By Larry Robertson, Special to The News
Chris Smith, on a set up from Thomas Rea at 1:53 of overtime, carried the Ancaster Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Welland Junior Canadians in Junior B pre-season hockey action Sunday night in the Welland Arena.
The previous night’s game marked the return of Ontario Hockey Association Junior B hockey to Ancaster for the first time in 20 years. The Avs’ winning streak stretche d to two games as the team prepares for the Port Colborne Junior Hockey Tournament, Aug. 23-Aug.25.
On Saturday, Greg Harley scored twice, including the game-winner, as Ancaster downed Welland 6-3 in their inaugural Junior B pre-season in Ancaster’s Morgan Firestone Arena.
”I am really pleased with the players work ethic, and compete level in both games,” said general manager and Coach Ryan Kuwabara.
“To be able to win both games against a good team like Welland that went to the Golden Horseshoe Conference final last year is very positive. We have a lot of good prospects in our camp, and some tough decisions to make this week as we begin to trim our roster,” added Kuwabara.
On Sunday night, the Avalanche started slowly again, falling behind 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. The second period was a different story as Blake Luscombe, Ryan Lewis and Ryan Knill scored once each to give Ancaster a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. Welland scored the only goal of the third period thus setting up Smith’s overtime thriller.
The previous night in addition to Harley, the Avalanche got single goals from William Kelly, Michael Pollice, Elijah Williams, and Kyle Chalmers. Harley and Kelly led the club in points with three each. Williams added two more. The Avalanche opens its regular season at home on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. against the Buffalo Junior Bandits in front of what promises to be a full rink with several promotions that will be announced in the days leading up to the game.
“The welcome we have received in Ancaster has been great,” said owner Ron Van Kleef. “The Ancaster minor hockey and figure skating groups have been wonderful to work with. We are planning several exciting events off the ice in conjunction with the schools, minor hockey, figure skating and other organizations.”
For a full schedule, season tickets and sponsorship, visit www.ancasteravalanche.ca.