The AC Avalanche had the lead for only six minutes against the Keystone Raiders, but it was the right six minutes.
The Avs used a two-goal third period comeback to beat the Raiders 6-5 during a wild contest at Airdrie’s Ron Ebbesen Arena, Nov. 7. Kade Taplin earned the win in net, after replacing starting netminder James Fisk following the first period, while Tyler Nielsen scored twice and Chandler Irvin, Reed Boothby, Cole Sutherland and Patrick Dove added singles.
Dalton Dubetz, Blair Oneschuk, Mark McLoed, Dakoda Herman and Jordan Williamson scored for Keystone, while Mihai Bordeianu was in net for the loss.
“It was a back-and-fourth game and we’ve been looking for a character win,” said Avalanche head coach Jeff Hansen. “Our boys were down 3-0 but stuck with it and bounced back real nice.”
“(Blowing leads) seems to be a common occurrence,” said Raiders’ head coach Sean Finn. “We seem to go out there and take it and then just hand it back. I don’t know why that would happen, or what mentality we have, but it is a regular occurrence.”
The Raiders, based in Chestermere, opened up a 3-0 lead 15 minutes into the first with early goals by Dubetz, Oneschuk and McLoed. Irvin’s point shot 30 seconds after Keystone’s third goal and Boothby’s power play goal two minutes later brought Airdrie-Cochrane within one at the first intermission.
Hansen decided to make the goalie switch at the intermission in order to further rally his players.
“(The goalie change) wasn’t James’ fault,” he said. “The players were a little flat and that’s kind of a way to rattle things up. It was a way to try and get the team to respond.”
The teams traded goals throughout the second period before Nielsen’s second goal tied the game at five early in the third. Dove’s blocker-side shot with 6:12 remaining then put the Avs up for the first time
“The last five games or so, we’ve had good efforts, but the bounces just haven’t been going our way,” Hansen said. “We had five games without a power play goal, so going two-for-two today and getting the win was a good confidence booster for us.”
“They showed resiliency and put the puck on net, but it’s us that beat us,” Finn said. “Putting five pucks in the net should be enough to win any hockey game.”
With the win, the Avalanche has a 3W-7L record in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League. The Raiders fall to 4W-5L-2T.