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Avalanche Farm Report: April 12

Monsters Set To Open First Postseason Series This Weekend

Tuesday, 04.12.2011 / 8:47 AM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to
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Avalanche Farm Report: April 12

The Monsters have earned their first postseason berth in the franchise’s four-year history.

Below is the schedule for the team’s opening round series against Manitoba. The season series between the clubs was tied at two games apiece.

Game 1: Sat, Apr. 16 - 12:00 p.m.
@ Lake Erie

Game 2: Sun, Apr. 17 - 3:00 p.m.
@Lake Erie

Game 3: Tue, Apr. 19: 8:30 p.m.

Game 4: Thu, Apr. 21 - 8:30 p.m.

*Game 5: Fri, Apr. 22 - 8:30 p.m.
@ Manitoba

*Game 6: Sun, Apr. 24 - 4:00 p.m.
@ Lake Erie

*Game 7: Tue, Apr. 26 - 7:00 p.m.
@ Lake Erie
*if necessary
Lake Erie Monsters
Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate will take part in its first ever Calder Cup Playoff series beginning Saturday.

Lake Erie finished second in the Western Conference’s North Division with a 44-28-3-5 record, earning home ice advantage in its first-round series against the Manitoba Moose.  Games 1 and 2 of the series will be played back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday in Cleveland. The series will then shift to Manitoba for Games 3-5.

The Monsters closed out the regular season by winning three of their final four games to cement their playoff status.

Shawn Belle had a goal and an assist, Ben Walter pitched in with two helpers and Jason Bacashihua made 32 saves as Lake Erie topped Toronto by a 3-2 score last Wednesday. The Monsters then fell to Rockford, 4-2, on Friday. Matthew Ford and Julian Talbot each had a goal in the loss, while John Grahame made 31 saves.

Lake Erie closed out the season with two straight victories, beating Abbotsford at home, 3-0, on Saturday and then topping Rochester on the road, 5-4, in Sunday’s season finale.

Ford netted two goals in the win over Abbotsford and also paved the way offensively against Rochester with a goal and an assist. The forward led the Monsters with 26 goals in 2010-11, tying Brian Willsie’s franchise record set a season ago.

Walter finished as Lake Erie’s leading point-getter on the season with 70 points (23g/47a) in 77 games.

Tulsa Oilers
Colorado’s Central Hockey League affiliate moved on to the Berry Conference Semifinals after taking down Mississippi during their best-of-five quarterfinal series, 3-2.

After dropping the first two games of the series, Tulsa rallied back to win three straight and advance. Avalanche prospect Trevor Cann was in net for all three of Tulsa’s victories and stopped a combined 98-of-104 shots (.942 save percentage).

The Oilers will now face Bossier-Shreveport in a best-of-five series starting Friday.

-Luke Moffatt and the University of Michigan fell just short of capturing the 10th national title in school history on Saturday evening, falling to the University of Minnesota Duluth by a 3-2 score in overtime. Michigan reached the title game after downing tournament favorite North Dakota on Thursday, 2-0.

Moffatt finished his freshman campaign with 13 points (5g/8a) in 36 contests. He appeared in all four of Michigan’s NCAA tournament games, posting a +1 plus/minus rating.

-A Western Conference Semifinal series featuring two Avalanche prospects is tied at one game apiece.
Tyson Barrie and the Kelowna Rockets earned a 5-1 triumph over Troy Rutkowski and the Portland Winterhawks on Thursday in Game 1 of the series. Barrie had two assists in the victory, while Rutkowski scored Portland’s lone goal on a power play.

The Winterhawks came back with a 6-3 victory in Game 2 on Sunday. Rutkowski was held off the scoresheet and Barrie had an assist in a losing cause for the Rockets. Game 3 is slated for Tuesday night in Kelowna.

-Stefan Elliott and the Saskatoon Blades have lost the first two games of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with Kootenay. Elliott scored Saskatoon’s lone goal on Friday during a 4-1 loss in Game 1 of the series. The defenseman added an assist Saturday during a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 2, giving him eight points (3g/5a) through eight playoff contests. Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is schedule for Tuesday night.

-Joey Hishon and the Owen Sound Attack have jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their second-round series against Plymouth. Hishon had an assist and a +2 plus/minus rating in a 4-3 overtime triumph in Game 1 on Thursday and he then assisted on the game-winning goal in the third period on Saturday, a 3-2 Owen Sound triumph during Game 2. Hishon was held off the scoresheet Monday night in the Attack’s 4-1 victory in Game 3. Owen Sound can advance to the Western Conference Finals with a victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night. Hishon has seven points (1g/6a) in nine postseason games.
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