In the second half and Pepsi Center portion of the back-to-back meeting with the Minnesota Wild the home team came away victorious as the Colorado Avalanche grabbed their first win of the preseason. It took until the fourth game and needed a shootout but the Avalanche ended up on top by a 3-2 score. This game was not televised nor broadcast anywhere but the radio therefore and video evidence of the win are scarce.
The first period was fairly even as the two teams traded goals. Louie Belpedio got the Wild on the board at 12:40 after he got behind the defense. The Avalanche answered back at 16:18 when Tyson Jost picked up a loose rebound on a shot from Dan Renouf. A slight shot advantage went 10-6 to the home squad as both teams were still getting into the game.
Momentum began to shift in favor of the Avalanche in the second period and at 16:03 Jayson Megna pounced on a bouncing puck while short handed and put the team ahead by one. The goal needed a quick review since the officials thought the puck had not crossed the line but was reversed. That lead would be short-lived as 40 seconds later Jared Spurgeon scores on the same power play and evened the contest back.
No goals in the third period but the Avalanche took a 32-21 total shot advantage after the period. A Nick Henry goal was waived off dude to goaltender interference as it was deemed he made too much contact with goaltender Alex Stalock’s pads. Although the Avalanche did not convert in overtime on the 3v3 the process looked much improved namely with Nazem Kadri taking charge of the puck and Cale Makar’s aggressive nature.
This contest needed a shoutout and it was good practice for goaltender Philipp Grubauer who stopped two of the three shots he faced. After Kadri got the team on the board first Gabe Landeskog scored the winning goal in the third round of the shootout.
A growing storyline is the completely ineffective power play which was 0/5 on the night and now 0/22 in the preseason. Add in the last two games of the Rookie Showcase in which the team was blanked and it’s amounting to a legitimate concern. Puck movement and urgency was at least better this contest with several good looks but the structure is stale and predictable which is leading to a lot of missed opportunity.
Tyson Jost had an eventful evening as he scored the opening goal but also was quite uneven in his play. The coaching staff keeps moving him around in different roles as they had him centering Landeskog and Joonas Donskoi for a majority of this contest. Later in the third period Jost was hit in the hand by a Renouf shot and had to leave the game. Jost did return and participated in overtime but a potential injury is something to monitor.
The Avalanche announced eight cuts earlier in the day of forwards Erik Condra and Ty Lewis, defensemen Nicolas Meloche, Mark Alt, Anton Lindholm, Kevin Davis and Peter Tischke plus goaltender Adam Werner. Then they added both forwards Nick Henry and professional try-out Colin Campbell after the conclusion of the game with both headed to Colorado Eagles camp. That brings the roster to a total of 37 with many decisions yet to come.
There is little clarity on who will grab the open depth spots on the opening night roster. While this game was a step in the right direction there were no clear cut standouts. Head coach Jared Bednar had a lot of praise for Shane Bowers following the game and he could be a dark horse to beat out some more veteran options.
On the defensive side Calle Rosen seems the most poised and polished option for the third pair. Bednar also has some good words for Bowen Byram as he likes the progress from the young defenseman, who played a smaller role in this contest, and it seems they are committed to working with him at least for the time being.