Makar nets hat trick in decisive victory


For the Colorado Avalanche, it was hard to add any more chaos for the day. Trading Bowen Byram to the Buffalo Sabres and Ryan Johansen to the Philadelphia Flyers was an event in its own right, but newcomers Casey Mittelstadt (BUF) and Sean Walker (PHI) hadn’t yet made their way into the lineup.

Stepping up to the plate were Jean-Luc Foudy and Ondrej Pavel from the Colorado Eagles. To add to the pressure, it was Colorado’s first matchup against former teammate J.T. Compher on home ice since he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in free agency.

To match the pace of the day, the 7–2 decisive victory over the Red Wings was something unimaginable. Despite securing a win with such a substantial margin, there was still room to work for the home team while celebrating another historic night for the team.

Colorado outshot Detroit 54–29, but most of the success stemmed from the second period. The Avalanche scored three goals and put up a shocking 24 shots on the net, converting on three of them.

The Good

The Avalanche roster came up big in more ways than one. Cale Makar had recently broken an 11-game scoring drought against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 4. Since lighting the lamp, Makar broke open his historic night with an equalizing goal 5:15 into the contest, tying the game at one.

He subsequently scored an additional two back-to-back goals at the end of the second period, marking his first career hat trick—an impressive feat as a defenseman.

Nathan MacKinnon extended his home point streak to 31 games, tallying at least one in every matchup in Ball Arena for the 2023-24 season. MacKinnon collected four points on the night, his most notable also being an equalizing power play goal at the 17-minute mark.

Foudy made his first appearance in an Avalanche sweater after spending the first part of the season injured. Determined to make a splash, he netted his first NHL goal at 15:25 into the third period.

Mikko Rantanen tallied four assists, and Artturi Lehkonen and Jonathan Drouin also netted a goal in the decisive effort.

The Bad

The Avalanche had a serious problem with their penalty kill. Colorado is sitting 11th in the league on their penalty kill execution, but several defensive breakdowns in front of the net left too much room for Detroit to take advantage.

Both of the Red Wings’ goals took place in front of the net with little to no help from the defense. Alexandar Georgiev did as much as he could, but it proved to be a costly task.

Some of this could be because of the roster shuffle, but without the offensive force of the game, this could have proven to be catastrophic. Georgiev shut down many of Detroit’s offensive pressures, including a clutch glove save.


While the departure of Byram was an emotional moment for many Avalanche fans, the arrival of Mittelstadt and Walker is something to look forward to.

Makar’s impact tonight may have been the momentum the team needed to secure six unanswered goals in their decisive win, a much needed relief to the team’s offensive identity.

After securing tonight’s victory, Colorado and the Jets have tied at 83 points for second place in the Central Division, just two points behind Dallas.

The team is up against the Minnesota Wild on Friday. The Wild currently holds the sixth position in the Central Division and is nine points behind a wild card spot.

About Savvy Rafkin

Savvy is a recent Journalism and Media Communication graduate from Colorado State University. She spent most of her life playing softball and being surrounded by sports. As she entered college, she found her passion for sports writing and joined the Colorado State University Athletic Communications team. Later, she became a beat reporter for high school sports in northern Colorado.


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