Skating in the final exhibition game of the trip, the Jr. Avalanche was hungry for a win.
Facing Team Doritos from Connecticut, the Jr. Avs returned to familiar ice at the Galeries de la Capitale super-mall. Just 15 seconds into the game, captain David Klee gave the Avalanche their first lead of the tournament, batting the puck out of mid air off of a rebound from a shot from the point.
"I think we started off really well", Klee said. "We were moving really fast, and that goal in the first shift was pretty helpful."
Taking the first goal of the game was just the spark the Jr. Avalanche needed to gain momentum, and the team scored three unanswered goals to clinch its first win of the trip. Dominick Pharris, Christian Carter, and Holden Spence tallied a goal each, while goaltender Liam Lane lead the team to the 4-0 shutout win.
Seemingly a dominant victory, Klee expressed the difficulty he and his teammates felt skating in a mall environment surrounded by so many distractions.
"The experience was super fun, but it was kind of hard because there were a lot of distractions and noise. They have a roller coaster and amusement park really close to the rink, and the merry-go-round was distracting our players on the ice."
Playing in their second game at the mall, the Jr. Avalanche found a way to drown out the extravaganza around them and captured the decisive win. The boys are looking to carry the momentum from today's shutout into the big tournament game on Friday night.
Afterward, the players had another quality chance to bond with their billet families, returning to their respective homes early in the evening. Rooming with teammates Dominick Pharris and Liam Lane, Klee has enjoyed living with a local family and experiencing an authentic Canadian lifestyle.
Their billet parents sure know how to raise hockey players, as all three boys helped propel the Jr. Avs to victory Wednesday afternoon.
"This morning I had Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast," said Klee. "That must be the breakfast of champions."