Following a big win Friday night over the Atlanta Fire, the Jr. Avs looked to capture three games in a row as they laced up their skates again Saturday for the AA Semifinal game against the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
As many professional athletes will attest, replicating a victorious pregame routine will prepare you mentally before taking the ice. As they did Friday afternoon, the Jr. Avs returned to the streets of Quartier Petit-Champlain at Spag & Tini, where the team enjoyed an identical pregame meal of spaghetti and meatballs.
"I'm not really superstitious," commented Tyler Riegle, "but I think if we played well eating that food last night, it should help us again."
Knowing this could be the last game played in Quebec City, the peewees skated well and left everything they had on the ice. Unfortunately, the local Voltigeurs edged past the Jr. Avalanche after scoring a goal late in the game.
"I thought they were a great team, they were very aggressive," Riegle said. "After the first, nobody had scored. After the second, nobody had scored and finally, with two minutes left in the third they scored a goal. It was pretty depressing."
Goaltender Liam Lane was once again close to perfect in net, and Riegle and his teammates had their fair share of chances in the Drummondville zone.
"I thought we all played well," said Riegle. "We could have been better if we moved the puck a little faster to get around them and shot more pucks. If there were more shots on the net maybe one would have went in."
With the 1-0 loss, the two weeks of hockey in Quebec City came to an end for the group. The 2017 Jr. Avalanche advanced farther than any of the Avalanche representative teams since entering the AA division of this tournament in 2015. Aware of this feat, Riegle was very proud of his teammates and thankful for the experience of playing in an international tournament on behalf of the Avs.
"It was cool and really awesome being here in Quebec, and just playing hockey for two weeks," Riegle said. "I'm just glad we could come here and represent the Avalanche.
"Thanks to the Avalanche for making this happen."