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Colorado Avalanche prospect report: Denis Smirnov had his best game of 2019

And Cale Makar did more Cale Makar things, what else is new?

Linsey Fagan

Since the Russian league playoffs have began, I looked into how each NCAA hockey conference’s playoff structure works, because they’re all slightly different. Also, this report swings from ‘a whole lot of points’, to ‘not much to see here’.

Ontario Hockey League

#17 - Brandon Saigeon (C)
Oshawa Generals (38-18-4)

It was a really, really quiet weekend for Saigeon, who went pointless in two games despite the Generals scoring nine goals. He sits 9th in OHL scoring with 85 points, and Oshawa is still 3rd in the East. They still have a few more weeks to play before the regular season ends on March 17th, but at least their playoff spot as been secured.

Western Hockey League

#21 - Nick Henry (RW)
Lethbridge Hurricanes (32-17-10)

First, Henry won the CHL Showdown Plays of the Week last week, and you can see the highlight here:

Henry had one goal and five points in two wins for Lethbridge this weekend. He has 81 points in 60 games and is ninth in WHL scoring. The team hasn’t clinched a playoff spot yet, but they’re second in the division with three-and-a-half weeks left in the season, so things look good.


#16 - Cale Makar (D)
UMass Minutemen (24-7-0)

First of all, the #HobeyNeedsMoreCale:

Second, it was a two point weekend for Makar, as UMass beat UConn but lost to Providence. They still sit first in Hockey East with one more week to go in the regular season.

Here is Cale’s sweet assist:

And a slow-mo of it:

And a scoring chance:

And his 11th goal of the season! Congrats, Cale!

#15 - Shane Bowers (C)
Boston University Terriers (13-15-3)

Bowers went pointless this past week. Boston beat Vermont twice this week, but sit seventh in the conference. The top eight teams in Hockey East will advance to the conference playoffs, so a strong end to the season should guarantee the Terriers a berth.

#26 - Cam Morrison (LW)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-12-3)

The Irish split two games against Minnesota this past week. Morrison recorded an assist:

Notre Dame sits fourth in the Big Ten conference with one weekend’s worth of games left to go.

#4 - Nick Leivermann (D)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-12-3)

Leivermann went pointless this past weekend. As far as playoffs go, all Big Ten teams will advance to the postseason. Confused as to how that will work? So was I, so I did some digging:

The 2019 Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament will feature a three-weekend format with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams. The tournament will open March 8-10 with three best-of-three quarterfinal series, as the second-, third- and fourth-seeded teams will each host a series. The top-seeded team will have a bye to the single-elimination semifinals, which are scheduled for Saturday, March 16. The highest-seeded team remaining after the semifinals will host a championship game scheduled for Saturday, March 23. [Big Ten]

#2 - Nate Clurman (D)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-12-3)

Oh, nothing new here, as Clurman didn’t record any points either.

#58 - Sampo Ranta (RW)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-15-4)

Nothing happened for Ranta this weekend, but the Gophers sit second in the Big Ten conference, despite their overall record being worse than Notre Dame. Fortunately for Minnesota, their record against teams within the conference is the only thing that matters.

Oh, I guess I can throw this in here, since Ranta played in this one:

#25 - Denis Smirnov (RW)
Penn State Nittany Lions (18-12-2)

Which brings us to the most potent performing Avs prospect of the week(end). Smirnov had a Makar-esque game against Wisconsin, scoring twice and hitting the 20-point mark this season.

First, he hit the post, which was almost like the first raindrop before a downpour:

Here’s goal one:

And goal two:

Third point:

And his fourth point:

Penn State sits fourth in the Big Ten with one week left in the season.

#40 - Tyler Weiss (LW)
Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (9-19-2)

It was another losing weekend for the Mavericks, who were vaulted over by Miami and are now dead-last in the NCHC. Fortunately, all eight teams advance to the playoffs anyways!

Weiss didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he did draw a penalty:

Omaha’s season ends on March 9th against North Dakota, and the playoffs will begin the following weekend.


#51 - Nikolai Kovalenko (RW)
KHL - Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (40-16-6)

Lokomotiv ended their season with a shootout loss. Kovalenko had a chance to extend the shootout, but he missed. However, he got a bit of redemption in their first playoff game against Sochi, as he assisted on the overtime winner.

#2 - Danila Zhuravlyov (D)
VHL - Bars Kazan (27-22-7)

Despite two wins and a loss to wrap up their regular season, it wasn’t enough for Bars to squeak into the playoffs. They finished 17th in the VHL. Zhuravlyov went pointless in the last three games, and finished the season with four points in 40 games.

#19 - Gustav Olhaver (RW)
Allsvenskan (SWE) - Tingsryds AIF (17-23-8)

Tingsryds lost twice this week and sit 12th in Allsvenskan. Olhaver didn’t record any points. The team has four games left in the regular season, but are still 10 points out of a playoff spot.