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Avs NCAA and CHL Prospects Weekly Update

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

Graig Abel

The Denver Pioneers faced a tough challenge this past weekend, playing host to fifth ranked Boston College. If you recall, the Eagles easily dispatched the Pioneers, 6-2, in the Northeast Regional Semifinals this past spring. Denver entered the series with a 3-1 record, after earning a road split at Minnesota-Duluth the previous weekend.

The two games at Magness Arena were expected to be tight, and that certainly came to fruition. After a scoreless first period in Friday's contest, the Pioneers broke the goose egg just 25 seconds into the second frame. Nolan Zajac earned his second goal of the season.

A hooking penalty later in the second period, led to an equalizer off the stick of Ryan Fitzgerald for BC. The Pioneers were unable to capitalize on some sloppy play by the Eagles and were 0-6 on the power play. Seconds after killing off a power play in the third period, Ryan Fitzgerald struck again to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. The Pioneers were unable to overcome the deficit.

Shots were 26-22 for Denver in the game. Two of those shots belonged to Will Butcher, who was on the ice for the game winning marker by Fitzgerald.

Similar to Friday, Saturday's game also had a scoreless first period.  Also like Friday, the Pioneers struck first with an early second period marker. Freshman Danton Heinen notched his second goal of the season. Denver would give up the lead later in the frame thanks to Destry Straight's first goal of the year.

Neither club could find the back of the net in the third period and it looked as if BC was going to escape Denver with three points. Yet, Danton Heinen spoiled such thoughts with his second of the game and gave the Pioneers a 2-1 win. The goal was scored with 55 seconds remaining in the overtime session.

Will Butcher was on the ice for both Denver goals and had three shots in the game. Heinen, a Boston Bruins draft pick, earned NCHC Rookie of the Week honors. Evan Cowley, who started both games, had 27 saves in Saturday's win. The PIoneers improved to 10th in this week's USCHO.com Division I Men's poll. Denver will host Western Michigan this weekend.

St. Cloud State played a home and home with Minnesota this past weekend. The Huskies took Friday's contest 4-1. The Gophers earned the split on Saturday with a 4-3 overtime win. Sophomore Ben Storm did not suit up for either game for St. Cloud. SCSU is ranked seventh in the latest USCHO.com Division I Men's poll. They will face Minnesota-Duluth this weekend.

Other Colorado Division I Men's Hockey results:

Colorado College was off this past weekend and will visit 11th ranked Miami this week.

Air Force gave North Dakota a scare, taking a 2-0 lead into the final period. However, the Sioux would score two third period goals; with the equalizer coming with 29 seconds left in regulation. UND won in dramatic fashion in overtime with a short-handed marker with only seven seconds remaining in the extra session. Up Next: Alabama-Huntsville (2)

Avs CHL Prospects Stats

(for games played through November 3, 2014)

Team League Position GP G A TP P/M PIM
Chris Bigras Owen Sound OHL D 15 5 9 14 -1 16
Conner Bleackley Red Deer WHL C/RW 14 3 9 12 -1 17
Mason Geertsen Vancouver WHL D 15 1 9 10 5 31
Nick Magyar Kitchener OHL RW 14 4 2 6 -3 6
Julien Nantel Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL C 14 6 7 13 -4 6
Alexis Pepin Gatineau QMJHL LW 8 4 3 7 -2 4
Kyle Wood North Bay OHL D 14 5 0 5 0 4
GP GA GAA SV% W L
Spencer Martin Mississauga OHL G 12 36 2.97 0.923 6 5
OTL SOL SO
1 0 0

CHL News and Notes:

One quick note this week, Chris Bigras scored his fifth goal of the season on Saturday. With that marker, he has surpassed the four goals he had in his entire 2013-14 regular season campaign with Owen Sound.