January 7: @ Flames 4 vs. NH Avalanche II 3

Special thanks to Amaris, Mel, and Alan for getting information to me in compiling this summary. I appreciate it very much and I am sorry I missed such a great game, as I had a previous baseball commitment on Monday night. Thank you.

The Flames Pee Wee Major team had so much fun playing hockey over the weekend that they kept right on playing into the school week. Monday night the Flames played host to the NH Avalanche II team which entered the game undefeated in Granite State play. The Av’s were also responsible for the Flames largest deficit in a loss this season when they beat the Flames 5-1 in their first meeting. In a game that proved to be far more exciting than the BCS National Championship game, the Flames earned a thrilling 4-3 win.

1st Period: Sean Moore got the Flames on the board first, following his own shot and rebound to put the puck in the net, giving the Flames a very short lead. Seconds later the Av’s took advantage of a defensive breakdown and scored on a wide open look at the net. Later in the period Jackson Puzzo went into the offensive boards and won a battle for the puck before centering a pass to Zachary Bayer. Bayer beat the goaltender clean, giving the Flames their second advantage of the game, 2-1. True to early form in this one, the Av’s answered again, this time just 16 seconds later. Again, the lead was gone, and the game was tied 2-2. The Flames had come to play and better yet, were utilizing their resources to create match-up issues for the Av’s who seemed a bit shocked that this game wasn’t already over.

2nd Period: In the second period the Flames continued to play well and make it clear that this wasn’t the same team that lost back in October. This time Bayer had the puck below the goal line and fed a pretty pass across the goal mouth to Puzzo who neatly one-timed the puck into the net giving the Flames their third lead of the game at 3-2. This time, the Flames held the lead, at least for a while. Although the home team spent the last four minutes of the period shorthanded, they held the Av’s from scoring and led at the end of two periods. The lead was in place thanks to some herculean penalty killing efforts from Brendan Courtney, Patrick Goren, Sam Hebert, and Wil Hebert.

3rd Period: The third period was more of the same, highly contested, evenly played hockey, with the Flames clinging to a one goal lead. Then, late in the period the Av’s scored a goal to tie the game at 3 apiece. This goal was questionable in many people’s mind. Did the Av’s player knock the puck into the net with his arm or hand, or with momentum carried into the crease? The officials did confer, and the call stood, goal for the Av’s, much to the chagrin of the Flames bench. Less than a minute later, while killing yet another penalty called for Flame stickwork, Sam Hebert scored the Flames fourth go ahead goal of the game, while shorthanded. The Flames held on and got the win despite the extra attacker the Flames had to contend with over the last 90 seconds of the game. This was a good hockey game and the Flames continued to play well, and to play like a team. They moved the puck, played together, and took advantage of match ups and style of play at every turn.

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