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Features

This Week In Avalanche Hockey: March 23

Colorado Has Won Two Straight Games Heading Into This Week

Wednesday, 03.23.2011 / 11:39 AM / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to ColoradoAvalanche.com
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This Week In Avalanche Hockey: March 23

WEEK OF March 23-29
All Times Mountain

Thu, Mar. 24 vs. Toronto (7:00 p.m.)
Sat, Mar. 26 @ Los Angeles (2:00 p.m.)
Mon, Mar. 28 @ Anaheim (8:00 p.m.)



They Said It...

“Getting the two points was big. It’s something we can definitely build on. We need to keep progressing, not regressing here.”

-Defenseman Ryan Wilson, discussing Colorado’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers


Photo of the Week



Stat Of The Week

Brian Elliott stopped all three of Columbus’ shootout attempts during Tuesday’s win after turning aside all four Edmonton shootout attempts on Saturday. Elliott has now stopped nine straight shootout attempts dating back to March 1.




Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, hosts Kyle Keefe and Julie Browman are hanging out at the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. 

Kyle and Julie get a behind-the-scenes tour of the brewery, and they have a taste test against the brewery’s world-renowned beer taster. 

Plus, we hear from Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson “in his own words” as he talks about his hockey idols growing up. 

Also, Mike Haynes chats with head coach Joe Sacco, and Peter McNab talks about the upcoming NHL Draft in his McNab Minute.
I. THE STORYLINE
Winners of two straight games (both in shootouts), the Avalanche will look to ride that momentum into contests against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks this week.

II. WHAT’S ON TAP
The Avs and Maple Leafs will meet up on Thursday at Pepsi Center. The clubs played once last year, with Colorado earning a 4-1 win during an early season tilt in Toronto. The last time Toronto came to Denver was on Jan. 29, 2009, when the visitors skated away with a 7-4 triumph. The Leafs are sitting just outside of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at the moment, so every point is crucial to them down the stretch.

After hosting Toronto, Colorado embarks upon a short two-game California road swing. The first stop will be in Los Angeles for a Saturday afternoon contest against the Kings. Los Angeles has won each of the first three meetings this season, including a 4-3 victory at Staples Center on Feb. 26.

The Avs will round out the week by facing Anaheim for the final time on Monday evening. Colorado has dropped all three of its games against the Ducks, most recently by a 6-2 count on March 11 at Pepsi Center.

III. NEWS OF THE WEEK
For the second consecutive week, the Avalanche signed a top-flight major junior prospect to an entry-level deal.

A week ago it was Owen Sound Attack forward Joey Hishon, Colorado’s first-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. This week, it was defenseman Stefan Elliott, who currently plays for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League.

Elliott, a second-round pick (49th overall) in the same 2009 draft that also netted Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly, has been tearing up the WHL this season. He finished the regular season first among league blueliners in goals (31) and points (tie-81).

The Vancouver native is just one of a stable of young defensemen in the Avalanche organization – a list that includes Lake Erie blueliners Joel Chouinard and Cameron Gaunce, Kelowna’s Tyson Barrie, Portland’s Troy Rutkowski and youthful rearguards already playing at the NHL level like Erik Johnson, Jonas Holos and Ryan Wilson.

IV. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
-This week’s Farm Report puts North Dakota forward Brad Malone under the prospect spotlight. Malone is one of many Avalanche prospects who will be opening postseason play this weekend in the NCAA, WHL and OHL

-Rookie forward Mark Olver’s first career NHL tally was named the Avalanche Play of the Week

-Have you ever wondered where all the hats end up after fans toss them onto the ice to celebrate a hat trick? Altitude reporter Keith Norton goes behind the scenes to find the answer

V. AROUND THE LEAGUE
-NHL.com breaks down the NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament, region by region

-NHL.com fantasy hockey writer Matt Cubeta warns you to watch out for players who might take some time to rest heading into the playoffs

-Mike Morreale gives some draft insight, this time looking at the draft-eligible prospects coming out of U.S. high schools

-USA Hockey announced Friday that Dean Blais will serve as head coach of the 2012 U.S. Junior National Team. Blais previously led the squad to the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan

VI. ODDS AND ENDS
-Kroenke Sports Charities will host the annual Mile High Dreams Gala, A Toast to Our Teams, on Tuesday, March 29. This unique event gives fans the opportunity to interact with players, coaches, alumni, dancers and mascots from the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth

-Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs will be a KeyBank Guys Night Out. With this deal, you will receive two tickets, two beers and two Guys Night Out t-shirts for just $59

-The next Avalanche Mailbag will be posted Thursday on ColoradoAvalanche.com. Check back to see if your question made the cut this week!

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