Very late goal gives Avalanche fourth place

Ancaster-AvsAncaster Avalanche, with some clutch goaltending by Blake Richard in the final minutes of play, won the battle for fourth place as they shut out the Welland Junior Canadians 1-0 on Hamilton Bulldogs Night in Golden Horseshoe Junior B hockey Saturday night (Dec. 7) in the Morgan Firestone Arena.

It was Richard’s first shutout of the season. Prior to the game, Richard, Harrison Domagala, and Zach Nieminen were presented with the conference goaltender, defenceman and forward players of the month Awards for November.

The Avalanche, with the victory, ran its winning streak to a season high eight games. The Avs now have 16 wins, eight losses and five overtime and shootout losses while fifth place Welland is 14-11-4.

Ryan Lewis became the hero of the hour as he moved in from the right faceoff circle, and in text book fashion lifted a shot over goalie Jeffrey Heartwell as the netminder went low to make the save. Mike Pollice and Ryan Knill assisted on the play with a minute and a half left in regulation time.

The Avalanche will embark on a busy three-game schedule as they travel to Buffalo to play the Regals at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 10) at Buffalo State University; Friday, (Dec. 13) they take on the Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs at 7:30 p.m. in the Haldimand Community Centre; and they finish the week when the Port Colborne Pirates visit the Firestone Arena in the first of two Avalanche Toy Drive Nights on Saturday (Dec. 14) at 7:30 p.m.