If a hockey game was decided on pure grit, stamina and effort, the Avon View Avalanche’s girls’ hockey team would have played in the NSSAF Division I semifinals March 24 at the GFL Newport Recreation Centre.
But the team had to settle for a third-place finish in Pool A and missed out on advancing to the semifinals.
In the deciding game, Avon View took on the Halifax Citadel Phoenix and, despite a flurry of activity around the Citadel net and fans thinking the Avalanche had scored on two separate occasions, the Phoenix won the game 1-0 and with it, a berth in the semifinals that night.
Earlier in the day, the Avalanche roared back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Lockview Dragons 3-2. This moved the team 1-1 in the round robin portion.
The Avalanche had a sluggish first period and fell behind early as the Dragons appeared to be on a roll.
Avalanche head coach Rob Davies said he told his team at the conclusion of the first period to “wake up and start playing disciplined hockey because if we can do that, we will maintain momentum and potentially earn a berth in the provincial semifinals.”
The Avalanche team started the second period playing at a five-on-three disadvantage but buckled down, took the coach’s words to heart and began playing like they had all season when they posted a 33-6 record, including a 19-0-0 mark in the Valley High School Hockey League.
Scoring for the Avalanche to start the comeback was Savannah Hartt, as she put a rebound home, then came back with a wrist shot into a wide-open net to tie the game at 2-2. Japanese international student Yumi Miyano brought the puck deep into Lockview territory and pulled the goalie out before she sent the puck across the crease and into the net for the game winner.
It was Avon View’s second win of the week over Lockview, as the team had previously defeated the Dragons in double overtime in an exhibition game on March 20.
Avon View lost its first game in the tournament against the No. 1 seeded Halifax West Warriors 4-0.
The final was held March 25. The CP Allen Cheetahs edged the Halifax West Warriors 2-1 in championship game.