Avon, CT – #6 seeded Belmont Hill School travelled to #2 Avon Old Farms for a semifinal matchup in the Elite 8 tournament. Senior Stephen Peck started in the goal for Avon and sophomore Keagin Wilson for Belmont Hill.
The first period saw Avon get two great chances in the first 20 seconds but Belmont Hill exited the zone and defenseman Matt Biotti joined the rush to tip home a Danny Markham pass and it was 1-0 Belmont Hill just 30 seconds into the game. Avon tied it with 16:09 left as Ryan Flaherty collected a deflected stretch pass from Lefty Markonidas and went in alone for the Winged Beaver score. The game was tied for less than four minutes before Markham slipped the puck to Ronan O’Donnell who quickly fired a shot through the five hole and home. It’s was 2-1 Belmont Hill. They carried play for most of the period but could not find another score.
In the second period, Avon Old Farms took control at the drop and dominated the second frame. Flaherty elicited a retaliation penalty and the Winged Beavers went man-up. Nick Capasso buried a cross-crease pass from Joe Odyniek in transition on the power play to even the score with 9:50 left. Joe Connor also picked up an assist. There was a delayed call on the goal so Belmont Hill was immediately shorthanded again. Avon scored on a rip from the point by Jack Kennedy to make it 3-2 Winged Beavers with 9:01 left in the second. Odyniec and Connor earned assists. Avon Old Farms struck less than four minutes later when Charlie Gollob popped a puck through a Belmont Hill defender and snapped a shot post and in from Michael Munroe and Alex Pelletier. It was a 4-2 Avon lead. Belmont Hill was overwhelmed and had very few chances in the period. It was 4-2 Winged Beavers going into the second.
Lots more Avon Old Farms in the third as Odyniec scored a natural hat trick. The first came goal when he emerged from the corner and snapped the puck under the crossbar to give the Winged Beavers a 5-2 lead just 51 seconds into the frame. The goal was unassisted. With 9:27 left Connor stole a puck, and made a few cheeky moves before dishing to Odyniek for his second tally of the period. Then with Belmont Hill’s goalie pulled, Odyniek popped one home, unassisted with 2:46 for the natural hat trick and his fifth point. Belmont Hill battled to the end, as Peck had to make some terrific saves but it was a 7-2 final.
Avon will play Cushing tomorrow at 5:00 at St. Anselm’s for the Elite 8 Title.
First: Joe Odyniek (Avon Old Farms)
Second: Stephen Peck (Avon Old Farms)
Third: Joe Connor (Avon Old Farms)
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images