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NH Avalanche 2000 @ Seacoast – Game 26

Sunday, the NH Avalanche 2000 team played its’ last scheduled road game of their Bantam Major season at The Rinks at Exeter. They squared off against a familiar foe, the Seacoast Spartans. Familiarity may have been the theme of the day in actuality, but maybe not in the way one may think. While the opponent was one that the Avs 2000 team has seen numerous times this season, it had been four weeks since the last time this Avs team had been on the ice together. Four weeks, ironically, since they had seen this Spartan team in fact.

Regardless of who knew whom, the Avs jumped out to an early lead in the game. Max Lajeunesse scored in the first 100 seconds on a feed from Clay Sanders and the Avs were off and running. Later in the period, Mikey Perry tallied a goal on a scrum out in front of the net, and after one period the Avs led 2-1.

The second period saw the Spartans storm back with a pair of goals, one on the power play, and take a 3-2 lead into the final period. In the third period Sydney Herrington scored a power play goal for the Avs on a beautiful hockey play, to tie the game at 3-3. Wait. What? I’m sorry, the goal was wiped out by one of the many stellar examples of officiating in this game. Apparently, I found out during my post game interviews, that the referee had called the goal no good, after not blowing the play dead for a goalpost that was an inch off of the peg, caused by the defensive team, because he was thinking about blowing his whistle, and that process normally takes him two seconds, and in those two seconds, Sydney scored the goal?!?!?!?! Okay, so back to a 3-2 deficit for the Avs until they earned a 5-on-3 advantage after, FINALLY, drawing some penalty calls from the officiating crew. Unfortunately, as it would turn out, the Spartans scored the only goal (that counted) of the third period while down two players, and held on for a 4-2 win. The Avs probably deserved better. They played well at times while certainly not clicking as well together as they had at other points in the season. They still battled and certainly appeared to draw several more penalties than were called while they were whistled for the first six penalties of the contest.

The Avs finish their season play with a home game on Sunday, March 1st at 4:20pm versus the Advantage Ice. See you all then. Enjoy the remainder of school vacation week.

NH Avalanche 2000 vs. Seacoast @ Exeter

Well, it was Sunday, the final day of the NHL All-Star Weekend. All-Star weekend took place in Columbus, Ohio. Meanwhile back here in NH, the NH Avalanche team, or some form of the team, played the Seacoast Spartans out in Exeter. They say that familiarity breeds contempt and maybe that’s true here in this past game. At least from one side. I don’t know, I just saw what I saw.

Okay, I know most of the players on the Avs 2000 team probably watched the All-Star Draft, or at least the Skills Competition. Maybe they also spent hours on the ice of backyard rinks or frozen ponds leading up to Sunday’s game. Perhaps they had played too much hockey in this outdoor hockey season. Or, maybe some contempt, some disrespect had crept into their minds. I have no idea, maybe all of these things had a part in Sunday’s results. Maybe none of them did. I just know that there’s always something to be learned whether it be about a team, or one’s self, class is always open.

Let’s start here; Final Score: Seacoast 7: NH Avalanche 0.

Now, the Avs did play the first 12:08 of the game with no goaltender, and six skaters. Really. Despite several players taking turns to make saves from shots fired anywhere on their defensive side of the red line. They allowed three goals during that time so they definitely were in a hole by the time the goaltender arrived in the crease. After killing off a penalty the Avs did allow another goal with less than a minute to play in the opening period and found themselves trailing 4-0.

Another player showed up during the second period for the Avs, but by that time, the score had already exploded to 6-0 in favor of the home team. The second period would end with the Avs trailing 7-0.

In the final period the Avs played better, but could not score even while holding the Spartans off of the scoreboard. This was one of those days where tape to tape passes were finding the tape on the opponents sticks’. Or there were passes made that tipped, bounced, deflected, rolled, or otherwise just didn’t connect with teammates. Zigs were accompanied by simultaneous zags. Continuity existed only in memory. It was one of those days that makes you wonder why such days happen. Then after formulating that thought we figure it’s probably best to just move on, move forward, and know that every morning is a new day, a new chance, and just might be the day that everything falls into place. Isn’t that the beauty of sport and the humans that compete?

NH Avalanche 2000 vs. Seacoast – Ice Den 1-18-15

Sunday, during a freezing rain that seemed to be far worse on the north side of Route 101, the NH Avalanche 2000 team played host to the Seacoast Spartans. Several roads were in fact closed, and accidents did re-route traffic in a number of places, but hockey goes on.

After all was said and done, the score ended in a tie at 2-2. The home team led for most of this game, and, truthfully, I think they also had the majority of chances to score as well. Both teams did take turns making nice pass plays resulting in goals being scored and even more chances that didn’t end up in the back of the net.

Early in the first period, Max Lajeunesse gave the Avs a 1-0 lead on feeds from linemates, Sebastian Beal and Cody Sullivan. Max would have numerous scoring chances in this one, but no other shots of his would tickle the twine in this game.

In the second period, Seacoast briefly tied the game, scoring on a tough angle shot. Just a couple of minutes later Tyler Whiting would score a power play goal from between the circles on a pass from Sydney Herrington to give the Avs a 2-1 lead. Both Avalanche goaltenders, Gavin Cram, and Spencer Burgess made lead-saving saves throughout the contest. The period would end with the Avs holding the lead.

The third period saw the home team get several chances on lengthy puck possessions without being able to get that insurance goal or two. Then half-way through the final period, Seacoast put together a nice rush and perfect pass play to get the tying goal. The game would end in a 2-2 tie, thanks in part to a stone cold brilliant save by Burgess right outside of his crease.

The Avs played well. They generated a boat load of chances but just couldn’t dent the twine more than twice. They were down a few players and maybe the chemistry suffered a little from that but they still played well. The Avs return to action on Sunday, January 25th at Exeter vs. this same Seacoast team.

 

NH Avalanche 2000 – Turkey Tournament 2-3

Game 2:

Saturday morning the NH Avalanche 2000 team opened play against the Advantage Ice at Dover Arena. Both teams had earned victories in their first games of the tournament. The Advantage Ice team had beaten Maine Hockey Academy 4-0 the evening before, while the Avs had beaten Seacoast Spartans 4-2. Everyone knew this would be a tough game.

The Avalanche ending up on the short end of a 4-0 score. The Advantage Ice were well schooled and didn’t make many mistakes. They capitalized quickly when the Avs did make a mistake. The Avalanche just couldn’t get things clicking, in part, due to the Advantage team. If the Avs had a player at the front of the net, the puck was out wide. If the puck was sent through the crease or on net, the Avs had players outside of that area. They just could not string anything together during game two.

As the Avs headed in to the final game of the opening round, they needed some help from the Seacoast Spartans just to be in the tiebreaker conversation in order to get to the Championship round.

Game 3:

The final game was played at The Whittemore Center on the campus of UNH, against the team from Maine Hockey Academy. Maine had played the two teams who would end up meeting in the finals, and had not scored a goal in two games. The NH Avalanche 2000 team jumped out to an early lead, getting goals from Max Lajeunesse, Caiden Paradise, and Sydney Herrington. After one period the Avs were helping themselves in the standings and leading 3-0. Assists on the goals came from Michael Perry, Jon Last, and Cody Sullivan.

Did you ever have one of those days when things never really come together but there are glimmers of hope throughout the day that give you a sense that they could come together, only to have it all crash in the end? Well that’s kind of how this finishes. The Avs would not score again, and would end up losing the game 5-3. In the meantime, the Spartans did their best to upset the Boston Advantage, but ended up losing 1-0. The loss left the Avs with a record of 1-2, and out of the playoff round. Boston Advantage would go on to beat Advantage Ice 1-0 in the title game.

NH Avalanche 2000 vs. Seacoast Spartans – Ice Den

Over the weekend the NH Avalanche 2000 team hosted the Seacoast Spartans for a game at the Ice Den. Previously, the Avs had traveled to Exeter and played the Spartans to a 5-5 tie after entering the third period with a 5-3 lead. That game had been a pretty physical affair and full of offense.

Both teams were missing players from the previous meeting between these two teams, but eventually, there was some physical play and a stretch of time during the third period where some players forgot about the puck being on the ice. Overall, this was a good game.

The Spartans took an early 1-0 lead but Tyler Whiting sent a well placed feed to Nicholas Gagne who skated down the right side and scored a nice goal to tie the game just minutes later. Late in the opening period, on the power play, the Avalanche scored again, taking a 2-1 lead. Whiting and Gagne teamed up again, this time getting a pass out front to Cody Sullivan who slammed the puck home, converting on a pretty play with the man advantage.

The second period saw the Spartans tie the game at 2 apiece on their second power play goal. The Avs lost a defensive zone face off and the Spartan center made a quick pass to the crease for a tap in goal. Outside of that though, the Avs carried the play for almost the entire middle stanza. They showed great teamwork and structure while generating scoring chance after scoring chance, but could not find the back of the net.

For more than 14 minutes, the third period was played in a 2-2 tie. Both teams had chances. The Spartan goaltender made a couple of saves that were flat-out robbery. The game got a little chippy as mentioned earlier, but both teams defended their ends of the ice pretty well. Then with just 55.8 seconds remaining, the Spartans took advantage of a turnover at their offensive blue line and scored the game winning goal.

As I said, the game was a good game, played pretty evenly. The Avalanche had some great chances throughout the second half of this game but it wasn’t to be. This isn’t about missed chances, this is about how the Avs played together, moved the puck, covered for one another, and virtually everyone on the roster had chances to score.

The Avalanche will be on the ice quite a bit this coming weekend, all of which will be at The Ice Den Arena.

  • Friday Night Skills: 7:30-8:30pm
  • Saturday Game vs. Boston Vipers: 5:10pm
  • Saturday Game vs. Manchester Flames: 7:50pm
  • Sunday game vs. Boston Advantage: 10:10am