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  • Tuesday, March 21, 2000

    Canucks 3, AVALANCHE 2

    Canucks surprise Avalanche

  • Summary

     DENVER (AP) -- In only his 21st game Brent Sopel learned a valuable lesson.

     The Vancouver rookie shook off a mistake that led to a first-period goal and then provided the game-winner in the third as the Canucks defeated the Colorado Avalanche for the first time in nine meetings winning 3-2 Monday night.

     "Yeah, I guess that's part of the NHL," said Sopel, whose goal was the second in his career. "You turn it over and you have to have the confidence to come back and do it."

     Harold Druken also had a third-period goal and Todd Bertuzzi added his fourth goal in four games for the Canucks, 0-6-2 in their previous eight games with Colorado, dating to Dec. 15, 1998.

     "We have ridden some key guys an awful lot this year, but also have had to have the lesser known guys step up like Sopel and we are getting that right now," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "He got handcuffed on their first goal, got stripped, but responded and came back to make some good plays and scored the winning goal."

     Druken tied it 41 seconds into the third with his fifth goal. Sopel, called up Feb. 19, provided the game-winner at 7:10 of the third with his first goal this season.

     Felix Potvin stopped 36 shots as the Canucks moved within two points of San Jose for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

     Colorado coach Bob Hartley didn't have an answer for the Avalanche's play against a team it had dominated or for the Avalanche's second straight poor outing.

     "I can't explain why, but we got away from our game plan," Hartley said. "We have to play better with a lead and not think we can score whenever we need it."

     Joe Sakic got his 11th goal in 10 games for the Avalanche. Milan Hejduk had a goal as Colorado remained two points ahead of idle Edmonton for first place in the Northwest Division.

     Sakic gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 5:21 of the first with his 23rd goal. Bertuzzi answered at 9:39 of the period with his 20th.

     Sakic's goal came after he picked off an errant pass by Sopel inside the Vancouver zone and fed Chris Drury. Drury returned the puck in front of the crease for a tap-in goal.

     Brendon Morrison found Bertuzzi in stride behind Avalanche defenseman Greg de Vries and Bertuzzi skated in alone on Patrick Roy and beat him with a backhander.

     Hejduk broke the tie one minute into the second period with his 31st goal. Drury tapped the puck to Hejduk along the boards and he skated into the slot unchecked and fired a shot over Potvin's stick.

     Vancouver had its chances, the best two by Brad May with seven minutes left in the period. Roy stopped a wrap-around attempt by May and a second shot from point blank.

     The Canucks needed 41 seconds to tie it at 2-2 in the third period. Druken stripped the puck from Peter Forsberg behind the net and skated in front past two Avalanche defensemen and beat Roy with a backhander.

     Denis Pederson set up Sopel with a pass from behind the net. Sopel beat Roy shortside from the right circle at 7:10 for his second career goal.

     "I wasn't expecting that," Sopel said. "I snuck it through but I just wanted to get it on net and some way it found its way through."

     Roy took full responsibility for the goal.

     "I should have made the save," Roy said. "I saw the puck and those are the saves a goalie has to make at this time of the season."

    Summary

    -----------------------------	 
    Vancouver            1 0 2--3	 
    Colorado             1 1 0--2	 
    -----------------------------	 
    
    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Colorado, Sakic 23 (Drury), 5:21. 2,
    Vancouver, T Bertuzzi 20 (Morrison, Cassels), 9:39. Penalties: M Naslund,
    Van (holding stick), 18:15; Forsberg, Col (interference), 18:15.
    
    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 3, Colorado, Hejduk 31 (Drury, Foote), 1:00.
    Penalties: Ohlund, Van (hooking), 2:24; Klemm, Col (interference), 8:20.
    
    THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 4, Vancouver, Druken 5 (unassisted), 0:21. 5,
    Vancouver, Sopel 1 (Pederson), 7:10. 
    
    Shots on goal:
    ---------------------------------	 
    Vancouver             8 12  8--28
    Colorado             13 11 14--38
    --------------------------------- 
    
    Power-play Conversions: Van - 0 of 1, Col - 0 of 1.  Goalies: Vancouver,
    Potvin (38 shots, 36 saves; record: 14-23-9). Colorado, Roy (28, 25;
    record: 27-21-8).  A:18,007.  Referees: P Devorski, Watson. Linesmen:
    Schachte, Sharrers.
    
                       INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS
    
    Vancouver                             Colorado
                   G   A   +/-  Shots                    G   A   +/-  Shots
    Baron          0   0   -1     0       Andreychuk     0   0   -3     7
    Cassels        0   1   +1     1       Aubin          0   0   even   3
    Cooke          0   0   +1     3       Bourque        0   0   +1     4
    Druken         1   0   +1     6       Deadmarsh      0   0   -3     3
    Hawgood        0   0   even   2       Dingman        0   0   even   0
    Hendrickson    0   0   even   2       Drury          0   2   +2     1
    Jovanovski     0   0   +1     2       Foote          0   1   +1     2
    Klatt          0   0   -2     1       Forsberg       0   0   -2     3
    M Naslund      0   0   even   0       G De Vries     0   0   -1     1
    May            0   0   +1     1       Hejduk         1   0   +2     1
    Messier        0   0   -2     1       Klemm          0   0   -1     0
    Morrison       0   1   +1     1       Messier        0   0   even   0
    Ohlund         0   0   +1     0       Ozolinsh       0   0   -1     2
    P Schaefer     0   0   even   2       Podein         0   0   even   0
    Pederson       0   1   +1     1       Reid           0   0   even   3
    Sopel          1   0   even   3       Sakic          1   0   +2     7
    Strudwick      0   0   +1     0       Skoula         0   0   -1     0
    T Bertuzzi     1   0   +1     2       Yelle          0   0   -1     1
    Aucoin         Finger Injury          Miller         Healthy
    Brashear       Concussion             Odgers         Healthy
    V Sharifijanov Healthy                Tanguay        Neck Injury
    Komarniski     Healthy
    
    
    
    
    COLORADO AVALANCHE VANCOUVER CANUCKS



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