The Avon View Avalanche’s girls’ hockey team advanced to the eight-team NSSAF provincial championship this weekend.
The provincial tournament runs from March 8-10 in Thorburn, Pictou County, .
Following their final home game of the season on March 5, an exhibition 9-1 win over the Horton High Griffins, head coach Rob Davies was asked about the depth of teams the Avalanche would be facing in the provincials.
“We are starting a clean slate against CP Allen Friday morning, regardless of how we might have done against them in our own invitational tournament in mid-February,” Davies said heading into the provincials.
The Avalanche lost 5-0 to the Cheetahs in February.
“Whichever team can put forth the best effort, a goal here or there can make all the difference in the game,” he said.
“We will experience tough defensive battles and we all have to battle aggressively.”
The Avalanche were set to play their second game in the provincials at 7:30 p.m. March 8 against Cobequid Education Centre, a team the Avalanche lost 3-1 to in an exhibition game prior to Christmas. Their final round-robin game was to take place March 9 at noon against Auburn High.
Based on their record through the round-robin, it would determine whether the Avalanche would advance to the playoff round later that day.
In order to advance, the club would require major performances from Zoey Rafuse, who scored 17 goals and added 16 assists for 33 points during the season, Amy Lloy, who scored 11 times and added 11 assists for 22 points, and Brittany Poole, who tallied 13 goals and added eight helpers for 21 points.
Lily Beamish, who played strongly in nets all season, will be called upon to make as many clutch saves as she can as she finished the year with six shut-outs in 900 minutes played.
In the March 5 exhibition win over Horton, Megan McCarthy, Poole and Emily Tupper were honoured as graduating players.
Zoey Rafuse recorded a pair of goals in that 9-1 victory while setting up three others for a five-point night. Poole and Lloy both recorded a pair of goals with singles going to Brea Hazel, Hannah Rafuse and Tupper.