Avalanche Farm Report: Feb. 22
Prospect Spotlight On Lake Erie Blueliner Joel Chouinard
Tuesday, 02.22.2011 / 10:06 AM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez - Special to ColoradoAvalanche.com
Spotlight On: Joel Chouinard
Joel Chouinard has been in and out of Lake Erie’s lineup this season, but the defenseman has shown glimpses of his potential when he’s been healthy.
Chouinard, playing his first full professional season, began the campaign by missing the Monsters’ first eight contests with an upper-body injury. The Longueuil, Quebec native made his season debut with Lake Erie on Oct. 29 and proceeded to collect points in his each of his first five games (3g/3a) before suffering another upper-body injury in his sixth contest of the season - a Nov. 10 game versus Hamilton.
That ailment kept him out of the lineup for 34 games. In 11 games since his return on Jan. 23, the blueliner has continued to flash his offensive flare by notching three goals and three assists – including tallies in back-to-back games last week against Texas (Feb. 16) and Manitoba (Feb. 18).
Selected by the Avalanche in the sixth round (167th overall) at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Chouinard’s production should come as no surprise. During the 2009-10 season, he led all Quebec Major Junior Hockey League defensemen with 23 goals and finished second in scoring with 68 points in 65 games for the Victoriaville Tigres.
The Monsters are currently tied for first in the North Division with 66 points (29-23-3-5) after winning eight of their last 11 games.
Lake Erie opened the week by gaining a 4-2 victory over the Texas Stars last Wednesday. Matthew Ford scored twice, David Van Der Gulik and Joel Chouinard also tallied and Jason Bacashihua turned aside 29-of-31 shots in the victory.
The Monsters temporarily grabbed sole possession of the North Division lead by topping Manitoba, 5-1, on Friday night. Ben Walter led the way offensively with a goal and an assist and Bacashihua made 29 saves. Justin Mercier, Julian Talbot, Chouinard and Ford recorded a goal apiece in the win.
Lake Erie fell back into a tie for first place after a 4-2 loss to Manitoba during Saturday’s rematch. Walter and Luke Walker had the Monsters’ goals, while Bacashihua and Trevor Cann split time in goal. Bacashihua allowed four goals on 23 shots during 28:17 of action before being relieved by Cann, who stopped all 14 shots he faced to close out the game.
Colorado’s Central Hockey League affiliate began the week with a loss, but closed it out with a pair of victories.
Tulsa’s Trevor Cann started Tuesday’s game against Missouri, but was relieved after he allowed three goals on eight shots in an eventual 4-2 loss.
The Oilers went on to earn a 3-2 victory over Evansville on Friday, followed by a 5-1 triumph Saturday against Wichita. Tulsa is tied for third in the Berry Conference with 56 points (27-22-2).
-Boston University goaltender Kieran Millan had a stellar weekend, stopping 68 of the 69 shots he faced as the Terriers swept a home-and-home series with Providence. Millan made 36 saves in a 2-1 victory on Friday and then pitched a 32-save shutout the following night in a 1-0 Boston University victory. On Monday (Feb. 21), Millan was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week after finishing the week with a 2-1-0 record, a 2.01 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Those numbers included Millan’s 24-save performance in a 5-4 loss to Harvard on Feb. 14.
-Minnesota goalie Kent Patterson stopped 36 shots as the Gophers topped the Wisconsin Badgers, 5-2, on Friday. Patterson then turned aside 32 shots on Saturday and teammate Nathan Condon scored a power-play goal as the Gophers and Badgers skated to a 3-3 stalemate. Patterson is 11-7-5 with a .919 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average in 24 appearances, while Condon has 16 points (8g/8a) in 29 games during his freshman campaign.
-North Dakota’s Brad Malone notched an assist Friday in a 3-3 tie with St. Cloud State and now owns 27 points (9g/18a) in 32 games this season. After earning a 3-2 win during Saturday’s rematch, North Dakota is now ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll.
-Stefan Elliott earned an assist Saturday during Saskatoon’s 5-3 victory against Kootenay. Elliott continues to lead all WHL blueliners in goals (24) and points (69) through 59 contests.
-Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard split a pair of decisions last week, making 30 saves in a 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Friday and then picking up a victory after stopping 37 shots Sunday in the Thunderbirds’ 4-3 shootout triumph over Chilliwack. In 56 appearances this season, Pickard has a 21-27-3-5 record with a .914 save percentage.
-Kitchener netminder Brandon Maxwell made 36 saves on Friday, but the Rangers dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Mississauga. Maxwell picked up a victory on Monday by making 25 saves in a 5-2 triumph during a rematch with Mississauga. In 39 appearances, the goaltender has a 21-11-3-2 record with a .902 save percentage.
-Joey Hishon picked up an assist Wednesday in a 6-2 loss to Erie and then notched two points (1g/1a) Thursday during Owen Sound’s 4-3 victory over Niagara. The forward ranks eighth in the OHL with 79 points (34g/45a) in 46 games.