns the all-time series advantage at 43-37-12-5, including a 26-12-7-3 mark at home.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Colorado will face off with Vancouver for the sixth and final time on Saturday. The Avs hold the season series edge with a 3-2 record, including a 1-1 mark at home, and are coming off an impressive win in Vancouver on April 5. T.J. Galiardi scored twice, while Milan Hejduk picked up a goal and two assists to give the Avs a 4-1 win at GM Place. The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, have led the way for the Canucks by combining for 162 points (52g/110a) through April 8. Vancouver has dropped three of its last four games, but picked up a 4-1 win over Calgary on Tuesday to keep its hopes of a division title alive. The Avalanche franchise holds a commanding lead in the all-time series, claiming a 63-41-15-4 mark and a 32-20-8-1 record at home.

ST. LOUIS BLUES
Sunday’s season finale will mark the fourth matchup between Colorado and St. Louis this season. Colorado prevailed in the lone meeting in Denver when the Avs scored a goal in all three periods to notch a 3-1 victory on Nov. 26. St. Louis is right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race and has won seven of its last nine contests. Sunday’s game could be the deciding factor in whether or not the Blues advance to the postseason for the first time since 2003-04. The Blues lead the season series at 2-1, but the all-time series record stands nearly dead even, with Colorado/Quebec holding a 42-42-11-1 mark.


LAPERRIERE NOMINATED FOR MASTERTON TROPHY
Forward Ian Laperriere has been named Colorado’s nominee for the 2009 Bill Masterton Trophy. The award is given each year to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

As a testament to his longevity, Laperriere is scheduled to play in his 999th career NHL game Thursday against Dallas, meaning he would hit the 1,000-game mark in Saturday's contest versus Vancouver. The fan favorite and 15-year NHL veteran has totaled 118 goals, 198 assists and 1,794 penalty minutes during stints with Colorado, Los Angeles, the New York Rangers and St. Louis.

Watch Lappy's Highlights


MACIAS BECOMES SECOND CALIFORNIA NATIVE TO SKATE FOR AVS
Defenseman Ray Macias has been on skates since the age of three; just not the type of skates most NHL players get their start with. Macias, who first stepped onto the ice wearing speed skates, is just the second California native to play for the Avs.


MacKenzie
10th PLAYER MAKES NHL DEBUT WITH AVS THIS SEASON
Due to a multitude of injuries to their NHL regulars, the Avs have been forced to make regular call-ups from the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters,. On Sunday, defenseman Aaron MacKenzie played his first career game and became the 10th Colorado player to make his NHL debut this year, the most in a single season in Avalanche history. The previous high was eight players in 1998-99. The nine others to appear in their first career game this year are Philippe Dupuis, Chris Durno, T.J. Galiardi, Matt Hendricks, Ray Macias, Wes O'Neill, Derek Peltier, Chris Stewart and Mike Vernace.


FARM REPORT: PROSPECTS SET FOR THIS WEEKEND’S FROZEN FOUR
Justin Mercier and the Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks will face off with the Bemidji State University Beavers on Thursday in the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in Washington, D.C. (3:00 p.m. MT, ESPN 2). Following that contest, Colby Cohen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brandon Yip and their Boston University teammates will take on the University of Vermont (6:30 p.m. MT, ESPN2) for a berth in the championship game. The NCAA Frozen Four Championship Game will be held Saturday, with the two remaining schools doing battle at 5:00 p.m. MT on ESPN.

Click here to read up on other Avs prospects, including a spotlight on Nathan Condon.


NHL DRAFT DRAWING TO BE TELEVISED LIVE ON VERSUS, TSN
The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, will take place Tuesday, April 14, at 6 p.m. MT. The event will be televised on VERSUS in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.


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 (April 8) features: Ian Laperriere, T.J. Galiardi and Derek Peltier preparing a healthy snack with kids from the Boys and Girls Club as part of the Team Fit program, Altitude’s Julie Browman spending an afternoon with Milan Hejduk and his twin boys, Marek and David, Altitude’s Peter Ruttgaizer learning the basics of faceoffs and passing from Ben Guite and Brett Clark: In His Own Words.
Ice Girls
Avs Alert
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