Atlantic Youth Hockey League


Avalanche season ends with heartbreaking overtime loss

Release Date : 04/04/2016

SAN JOSE, CA. – Logan Stork’s overtime goal at 9:09 of the extra session was the difference as the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite downed the North Jersey Avalanche, 2-1 in overtime, to reach the 18U Gold Medal game of the 2016 Toyota/USA Hockey Tier I National Championships.

After a pair of brilliant saves by Joshua Sarlo (Lynbrook, N.Y.), Stork pounced on the loose puck and blasted it past the netminder’s left shoulder, sending the Penguins on to the national championship game, where they will face Culver Academy. Culver defeated the Oakland Junior Grizzlies in the other semifinal.

One season after winning the National Silver Medal, the Avalanche, representing both the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and the Atlantic District, claimed the bronze medal.

The Avalanche played back-to-back, 2-1 overtime games, after their overtime victory in the quarterfinals over Selects Academy.

How it happened: Bobby Hampton (Middletown, NJ/Northeastern) opened the game’s scoring, getting the Avalanche on the board early in the first period. However, Pittsburgh’s Chad Veltri would settle down after Hampton’s goal, and did not allow the Avalanche to find the back of the net again. Veltri made 27 saves on the night.

Luke Edgerton would answer for Pittsburgh with a second-period goal and that would be the only marker until Stork’s goal in overtime.

Sarlo matched Veltri save-for-save through the first three periods, allowing only Edgerton’s goal on 19 shots. The Avalanche outshot Pittsburgh 24-19 in regulation, with the Avalanche holding the Penguins to only three shots on goal in the third period.

Perhaps sensing that the earlier overtime game was taking a toll on the Avalanche (the Penguins downed Cape Cod, 7-3, in their quarterfinal matchup), the Penguins put immediate pressure on the Avalanche in the extra session, firing ten shots on Sarlo before Stork broke through. The Avalanche only managed four shots on Veltri in overtime as Pittsburgh controlled the majority of play.

Sarlo made 28 saves in his 11th, and final, appearance at the 18U Tier Nationals.

In their words: “Great game,” said Avalanche head coach Mark Lotito. “We played well. Their goalie played extremely well. It was a great year and the team represented the district and the league unbelievably. I’m extremely proud of this team.”

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