Atlantic Youth Hockey League


WEST CHESTER, Pa. — A trip to the USA Hockey Nationals is always a great honor, but becoming the first team in the Atlantic Affiliate’s 13 Only division to ever go to Nationals, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s what was on the line for the North Jersey Avalanche and Philadelphia Jr. Flyers when they competed for the District Championship on Sunday morning — a chance to make history. 


It was a best-of-three series, and after a huge victory in the first game, the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers probably weren’t expecting to get their fight of the lives on Sunday morning. The North Jersey Avalanche weren’t deterred by their earlier defeat — with their backs to the walls and facing the prospect of elimination, they brought the fight to their favored opponent. They scored the first goal of the game shorthanded, announcing their intentions to not go gently into the good night. The Flyers tied the game a few minutes later, and the stage was set for a highly competitive game. 



The second period was characterized by stifling defense, until Christopher Pinko was able bury a goal with thirty seconds remaining, giving the Avalanche a narrow lead heading into the third period. After some more iron-clad defense, it appeared the Avalanche were well on their way to pulling off the upset and forcing a game three, but the Flyers’ Ty McGroarty whistled one past the goalie to tie the game up and send it to overtime. There, the Flyers demonstrated a relentless attack, pouring on shots while rarely conceding any on their end. The Avalanche could only hold back the tide for so long, and finally relented a goal. The Flyers won the game, the district championship and earned themselves a coveted spot at Nationals. 


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