(Denver, Colorado) — It was river hockey tonight at the Pepsi Center and in the end the high scoring Colorado Avalanche got the better of the Chicago Blackhawks, 7-5.
The wide open contest started with a bang with six first period goals – three by each team. Matt Duchene led the Avs’ attack scoring two goals and an assist… and Colorado won its third game in a row and now sits atop the Northwest Division with the Vancouver Canucks.
Brandon Yip opened the scoring for the Avs just 48 seconds into the game; and it was off to the races with some wide open play as Troy Brouwer’s power play evened the score less than 5 minutes later… before the Avs went ahead 57 seconds later – courtesy of Paul Stastny’s 13th tally of the season. Just when the fans thought the defense was finally in control of the game the offense resurfaced with three goals in less than three minutes to end the period tied 3-3.
In tonight’s game, the defending Stanley Cup Champions tried to skate with the Avs, and they failed. After the teams traded goals in the second period… it was all Colorado in the third. Brouwer netted his second goal of the night to put the Blackhawks in front for the first time in the game, but the Avs forechecking kept Chicago off balanced and the flood gates opened late for Colorado with three goals in 121 seconds from Tomas Fleischmann, Duchene, and Ryan O’ Reilly (empty net).
It was the tenth time this season the Avs scored five or more goals in a game… and the thirteenth time they allowed four plus goals. Right now it’s about their high octane offense, which ranks second in the NHL; but come spring it will have to be about transforming into a team with a defensive slant – if they have any aspirations of making the playoffs and getting past the first round.
The Avs are still missing some key players like Milan Hjduk, Kyle Quincey, T.J. Galiardi, and David Van Der Gulik. If these players can all get healthy and remain sound for the stretch drive – who knows how far this team can go. The fans have yet to see the Avs at full strength this season.
The teams renew their rivalry on Wednesday with the backend of the two game series at the United Center in Chicago.
About the Author
Written by Donovan Wilson
Donovan is a professional writer with more than 10 years of corporate communications and public relations experience. He currently resides in the Phoenix, Arizona area where he currently does freelance work for the Arizona Repubilc. With a degree in English from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia, Donovan has written for a variety of newspapers across the country. The single parent of an 13-year old boy, Donovan is a physical fitness enthusiast whom you can find on a soccer field or in the gym enduring an intense cardio workout. A sports enthusiast, Donovan has played competitive college hockey, soccer, and track and field. During his spare time, it’s not uncommon to see Donovan volunteering his services to a homeless shelter in Phoenix where he helps to feed the homeless. Currently, Donovan sits on the board of two nonprofit organizations – Green Nonprofits, Inc. and Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network, Inc. in New York City.