Tag Archives: winning the edges

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 – The last month

Since the last write-up I posted regarding the 2000 NH Avalanche Bantam Major Elite quite a few things have happened. Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone. High School hockey seasons have started. Kyle Greer has joined the roster and his offensive skills have been noticed. Today I will try to recap a few things here and get set for the remainder of the season.

The last game I reported here on this site was a one-sided loss to Assabet Valley played on December 7th. High School teams had just been selected and players making their school teams were still trying to figure out a few things. Among other things, these players and their families had to figure out the balance between school, sleep, homework, early morning rides versus work schedules, the new needs for school colored equipment, the school’s schedule for ice time, how many days per week, etc. That was last year, literally.

On December 14th the Avs hosted the Boch Blazers for a late afternoon game. The Avs, missing many of their players, played hard, and were competitive despite losing 4-0. The Avs could not click quite enough to generate sustained offensive pressure or to cash in on the chances they did have. The effort was solid despite having a short bench and taking 7 penalties in the game.

On December 21st, the Avs showed up at the Ice Den in Hooksett, NH for a home game that was never played, as the visiting Patriots from Assabet Valley did not show up. The Avs took advantage of the ice time by playing a 3-on-3, full sheet of ice, 45 minute game against themselves. The Avs did win that night.

Fast forward through the Holidays, a New Year started, dozens of high school practices, figuring out the schedules, who was playing where, and how much, and finally when can players make it to Bantam games, or not.

The Avs started 2015 with a road game in East Boston, Mass. on a Sunday morning. The overnight led to Sunday morning and all were greeted with a few inches of wet snow, some sleet, freezing rain, and rain, depending on what zip code you may have been in.

Jonathon Last looks to move the puck. (Photo by Terri P)

Jonathon Last looks to move the puck. (Photo by Terri P)

The players made it to Porrazzo Rink and battled the Advantage Ice on the ice sheet. The Avs played well throughout the game. Actually, they even carried the play for segments of the game. Even so, the Avs fell behind in the middle period, allowing a pair of power play goals to the home team. After two periods the Avs trailed on the scoreboard, 4-1. The lone goal had been scored by newcomer Kyle Greer, assisted by Cody Sullivan and Clay Sanders. In the third period, the Avs scored twice, but the comeback came up short as they lost 5-3. Third period goals were scored by Max Lajeunesse and Cody Sullivan. The first goal was scored by Max on an assist from Sebastian Beal.

Avs score a goal against Advantage Ice. (Photo by Terri P)

Avs score a goal against Advantage Ice. (Photo by Terri P)

Then, Sullivan’s goal was set up by Caiden Paradise and Kyle Greer. The Avs may have lost the game, but the effort was good, the officiating was questionable which reflected on the score sheet, as the home team was whistled for just one penalty after the first seven penalties had been called on the visitors. The game also marked the first time that ‘the team’ had really played together since the Turkey Tournament at Thanksgiving.

Next, Sunday the 11th witnessed the Avs first home game of 2015. The Avs welcomed a familiar foe in the Assabet Valley Patriots. Five weeks ago, this same Patriot roster beat the Avs 10-1 down at their barn. Sunday, the 11th, today, it was a different story. I mean, a completely different story. Less than two minutes into the game, the visitors scored first, and the Avs found themselves trailing before all lines had even played a shift. Over the next 43:46, however, the Patriots would not score again. The Avs answered the Assabet Valley goal with a goal of their own less than three-and-a-half minutes later. Mike Perry scored the goal on a nice redirection from in front of the net. He tipped a well placed shot along the ice from Sydney Herrington, up, and over the goaltender’s shoulder, and in to the back of the net. Herrington’s shot had been set up by a pass from Sebastian Beal at the point. The period would end with the score tied 1-1 and the effort from both clubs about the same as well.

In the second period the Avs seemed to play their way into even more chemistry between their lines as they were all together again for the second weekend in a row. Sydney Herrington gave the Avs a 2-1 lead as she raced across the slot and ripped a wrist shot into the back of the net. The goal came off of a nice feed from Max Lajeunesse who had been sprung up the left wing boards by a nice outlet pass from his own defensive end by Caiden Paradise. After two periods the Avs maintained a 2-1 advantage and were getting the better of the chances.

The third period saw Kyle Greer score a goal on perfectly placed shot just inside the post, and under the crossbar. Greer took a well timed pass from Lajeunesse and made no mistake. Cody Sullivan had started the play with a nice feed to get Max flying up the right wing before delivering the pass to Greer. Herrington had another great chance for the Avs from the slot but the goaltender got a piece of the shot and the puck rose high enough to glance off of the crossbar and over the net. The Avs would finish out the effort with teamwork apparent at both ends of the ice, and hold on to a 3-1 win. Spencer Burgess and Gavin Cram were both solid in net and each made key saves in the victory. Clay Sanders, Christian Levesque, Tyler Whiting, and Jonathon Last all contributed to the victory, getting chances to score or creating the chances, while shutting down the opponent.

The NH Avalanche 2000 team will be back on the ice for their next game on Sunday morning, January 18th at 10:45am versus the Seacoast Spartans. The game will be played at Thomas F. Sullivan Arena on the campus of Saint Anselm College. See you then. Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

NH Avalanche 2000 @ Assabet Valley Patriots – Valley Sports Arena

Last night the NH Avalanche 2000 team traveled to Concord, Mass. to play the Assabet Valley Patriots at the Valley Sports Arena. The was the first game the Avalanche had played since high school tryouts had been decided earlier in the week. The Avs had a few kids missing so they called up some players, three to be exact, from the Bantam Minor Elite team. The players called up for this game were, Maxwell Dorrington, Mason Drouin, and Eric Favreau.

The night was most definitely not one for the memoirs as far as the Avs were concerned. The final score ended up being 10-1, with the Avs getting a late third period goal, but it was a little too late to make such a comeback.

Things we may have learned, or even reaffirmed from Sunday night’s game, in no particular order.

  • Dorrington, Drouin, and Favreau can all skate. They played hard, hustled, and tested the waters against a much larger, more experienced team.
  • #26 on Assabet Valley wasn’t on their roster, but he alone was bigger than some of the hybrid vehicles I see on the roads these days, and he could play.
  • Against teams like the Patriots, any game the Avalanche play, short of solid, sound, and structured will likely result in scores similar to last night.
  • Goaltending must be sharp to save the teams’ bacon on mistakes made out in front of the crease. Some times it’s not fair, but chances still remain to save the day.
  • Turnovers happen, and minimizing them are a must against Assabet Valley. If a turnover, or mistake does happen, and they will, heady hustle should be the response in order to offset the error.
  • When this Avalanche team moves the puck well, they can get chances to score against anyone.
  • The Avs can be effective on the forecheck when they are willing to put some skin in the game and not just skate ‘fly-bys’ or go through the motions. See the goal scored by Sebastian Beal , set up by Eric Favreau. The two players picked off the puck on the forecheck and put it in the net.
  • It’s always better when the scoreboard operates the way it’s supposed to.

Any how, it’s on to the next game, and that is the beauty of a new day. Anything can happen.

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

NH Avalanche 2000 vs. Assabet Valley Patriots – Ice Den

Saturday saw the return of the NH Avalanche 2000 team to the ice in-game action at the Ice Den versus the, steep in hockey history, program from Assabet Valley (Concord, MA). I will do my best to recap the game here.

The first period ended scoreless. The period started slowly, choppy, unorganized, and rather sloppy if you ask me. Av’s goaltender Gavin Cram made several huge saves in the opening five minutes while his team scrambled to get their game bearings in order. Although there was only a single penalty and zero goals that counted in the opening period, I did take away a couple of things from the period. First, the Assabet Valley Patriots (AVP) did score a goal, but the puck was directed into the net off of a Patriots’ skates and waved off. Then it seemed that AVP was winning every single battle for the puck, getting there first, harder, faster, and with more confidence. Lastly the home team missed on at least half a dozen opportunities to head man the puck and stretch the AVP defense, forcing them to loosen up and play defense over the expanse of the rink.

The second period was a sign of things to come. Five penalties called and three goals scored in the period set the stage. The Av’s scored first on a rebound put in the net by Max Lajeunesse. The play was set up and assisted by Jon Fast and Clay Sanders. Two minutes later AVP scored to the tie game after the Av’s turned the puck over in their own end. Cram left the game for Spencer Burgess with the score tied 1-1 midway through the second period. AVP would take a 2-1 lead on a pretty goal just seconds into a power play and the period would end with the score 2-1.

The third period picked up where the second period left off, more hitting, more penalties, more goals, and more of AVP winning pucks and being the aggressor in all the gaps between players and the puck. There were ten penalties called, including a game misconduct, as well as four more goals. In a nutshell, the Av’s had a two-man advantage for 1:11 and managed just one shot that made it through to the goaltender. At the time, the score was only 3-1 in favor of AVP. They had taken a two-goal lead early in the period when the Av’s turned the puck over only 30 feet in front of their own net. After another turnover in their own end, the Av’s trailed 4-1 and were shorthanded when one of the missing ingredients from earlier in the game was utilized to perfection. Cody Sullivan made a long, aerial pass from his own blue line on the penalty kill, to Max Lajeunesse (Cody to Max, our own version of the French Connection) who easily got behind the defense, skated in, dazzled the goaltender and scored the shortie. Just 41 seconds later, a Patriot forward stripped our defender, in the defensive end, clean of the puck and scored to make the final score 5-2.

This game looked to me like two teams who matched up pretty well, but one team just wanted every puck more. AVP played with the arrogance that often accompanies the bragging rights earned by winning the edges that need winning.

Later this week I hope to get the player profiles posted here. I thank you for those of you who have answered the few questions I sent to make things a little more fun. If you haven’t sent them to me, please do. Thank you.