This Week in Avalanche Prospects

Injuries and inconsistency have led to an 0-5 start for the Lake Erie Monsters. Boston College and Boston University played host to the Denver Pioneers this past weekend. Calvin Pickard and the Seattle Thunderbirds are on a winning streak. Jonas Holos waves goodbye to North America.

The Lake Erie Monsters find themselves in a bit of a pickle. The club is 0-5, missing four centers due to various injuries and is without their number one goaltender. While it is easy to point the finger at Trevor Cann, it really should be directed at management. You can't predict that you'll have injuries to four centers, but they were aware that Cedrick Desjardins would not be ready to start the season when they signed him to a contract in the summer. Why wasn't there anyone else brought in to compete with Cann?

Still, the lack of goal scoring is what is really haunting the Monsters. Yes, to be without Joey Hishon, Mike Carman, Mark Olver, and Patrick Rissmiller does not help matters. The club has been shut out twice in their first five games and have scored a total of five goals; two of which belong to Greg Mauldin. The Monsters are the only team in the AHL without a power play goal.

Yet, it's early. Injury woes and scoring outage aside, the season is still young. What the Monsters will need is for the blueline to chip in and that means relying on youngsters like Cameron Gaunce, Joel Chouinard, Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott. That also means someone like Ryan Stoa needs to inject some passion into his game.

Near and dear to my heart, the Denver Pioneers paid a visit to Boston this weekend; taking on both Boston College and Boston University. Paul Carey had a solid game for the Eagles on Friday night despite the 4-2 loss to Denver. The senior has a goal and three assists in his first four games for BC.

Against BU on Saturday, the Denver Pioneers were not as fortunate. The Terriers held off a ferocious rally by Denver in the third period, but held on to win 4-3. Senior goaltender Kieran Millan made 35 saves for BU and is off to a 2-1 start for the club.

It was a successful weekend for the Minnesota Gophers as they swept defending champion Minnesota-Duluth. The week started out well with goaltender Kent Patterson being named WCHA Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Patterson did little to disappoint as he stopped 46 shots on both Friday and Saturday nights. The senior has a 4-0 record with a 1.98 goals against average and save percentage of 0.943. Sophomore Nate Condon is also having a solid start for the Gophers; putting up three goals and three assists in four games.

After starting 0-3, the Seattle Thunderbirds have reeled off three straight wins. Calvin Pickard has started all six games for the club. His save percentage is now above 0.900 at 0.908 and his goals against average, which was above four has dropped to 3.61.

In Saskatoon, the Blades are off to a 7-2 start. Captain Duncan Siemens has chipped in with two goals and five assists in eight of those games. Troy Rutkowski has sputtered a bit offensively in the early going; a goal and an assist after 10 games for the Portland Winterhawks. The club itself is currently third in the US Division with a 5-4-1 record.

As previously reported, the Avalanche and defenseman Jonas Holos parted ways this past week. Disappointed with starting the season in Lake Erie and being a healthy scratch in their first two games, Holos asked to return to Europe in hopes of hooking up with a Swedish Elite League club. It was announced on Sunday that Holos was loaned to the Växjö Lakers (Elitserien). Holos is a restricted free agent at season's end and it's likely the Avs will choose not to qualify him.

Next week, a wrap up of the Monsters current five game road trip as they pay visits to Syracuse and Toronto. Can Kent Patterson stay hot? We shall see. Also, a check in on the boys in the OHL and WHL.

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