The Avon View Avalanche’s boys’ hockey team’s head coach Mark Tye was almost at a loss for words following his team’s 2-1 loss to the Sir John A. MacDonald Flames.
The game, played on March 3 at the Hants Exhibition Arena before the largest crowd they’ve seen this season, was a sudden-death provincial qualifier.
A win would have sent Avon View to the Division 1 NSSAF Boys’ Provincial Hockey Championship in Glace Bay March 8-10.
They were forced into the qualifier after suffering a 5-0 loss in Bridgewater March 1 to the Park View Panthers, who, with the win, advanced directly to the provincials.
“We outshot the Flames, we hustled hard all afternoon, we outshot them 42-31 but somehow could not put the puck in the net,” said Tye following the March 3 loss.
The biggest blow to the Avalanche came in the opening five minutes of the game as their No. 1 goaltender, Joe MacDonald, left with a groin injury that had been bothering him for the past few days.
The Flames led 2-0 heading into the third.
With 12:02 left in the third period, Ethan Salsman, of the Avalanche, made a great rush down the ice and slid a pass over to Matthew Benedict, who scored.
The Flames were forced to play with four players versus the Avalanche’s six with 43 seconds left in the game but the Avalanche simply could not buy a goal.
The Avalanche outshot the Flames 42-31.
“It was a great season even without a trip to the provincials. Our guys played exceptional hockey throughout the season.”