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This Week in Avalanche Prospects

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The Lake Erie Monsters are coming off a successful road trip. The Minnesota Gophers came up empty handed in Denver. Two rivals will face-off in the Beanpot final. Duncan Siemens prognosis is a bit cloudy. More news and notes in this shiny new edition of TWIAP!

After starting their post All-Star break with a win and shoot-out loss, the Monsters finished their four game road trip with wins in Rockford and Peoria. Gerald Coleman is proving to be a life saver for the Monsters as he is stringing together some solid performances. Against the IceHogs last Wednesday, he had 40 saves in a 4-3 win. Mark Olver, Justin Mercier, Evan Brophey, and Brad Malone scored in the game.

On Friday in Peoria, Coleman came up with 32 saves in a 3-2 win over former Avs farmhand TJ Hensick and the Rivermen. Danny Richmond, Patrick Rissmiller and Dean Strong had the goals for the Monsters. For Strong, it was his first goal with the Monsters since joining the club in December. He is with the team on a professional tryout (PTO).

On Sunday at home against the Syracuse Crunch, the Monsters were a little sluggish. Thanks to another sparkling effort by Gerald Coleman (with the club on a PTO), Lake Erie squeaked out a 2-1 win. Coleman came up huge with 39 saves and first star of the game honors. Ryan Stoa and Patrick Rissmiller scored for the Monsters.

With Tyson Barrie in Denver with the Avalanche, Evan Brophey currently leads the Monsters in scoring with 13 goals and 15 assists in 46 games. Lake Erie has won five of their last six games and is two games above 0.500. The club is currently in 10th place and three points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Monsters have games against Texas, and a home-and-home with Rochester this weekend.

The Minnesota Gophers paid a visit to Denver this past weekend to face a Pioneers team that was coming off a loss and tie to their instate rival Colorado College. The Gophers ranked 2nd in the nation heading into the series haven't had much success against the Pioneers of late. DU has won 11 of the last 14 contests between the two clubs. Things did not improve on Friday.

The Pioneers skated to a 5-3 victory in the opening match. It was a game in which Kent Patterson was lackluster; he had 29 saves. Nate Condon did score an unassisted goal in the first period, but otherwise was fairly quiet in the series. However, the game will be more remembered for a late hit by Kyle Rau on Denver forward Jason Zucker in the second period. Zucker left the game and did not play on Saturday night. Rau, who did score in Friday's game, sat out of Saturday's contest due to a one-game suspension.

The Gophers lost a heart-breaker in overtime to Denver on Saturday 4-3. It was the first time Minnesota was swept this season and the first Saturday game this season that they have lost. Kent Patterson had 37 saves, and some good ones, in the game. However, the story of the game was Denver native, and Los Angeles Kings draft pick, Nick Shore. Shore tied the game late in regulation on the power play (on a feed from his older brother Drew) and scored the game winner 17 seconds into the overtime session.

It was a tough result for Minnesota as they drop to a tie for 12th place in the PairWise rankings. The Gophers will lick their wounds and play host to Bemidji State this weekend.

The 60th Annual Beanpot Tournament started last Monday and both Boston University and Boston College won their semifinal games. BU beat Harvard 3-1. Kieran Millan had 29 saves for the Terriers. BC turned in a dominating performance over Northeastern. They throttled the Huskies 7-1. Paul Carey had two goals in the game; bringing his season total to nine.

So, who will win the Beanpot final tonight? You can watch it live on NESN. Coverage starts at 5:30 PM MST.

The news came out last week that Duncan Siemens is out of the Saskatoon lineup with a concussion. As you recall, Siemens was injured more than a week ago in a 7-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers. He is expected to miss a minimum of three weeks.

Next week, a recap of the Monsters home-and-home with the Rochester Americans. We'll see how the Minnesota Gophers rebound against Bemidji State. Just who came out on top in the Beanpot? More news, notes, and a check-in on the PairWise rankings in next week's edition of TWIAP.