HOOKSETT, NH -- Mark 'em down! The New Hampshire Avalanche rolled in and won another set of state titles this past weekend. Read the recaps below on the title runs put together by the U16 Gold and U14 Elite teams.
The U16 Gold team traveled to North Conway, NH for the Granite State Championships this past weekend. In the first game, the Avs took a 3-1 lead over the Manchester Flames 2 team. The Flames scrapped throughout the 3rd, and tied the game with about five minutes to play. However, Brett Niland took the game into his own hands beating several defenders with his speed, and put home the winner with 49 seconds to play.
The 2nd game of the day on Saturday, had the U16 Gold team facing-off against a NH East team that the Avs had handled twice already in the regular season. After a back and forth 1st period, the Avs found their offensive rhythm and cruised to an 8-1 victory. Grady Chretien and Luke Suhesky sparked the offense, while Cody Boyce stood tall in net.
The Avs advanced to the Championship Game on Sunday against their cross-town rivals, the Manchester Flames 1 team. The Flames were the better team for most of the 1st period, and capitalized on a power-play to take a 1-0 lead. The Avs battled back and got a rebound goal by Luke Suhesky to knot the score at 1 apiece.
The Avs then came out stronger and more physical in the 2nd period and found their puck possession game. Mike Durkin led the defense with several big hits and the line of Chretien, Niland and Lapinsky continued to wear down the Flames. Chretien found the back of the net on a rebound to make it 2-1, and then Suhesky potted his 2nd of the game to give the Avs the 3-1 advantage after two periods. The Flames pushed back to start the 3rd period and scored another power-play goal to trim the lead to one.
However, Andrew Johnson came up clutch with a late 3rd period marker, taking the puck wide with speed and turning the Flames defense before walking in on the goaltender with a five hole finish to take back the two-goal lead.
The Flames had a 6 on 4 empty net advantage for the last minute of the game, but Ryan Leighton and Derek Greer sealed off the defense making several key clears, and Boyce locked the door for a well earned U16 State Championship victory.
The Avalanche U16 Gold team will be New Hampshire's representative in the 2020 USA Hockey U16 Tier 2 National Championships, to be held in April.
The New Hampshire Avalanche U14s went 3-0 over the weekend, including two wins over the Northern Cyclones, to win the New Hampshire Tier 1 U14 State Championship. The boys will now play in the New England Regional Tournament in March.
On Saturday morning, the Avs skated to a 7-1 win over the Cyclones at the Ice Den. The Avs got some big saves early in the game from Brendan Heppler to keep the game scoreless, until the boys got their legs going. The offense was led by Dylan Garvin with 2-0-2, Domminic Tagliaferro 2-0-2, Aidan Palmeter 1-1-2, Will Danais 1-1-2, Brady Chapman 0-2-2, Owen Miner 0-2-2, and AJ True 0-2-2.
The Avs were back at the rink on Saturday night to take on the Cyclones at Cyclones Arena in Hudson, NH. The Cyclones came out flying determined to even the best of 3 series, but Mason Langevin was huge in net early on keeping the game scoreless throughout the 1st period. The Avs offense then exploded for four goals in the 2nd period, on the way to a convincing 5-1 victory. The Avs offense was led by Dylan Garvin with 2-0-2, Tucker Townsend 1-1-2, AJ True 1-1-2, Aidan Palmeter 1-1-2, Dominik Jurcins 0-2-2, and Tate Flint 0-2-2.
On Sunday, the Avs skated at home against the RI Saints for 1st place in their division. The Avs went down early, trailing 1-0 after the 1st period. Aidan Palmeter scored four minutes into the 2nd period on a great individual effort to tie the game up at 1-1. The Saints answered right back taking a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Cooper Joscelyn then scored on a bomb from the left face-off circle with seven minutes left in the game to tie the score at two apiece, with assists going to Jack Shoemaker and Zach Famiglietti.
The Avs kept pushing and got the go-ahead goal with 1:58 left in the game on a great shot from Will Danais, assists to Dylan Garvin and Aidan Palmeter. The Saints pulled their goalie, but Brendan Heppler made two huge saves to secure the 3-2 victory.
The Avalanche overall season record is now 18-6-4 for the year.