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Game 36: Avalanche 3, Canucks 1

photo courtesy of David Zalubowski/AP

In his 110 previous games in the NHL over the course of four seasons, I'm pretty sure Cody McCormick was never named the first star.  I'd have to research it, but my gut says he never has been.  If that's true, then last night's game was a major milestone for him, as he scored the game-winning goal at the 10:50 mark of the third period to lead the Avs to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.  McCormick was named the first star for his efforts, which also included three big hits.

Also scoring for the Avs were Andrew Brunette and Marek Svatos, and Jaroslav Hlinka proved again that he can produce offensively if just paired with the right linemates.  He had an assist.

Once again, Peter Budaj was the rock in net the Avs have needed all year, stopping 21 of 22 shots for a .955 save percentage and his fifth win in six straight starts.  However, whoever picked the stars of the game got confused over which goalie played for which team, since Budaj was passed over in favor of losing netminder Roberto Luongo.  Any goalie who gets beat by Cody McCormick probably doesn't deserve a star---no offense to McCormick, of course, but he's not exactly a goal-scorer by nature.

Seriously, is there any more doubt as to who belongs in net for the Avs?  

By winning, the Avs move into first place in the Northwest Division, tied in points with the Canucks but effectively ahead via the tie-break rules.  The Avs don't face Vancouver again until February 9th.

Mile High Hockey is going on a Christmas hiatus now, and posting will resume on Wednesday with the official raffle results.  Look forward to it!

Stars of the Game:

  1. Cody McCormick (1g, 0a)
  1. John-Michael Liles (0g, 1a)
  1. Roberto Luongo (29sv, .906)