Martin Kaut bowed out of the World Junior Championship in the quarterfinals in a 3-1 loss to the United States but had a performance he should be very proud of. He scored three of the nine total goals the Czechs would convert in the tournament plus and assist which was in overtime. That third goal seen below Kaut used his quick release to tally the only goal in that quarterfinal game on ironically the tournament’s best power play. If only the Colorado Eagles coaching staff would watch some tape on how to utilize Kaut and his offense better they might improve on what has been the league’s worst power play.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 3, 2019
Nikolai Kovalenko recovered from his crash into the boards and subsequently sitting out a game to return and contribute a pair of assists in the match with Slovakia. The first of which, seen below came off of a slick move and feed from behind the net and shows some of the tenacious playmaking ability Kovalenko possesses. He ended the tournament with a goal, two assists and a bronze medal.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 3, 2019
Danila Zhuravlyov got on the board for his first official point of the season on a breakout which led to the fifth goal seen below as Russia routed Slovakia 8-3 in their quarterfinal. He was used a lot as a safe and responsible puck mover on Russia’s path to winning the bronze medal.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) January 3, 2019
Shane Bowers scored two assists in the tournament as Canada bowed out in the quarterfinals as well. For more on him and the rest of the Avalanche WJC participants in detail check out Breaking Down.
In the breaking news department Brandon Saigeon was traded as expected from the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Oshawa Generals for his final months of junior eligibility. The move is a bit curious as Oshawa is only a few points ahead of Hamilton in the standings but they are a likely playoff team. Saigeon departs Hamilton with 61 points including 25 goals in 40 games this season and 276 career games with 220 points over five seasons.
Couldn't have picked anyone better to represent our city.
— Hamilton Bulldogs (@BulldogsOHL) January 8, 2019
Cale Makar was back in action this weekend lest anyone forgot about him over the break. He scored his 20th point of the season on an assist in a 6-1 win over American International College for UMass. It was this shift seen below which got everyone buzzing however and showed a sampling of Makar’s game and what’s soon to come. Defensive play, vision, playmaking, elite skating and also a big clean hit all in one.
— Pucking Off (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) January 5, 2019
Igor Shvyrev scored a much needed and rare power play goal for the Colorado Eagles in their first game of the weekend as seen below as he pounced on a rebound. The Eagles held on for a 5-4 win over Bakersfield for a rare win on the road in California. Martin Kaut made the quick turn around from the Czech’s loss at the WJC and returned to the lineup in time for this game and picked up an assist as well.
— Colorado Eagles (@ColoradoEagles) January 5, 2019
The following evening up the road in Stockton the Eagles had an eventful night but ultimately fell short 7-6 including an impressive comeback after they fell down 7-3. Defensive play wasn’t the story in this game although the Avalanche organization certainly pushed the limits of how much Pavel Francouz could take in this contest after flying in from Denver that day. He didn’t have much help in front of him but could have played sharper and on one save in the third period Francouz seemed to tweak something but remained in the game, so a situation to monitor.
There were goals and points for several players in this one but the true highlight was a two goal and assist effort from Nicolas Meloche, which hopefully grabbed the attention of someone in the organization. His first goal on the power play shows off his shot on a nice read as shown below. The second was even more impressive on a tip in front of the net. With an increased role as of late it was great to see Meloche get rewarded on the scoreboard.
— Colorado Eagles (@ColoradoEagles) January 6, 2019