AC Avalanche searching for first win of 2013
A last-minute goal stole what would’ve been the AC Avalanche’s first win of the year right out from under them.
The team drew to a 4-4 tie, its second of the season, with the CNHA Canucks and are now 0-1-2 in the first three games of 2013.
A two-goal lead is considered one of the most risky to sit on in hockey and the Avalanche went into the third period with up two goals on the Canucks. The lead that nearly secured the team’s first win of 2013 ended up being its downfall.
“(The lead) ended up being (dangerous),” said Avalanche head coach Terry Sydoryk. “It shouldn’t have been. We had a really good second period and the third period we started to get comfortable and we put ourselves in a position where we let them back into the game.”
A dominant second frame left the Avalanche with a 3-1 lead heading into the third period thanks to Dylan McCuaig, Brad Bergshoeff and Kris LeClair
The Avalanche and the Canucks traded goals in the third, as Bergshoeff scored his second of the game and just when the Avalanche thought it was heading for its first win of 2013, CNHA’s Donavon Pederson capitalized on a scrambled rebound and tied the game with four seconds left.
Sydoryk said the team has struggled with discipline and playing too fancy in the past three games, adding the second period against the Canucks was an example of everything the team has been doing right all season.
“We were aggressive,” he said. “We were moving the puck, we had a couple of great goals and good shots on goal. We’ve been asking for them from the beginning of the year to play within our means and play and compete on a one-on-one basis and that’s what the second period was.”
With only 11 games left in the season, the Avalanche are sitting in sixth place in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League’s (AMMHL) South division and vying for a spot to play for the Sutter Cup, the league’s annual championship tournament.
Sydoryk said for the team to have a chance at the title, it needs to avoid what plagued the players in the first half of the season and cost it a handful of wins.
“We tended to play to the level of the other team,” he said. “They brought a good game, but we had a better game that we could’ve played and we didn’t. Some of the teams (we lost to) weren’t as high standings wise and we could’ve won some of those games.”
The Avalanche will play its next home game against the Grande Prairie BP Storm. Game time is 2:15 p.m. at the Totem Arena in Cochrane.