Avon, CT– The Elite 8 tournament kicked off with a matchup of long time rivals. The #2 seeded Avon Old Farms Winged Beavers hosted the #7 seeded Westminster Martlets at Gardner Rink. The teams played two regular season games with Avon winning both easily. Junior Stephen Peck started in net for Avon and junior Matteo De Luca for the Martlets.
There was no feeling out to start this game as both teams went on the attack early. Westminster struck first 4:31 in when senior Wade Volo tipped home an Eric Elbery shot to make it 1-0 Westminster. Sophomore Quinn Pine started the play. The Winged Beavers tied it up half way through the first when sophomore Sam Houston snapped a shot through traffic. Senior Arthur Mirante picked up the assist. It was 1-1. Each team had chances but the period ended tied. No penalties were called.
The second period saw more of the same as both teams had solid chances. Avon took a 2-1 lead with 10:26 left as Joe Connor scored on a pretty give and go with junior Drew Pitts. Charlie Gollob also picked up an assist on the game winner. It was 2-1 Avon. Westminster earned the first power play of the game with 3:05 left but the Winged Beavers and Peck killed it off. Teams headed to their rooms with Avon Old Farms up 2-1. The third period was set up to be legendary.
The third period was only legendary for Avon Old Farms as they scored three goals to pull away from the Martlets. Ryan Flaherty buried a slick backhand goal in tight off a wrap around with 11:15 left. Soon after, Nick Capasso received a pass from Mike Munroe and went in alone for a clever goal with 7:48 left. Then with 2:44 left, Jack Kennedy ripped a shot top corner from Connor and Gollob on the power play to make it 5-1. That’s how it ended as Avon was in a different class than the Martlets in every aspect today.
The Winged Beavers will host a semi-final game against Belmont Hill on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images
First: Stephen Peck (Avon)
Second: Joe Connor (Avon)
Third: Nick Capasso (Avon)