While they hope to spend this season as permanent fixatures in the NHL lineup, Bo Byram and Shane Bowers spent Sunday helping a team of prospects to a 5-4 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at the Arizona Rookie Faceoff tournament.
With two goals from Bowers and one each from Matthew Boucher and Jack O’Brien, the Avalanche rookies forced overtime against a very strong Anaheim lineup. In the extra frame, it was Byram who put the puck past an Oskar Olausson screen and into the back of the net for the game winner.
Coach Greg Cronin had a lot of praise for this top players. “I thought Bo was good, I thought Newhook was really good, it was his best game and I thought he was good in all three zones,” said Cronin after the game. “Bowers started slow and then he came on in the second and third periods....Barron was also really good”
A long-time center, Bowers spent a lot of last season on the wing and that has continued during this tournament as he has bene lining up next to Alex Newhook who has been the center on the top line. Olausson - the team’s most recent first round draft pick - has been playing on the right side of the top line.
The win was a big bounce back after the Avs rookies lost 4-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in the tournament opener on Friday.
Trent Minor was in net for the win after Justus Annunen took the loss against the Kings in the first game.
The Avalanche rookies will play their third and final game of the tournament this morning against the San Jose Sharks.