A week that began with much promise wound up in a snow bank for the Ancaster Avalanche of the Golden Horseshoe Conference Junior B Hockey League. The Avs opened the week with a 5-1 victory at Buffalo, then fell 3-1 in Caledonia to the Pro-Fit Corvairs before being snowed out Saturday (Dec. 14).
With two games remaining on the calendar in 2013, Ancaster will play host to the St. Catharines Falcons on Saturday night (Dec. 21) and to the Buffalo Regals on Saturday, Dec. 28 in the Morgan Firestone Arena. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Anyone with tickets for the Port Colborne game can have those tickets honoured at either the re-scheduled game or one of the remaining home December games.
The Avalanche’s first Toy Drive Night is set for Saturday when the Falcons swoop into town. The second toy drive will be on Dec. 28 when Buffalo roars into Ancaster. All fans bringing a new toy to those games, will receive free Fan Appreciation tickets for the Avalanche’s Saturday, Feb. 22 game against the Niagara Falls Canucks. Game time will be 7:30 p.m.
Last Tuesday (Dec. 10) at Buffalo State University, the fourth place Avalanche posted a 5-1 win over the Regals as Alex Panov, Luke Zupan and Harrison Domagala recorded two-point nights.
Max Balinson picked up the lone goal for Ancaster on Friday (Dec. 13) at Caledonia.
“We played a decent game last Friday, but made a few mistakes that Caledonia capitalized on,” said general manager and coach Ryan Kuwabara. “We need to learn from those mistakes, and continue to improve; otherwise it will be tough to have success in this league.
“Mistakes will always be part of the game, and that is what makes the difference between winning and losing as we get closer to the playoffs. Each player has to execute his job while keeping it simple.”
“Our club has another big game on Saturday against St. Catharines, and we will have to play better in order to have a chance to win,” Kuwabara added.
Ancaster scored twice in the first period, added another in the second and then outscored the Regals 2-1 in the third while out-shooting them 31-26 Tuesday night. The Avs were two-for-two on the powerplay while Buffalo came up empty handed on eight powerplay opportunities.
Panov scored twice for Ancaster with Zupan adding a goal and an assist. Domagala assisted on two scoring plays. Blake Luscombe and Jake Milligan had the other Ancaster goals. Colin Farell replied for the Regals.
At Caledonia, the league-leading Pro Fit Corvairs ended the Avs nine-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory. The streak began on Nov. 15 with a 7-3 win over the Pirates at Port Colborne.
The Corvairs scored once in each period. Neither club was able to score with the man advantage: The Avalanche went zero-for-four and Caledonia was zero-for- five for the nine powerplay opportunities. Spencer Gourlay, Connor Patton, and Jayme Forslund score for the Corvairs with Connor Murphy setting up two of the plays.
Balinson had the lone Ancaster goal.