How sweet it is baby! The U 11 Avalanche team were drinking champagne from the cup this past Sunday after winning the North East League Tier 3 banner. And not only were they crowned the league gold medal champions; but they did it in their own barn. And that was the icing on the cake!
The Avalanche had volunteered to host the league final earlier in the year, but there was no guarantee that they would even be playing in the final tournament at that time. Only the top four teams in the eight team Tier 3 league would be in the final. The Avalanche punched their ticket last weekend in Vermilion in the qualifying tournament. Consort, Vermilion and Hughenden were the other three teams to qualify.
Friday night the Avalanche played the top team in the league, the Consort Comets, losing a barn burner 6 to 5. The winning goal scored with only two minutes left on the clock. Not surprising the league leading goal scorer, Hudson ‘the Bull’ Brousseau had two or three guys assigned to shut him down. He still finished the game with a hat trick and an assist. Ava ‘the Red Baron’ Rawlake with a goal and an assist. Tor ‘Tornado’ Aarbo with the other goal. Hunter ‘Hardrock’ Pankiw and Lennox ‘All Out’ St. Arnault adding assists. Stetson ‘Shack’ Reynolds was solid between the pipes in this one.
On Saturday the Avalanche faced off against the Vermilion Tigers in a must win game. Goalie ‘General Lee’ Barstad getting the call to strap on the big pads. The General had a terrific game in net, the Avalanche winning this one 7 to 3. The much improved skater Hardrock with a hat trick. Two goals for the Red Baron. The Bull and Hudson ‘the Hammer’ Krankowski hammering home one goal each. Up from the U 9 farm team, affiliate player Jase ‘the Jackal’ Malo with an assist. The Jackal was not out of place one bit all weekend long. Winding up behind his net and going coast to coast D Man ‘All Out’ on the board with an assist as well.
With a one and one record the Avalanche really now could use a win to get into the gold medal final on Sunday in their second game of the day. But the Hughenden Jets were not prepared to just throw in the towel and hand them the game. This one ending in a 7 all tie. Four goals for the Bull. The Red Baron with a goals and two assists. All Out and Hardrock each adding a goal and an assist. The committee now needing their calculators to figure out who would be in the gold medal game and who would be in the bronze game. Lucky for the Avalanche they had a better points for and against record and were heading to the gold medal game on Sunday against the league leaders all year the Consort Comets. The underdogs Avalanche would need a good game plan.
Whatever the Avalanche mothers fed their precious sons and daughters for breakfast on Sunday morning worked. The Avalanche were flying in this game winning 9 to 1. Four goals and two assists for the Bull who did it with two or three players hanging on his back. Bull was also named MVP of the game. The Red Baron played one of the best games that I have witnessed. She was flying and swooped in with a hat trick. But more important I think were the three assists on the goals that she set up. A strong game both ways for Tornado who scored a goal and an assist. Hardrock also with one goal. Grayson ‘Big Bang’ Koppang, the Hammer and All Out all on the scoresheet with helpers. Behind the mask, allowing only one goal, steady Eddie, the goalie ‘Shack’ was awarded the Heart and Hustle award for the game.
Great job all year by the coaching staff. Head coach Aaron Aarbo. Assistants Daniel Brousseau, Jeff Koppang and manager Brittany Brousseau. And hats off to all the volunteer parents for working the concession booth, time clock and raffle table.
Another huge weekend coming up at the A.G. Ross Arena. Starting on Thursday we will be hosting the U13 Provincial Tier 2 finals. Be sure to come on down and cheer on the Avalanche.