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Avs NCAA and CHL Prospects Weekly Update

News and notes on Colorado Avalanche prospects playing in the NCAA and CHL.

Jeff Zelevansky

With the graduation of Sam Brittain this past spring, it was safe to question just what kind of goaltending the Denver Pioneers would have this season. The plan for Denver head coach Jim Montgomery, is to platoon sophomore Evan Cowley and freshman Tanner Jaillet. Cowley, a fourth round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2013, is a Colorado native.

On Friday, Cowley pitched a 3-0 shutout against Rensselaer with 26 saves. Defenseman Will Butcher fired off three shots on net in the game. Graduations have increased the role Butcher will have with the Pioneers this season. The sophomore was partnered with Josiah Didier in both games against RPI.

Saturday, freshman Tanner Jaillet made his debut. However, an injury forced him to leave the game mere minutes after puck drop. Cowley came in to relieve Jaillet and made 14 saves. RPI broke the shutout opportunity with 35 seconds left in regulation. The Pioneers won 4-1. It was another solid defensive performance for Will Butcher and his mates. Butcher got in on the offense with a first period power play assist.

The Pioneers rank 11th in the Division I Men's poll. Denver will begin conference play this weekend at Minnesota-Duluth.

A correction to last week's column, St. Cloud State will actually face defending champ Union this weekend. The Huskies were off this past week.

A check in on the other Colorado Division I schools:

The Colorado College Tigers were swept at home over the weekend by North Dakota. The Tigers are 2-2-0 in the young season under new head coach Mike Haviland. Up Next: at Boston College/ at New Hampshire.

Air Force is off to a 1-3-0 start under head coach Frank Serratore. The Falcons have recorded three strait losses after opening the season with a 5-1 win over Mercyhurst. Up Next: RIT (2).

Avs CHL Prospect Stats

(for games played through October 20, 2014)

Team League Position GP G A TP P/M PIM
Chris Bigras Owen Sound OHL D 11 2 7 9 0 10
Conner Bleackley Red Deer WHL C/RW 9 2 3 5 -2 8
Mason Geertsen Vancouver WHL D 9 0 6 6 4 14
Nick Magyar Kitchener OHL RW 9 3 1 4 -6 4
Julien Nantel Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL C 10 4 5 9 -1 4
Alexis Pepin Gatineau QMJHL LW 2 1 1 2 -1 2
Kyle Wood North Bay OHL D 8 4 0 4 -1 2

Spencer Martin Mississauga OHL G 7 22 3.11 0.923 4 3

The good news this week was the early return of Alexis Pepin to the Gatineau lineup. He had a goal and an assist in two games against Blainville-Boisbriand.

Rouyn-Noranda improved to 9-5-0-0 this past week. Julien Nantel contributed with a couple of helpers.

In the OHL, Mississauga had a rough week, dropping both games to Ottawa and North Bay 6-3 and 4-3 respectively. Spencer Martin was in net for both losses. For North Bay defenseman Kyle Wood, it was a quiet week.

In Owen Sound, the Attack are 5-3-1-2 after 11 games. Chris Bigras had a power play assist in Sunday's 5-4 overtime win over Windsor.

Nick Magyar recorded this third goal of the season in a weekend win over the Barrie Colts.

The Vancouver Giants ripped off two wins this past week. Mason Geertsen had three assists as his club had sound victories over Kamloops and Prince George.

The points may be slow to come by for Conner Bleackley, but the forward did receive some good news this past week when he was named to the WHL roster for the upcoming 2014 Subway Super Series. For those not familiar, the Subway Super Series pits the "best" of the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL against a squad of talented Russian youngsters. The Russian juniors play each CHL team twice in the six game series. The OHL and QMJHL teams have yet to be announced. The series begins on November 10th in Saskatoon, SK.