This Week in Avalanche Prospects

The Lake Erie Monsters seem to have Hamilton's number; at least for this week. Tyson Barrie is heading to Atlantic City, but it's not that kind of trip. Boston University had its hands full this past weekend with Maine. Minnesota made sure that Kent Patterson didn't have to break a sweat against St. Cloud State. More college hockey news and a check-in on the standings in the Canadian Hockey League in this edition of TWIAP!

The Monsters spent this past week hosting the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies. In their first of two with Hamilton, the Monsters skated off with a 4-1 win. In the game, the Monsters received goals from Patrick Rissmiller, Hugh Jessiman, Evan Brophey, and Ryan Stoa. Jessiman has been an interesting story this season for the Monsters. You could almost call him the "Cy Young" of the team. He leads the team in goals scored with 20, but has only five assists. Despite his lack of helpers, and playing on the team with an AHL contract, he has been a valuable contributor.

Following the win on Tuesday, the Monsters dropped a 6-2 decision to the Toronto Marlies. Toronto scored five times in the first period en route to the win. While Cedrick Desjardins continues to recover from a lower body injury, the Monsters have used at least three different goaltenders in Trevor Cann, James Reid, and Gerald Coleman. Against the Marlies, Coleman was pulled late in the first period after giving up four goals.

After an ugly game against Toronto, the Monsters got back on track on Saturday when they faced the Hamilton Bulldogs once again. The Monsters won 3-1 and Gerald Coleman rebounded with a 28 save performance. Mike Carman, Patrick Rissmiller, and Luke Walker had the goals for Lake Erie. The lone Hamilton tally was scored by former Av Brian Willsie.

With Cedrick Desjardins on the shelf, he had to drop out of the AHL All-Star Classic, which is set for tonight. Tyson Barrie however will head to Atlantic City to represent the Monsters and suit up for the Western Conference All-Stars. The game is set for 5:00 PM MST. Check out this link for a broadcast schedule.

Despite being swept by Maine this past weekend, Boston University only dropped one spot in the PairWise rankings from first to second. Kieran Millan was between the pipes for both games. Boston College is tied for fifth after their sweep of Hockey East conference rival New Hampshire. Paul Carey has dried up offensively and hasn't scored a goal since January 8th against Merrimack.

Yale, who currently doesn't have any tourney prospects, beat Dartmouth on Saturday night 5-4, but lost on the previous evening to Harvard 4-3. In the loss on Friday, Gus Young scored his second goal of the season. Michigan, who was off this past week, is eighth in the PairWise.

The Minnesota Gophers swept St. Cloud State over the weekend with 2-1 and 3-2 wins. In the two games combined, Kent Patterson only faced 25 shots. Minnesota is currently ninth in the PairWise.
Last week, Dillon Donnelly scored his first goal of the season. Okay, so he didn't add to that total this past weekend, but his team, the Shawinigan Cataractes, has the second best record in the QMJHL and are winners of eight of their last 10 games. Gabriel Beaupre and the Val-d'Or Foreurs are not as fortunate; they are currently on a four game losing streak.

The Plymouth Whalers have a 17 point lead on the second place team in the West Division of the Western Conference of the OHL. The team has won four straight, and Garrett Meurs is enjoying his best statistical season with 16 goals and 26 assists in 48 games. The Belleville Bulls on the other hand have struggled. The team has lost eight of their last 10 contests. Stephen Silas has recorded only one point in the month of January.

In the WHL, the Saskatoon Blades have been trending up as winners of eight of their last 10 games. The team currently sits sixth in the Eastern Conference. Duncan Siemens has a goal and seven assists in his last 11 games. The Portland Winterhawks are third in the Western Conference and have won three in a row. Troy Rutkowski has eight points in the month of January.

In Seattle, the Thunderbirds are clinging to seventh place in the Western Conference. Calvin Pickard has been in net for all 18 wins this season for Seattle. On January 22nd, Pickard became the WHL's All Time leader in saves; eclipsing the 6,958 mark set by Danny Lorenz (1986-1990, Seattle).

The Monsters are currently enjoying the All-Star break and will return to the ice on Friday as they start a four game road trip in San Antonio. The Minnesota Gophers have the week off before they head to the Mile High City to face the Denver Pioneers, but plenty of other college hockey coverage and of course a look-in on the boys north of the border.

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