<
>

Svatos' hat trick helps Avs win 5th straight

DENVER (AP) -- Marek Svatos plays in the shadows of more
publicized rookies Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. That
hasn't kept the Colorado Avalanche forward from matching them
goal-for-goal.

Svatos had his second three-goal game and David Aebischer
stopped 27 shots to help the Avalanche win their fifth straight
game, 6-1 over St. Louis on Monday night.

"It is a special crop of rookies this year and I think
everybody has a strong case with how well they are playing and the
consideration they are getting," Colorado coach Joel Quennville
said. "Being aware of Svatos on a regular basis, he is deserving
of some attention and consideration based on how consistent he has
been.'

Ovechkin and Svatos lead NHL rookies with 25 goals. Crosby has
21.

"I am not tracking the other rookies, but I read the
newspaper," Svatos said. "I know Ovechkin has 25, so it was nice
to catch him.

Svatos has five goals in three games, 25 for the season and four
multigoal games. He also had a hat trick Oct. 10 against Calgary.

"They are great players and they are the best players on their
teams, so they deserve a lot of ice time," Svatos said. "The
biggest issue for me is my defensive play, and I'm trying to work
on it and get better at it so I can play on the penalty kill."

Patrice Brisebois, Andrew Brunette and Alex Tanguay added goals
for the Avalanche. The winning streak is Colorado's longest since a
six-game run Jan. 30-Feb. 11, 2003.

Simon Gamache scored the lone goal for St. Louis, 4-6-0-1 in its
last 11 games. Jason Bacashihua made 30 saves and the Blues were
0-for-7 on the power play.

"There are times we seem to be turning the corner," St. Louis
center Doug Weight said. "Then we play games like this where we
were down right embarrassing."

Brisebois and Svatos scored 1:11 apart in the first period to
put Colorado ahead 2-0. With teams playing 4-on-4, Brisebois took a
pass from Brett Clark and sent a slap shot from the right point off
the right post and into the net at 13:40.

The Avalanche went on the power play seconds later when Ian
Laperriere returned from a roughing penalty. Bacashihua stopped Rob
Blake's slap shot from the slot, but Svatos jumped on the rebound
and sent it past Bacashiua's glove at 14:51.

"He is pretty resilient in that area," Quennville said. "He
doesn't need much of an opportunity to get it away, and he can be
really tricky there."

St. Louis had chances to score early in the second period, but
came up empty. Jamal Mayers hit the right post on a breakaway 2
minutes into the period.

The Blues managed only one shot on Aebischer in a 45-second,
5-on-3 advantage. They had only three shots on the combined
penalties to Brad Richardson and Milan Hejduk.

Svatos scored his second goal of the game on a one-timer from
the slot at 8:35 of the second period, and completed the hat trick
with 6:35 left in the third.

"There isn't anything unusual about Svatos," Bacashihua said.
"He's a goal scorer who scores when he gets his stick on the
puck."
^Notes:@ Colorado recalled F Brad Richardson from Lowell of AHL. ...
St. Louis C Doug Weight had the Blues' best scoring chance of the
first period, but sent a backhander over the wide-open net. ...
Colorado C Pierre Turgeon is expected to miss at least three weeks
because of a strained shoulder.