As the season begins to wind down and playoff realities are becoming clearer, there’s a lot going on and at stake for Avalanche prospects as of late.
The San Antonio Rampage got caught again with five defenseman including a green recall from the ECHL and leaned on Nicolas Meloche quite a bit. For the second time with a short number of defensemen the Rampage won only their second game in a month’s time in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Iowa Wild.
Meloche finished the game with about 28 minutes and an assist off of a smooth breakout pass. Instead of just the highlight we bring you his shift by shift of that game as seen below to show the progress Meloche has made in just the two plus months he’s been playing regularly. These types of videos we hope to post regularly moving forward thanks to our own Rudo3.
Meloche added another assist in San Antonio’s 4-0 shutout over Ontario on Sunday to bring him to 12 points on the year. The point was on another great outlet feed, as is becoming quite the signature play from him.
That win was the best effort from the team for a full game in quite a while. Getting Vladislav Kamenev back in the lineup was a big boost but again Meloche was calm and a steady rock on the backend with some electric breakout passes sprinkled in. The two weekend victories keep San Antonio’s playoff hopes alive even if they are on life support as the team will need to find a way to generate wins (and goals) down the stretch.
Another bit of exciting news is Conor Timmins recovered from the lower body injury which kept him sidelined for two months and returned to the lineup in a rare loss for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Here is also a shift by shift as seen below of Timmins’ first game back in that 3-2 loss to Windsor. As expected there was a bit of rust but the footage is a fair indicator of his overall game.
In Timmins’ third game back he got his offense rolling again with a goal and an assist in the Greyounds’ 6-5 shootout loss to Owen Sound. The playoffs can’t come soon enough for Sault Ste. Marie as they end their historic regular season campaign this weekend already having set the franchise points record with 111 and a 53-7-5 record.
The week began well with a four point night to get Ty Lewis over the 40 goal and 90 point mark on the season in a 6-0 drubbing of Lethbridge. Below is a compilation of all four points from that contest. The next game Lewis added another goal and assist bringing his totals to 95 points and 42 goals. He has three games remaining in the regular season to try and crack the century mark. Brandon clinched a playoff spot so there will be at least a couple weeks of post season play for Lewis as well.
On the NCAA front, UMass and Cale Makar‘s season has ended with a pair of losses to Northeastern. He added an assist in the final 7-2 loss in the two-game series. Makar finishes his freshman season with five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 34 games with 112 shots on goal and a +9 rating. Now the waiting game begins to see if Makar will turn pro and sign with the Avalanche or stay in school and play his next competitive game in October.
Shane Bowers chipped in three assists over the weekend in a pair of wins over UConn. The first two were on the game tying and winning goal in BU’s 5-4 win in overtime and then the third the following night on the game winning goal for the 2-1 victory. Bowers now has 30 points in 36 games with 16 goals as he carries on his strong freshman season.
BU continues their season this weekend in the Hockey East Semifinal against Boston College at 5pm eastern on Friday, March 16th. If they win that contest they will move on the following night to the conference finals. Both games can be seen on ESPN3 (ap). BU needs to win the conference championship to secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament and likely will not be able to make it based on points without the title so these are critical games for BU.
Notre Dame defeated Penn State 3-2 with just over 30 seconds left in the contest to clinch and host the Big 10 Championship game this weekend against Ohio State. That game can be seen on the Big Ten Network at 8pm eastern on Saturday, March 17th. Cam Morrison and Denis Smirnov did not end up on the scoresheet but they contributed three and five shots on goal respectively in that contest. Unlike in Hockey East, the conference championship in the Big 10 is mostly for the title and bragging rights as Notre Dame is already assured a spot in the NCAA tournament. Penn State will likely earn a spot as well despite bowing out in the semifinals.
Credit to the San Antonio Rampage for the photo