For Hants County hockey fans who show up loyally to watch the Avon View Avalanche boys’ hockey team play, this season has had its share of heart-stopping moments.
Saturday evening was a prime example of this as the Avalanche fell behind by two goals on three separate occasions, only to finally defeat the Park View Panthers 7-6 in a shootout.
The Avalanche trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes, with the teams tied at 3-3 after two complete periods of play. It was the third period that had those in attendance gripping their hearts to make sure they did not stop.
Avon View killed off six minutes of penalties in the opening period, holding the Panthers to just one goal. Park View then jumped in front 2-0 early in the second period but Jake Lloy, on a dynamite pass from Brett Wallace, scored for the Avalanche to make the score 2-1.
Team captain Trevor House worked diligently all around the Park View net and fed a pass in front of the net only to be denied. The Panthers then outskated the Avalanche defense and scored in a two-on-one break to take a 3-1 lead. Just moments later, Avon View’s Tristan Horner drilled a remarkable shot, unassisted, right in front of the net and bested the Panthers’ goalie.
The second period ended with the teams tied 3-3 thanks to a goal by Wallace.
Park View began the third period in a strong and aggressive manner and quickly captured a 5-3 lead.
Avon View ran into penalty troubles early in the third period, but found their way back on track.
House fed a beautiful pass to Wallace, who then scored shorthanded with 36 seconds left in one of Avon View’s penalties to keep the Avalanche within a goal at 5-4.
The Panthers then went up 6-4 with only 5:03 left in the game.
Wallace, who was already having a superior offensive game for the Avalanche, scored his third of the game only 28 seconds after AVHS fell behind 6-4.
Although trailing 6-5, the Avalanche took control of the play and tied it 6-6 with 3:58 showing on the clock. The goal was compliments of Tyler Lapierre.
Avalanche goaltender William Earley stood his ground in overtime as he was tested early and often.
Earley continued his exceptional play in the shootout as he challenged each and every Park View shooter.
Wallace scored his fourth goal of the game and the only goal of the shootout, demonstrating incredible footwork.
"Despite the strong skating demonstrated by Park View, our team did not back down,” said Wallace in a brief interview following the game.
When asked about his shootout goal, Wallace replied: "I had some great puck movement and with the goalie changing his angle at the last second, I was able to put it through the five-hole."
On Friday night, the Avalanche defeated West Kings 7-3.
The Windsor-based team is now 8-3-1 on the season and have five regular season games remaining.
Their next two home games will be Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15 when Digby and Middleton visit on back-to-back nights.