The TR Avalanche Trucking Oldtimers regrouped once again for their annual trip to the Hudsons Hope Hornets hockey tournament on Jan 28-29.
The first game the boys got hammered 9?2 by the eventual tournament winner Kalmar from Ft St John. Down 7-1 after the first 30 minute straight time period, the team was missing two of its key players in Dan Golob and Peter Thomas, who had some equipment troubles. ?That Kalmar team has old senior league players and maybe a guy or two that used to play in the AHL. We are just out there giving it what we can?, noted the mutli-postional Brian Wylie. The second period was closer, but we still lost it 2-1. Rugged centre man Dean Turner potted both of the Av?s goals.
?Just as the buzzer is going to end our game, we show up with our equipment. Always remember to tie your stuff down before you drive away, even if it is heavy. Anyway, we go to the Land Transport dressing room and ask if they need a couple of guys. They tell us to beat it. So we knock on the Clearview dressing room, the opponent, and ask the same. After a closed door meeting, we are in. We get dressed, skate hard, but still lose, 4-3? stated hard-nosed left-winger Dan Golob. ?All the Clearview guys are farmers, so after we lost I said ?tough darts farmer?, but no one thought it was funny?.
Day two saw a pair of games for TR. At 9 am, they faced off against the Peace Valley Prospectors. Those guys were just too good too. We lost 8-2. Brian Wylie skated in and drilled a wrist shot over the goalie?s blocker for one. Then smooth skating forward or defenseman Jason Lenart drove in on a 2 on 2, cut to the middle, and fired a shot along the ice for the other marker. ?I think I would have been a lot quicker if I didn?t eat all that jello the night before? summarized Lenart. ?Diet is everything. You are what you eat. You have to prepare yourself for the big games.?
The next game was at noon against the tournament host Hornets. After allowing the game?s first goal, the team kept skating hard and was rewarded with a pair of good team effort goals by Peter Thomas. ?Lenart finally put a pass on my tape, so I just skated in on the breakaway and tucked it in the top corner?, said Thomas, wearing Darryl Sittler?s old number 27. We won our first period 2-1. Excellent goaltending by Roger Lucas made that possible. And after a chalkboard lesson on positional play, Carlos Hayne was getting stronger with every shift.
However, a couple of defensive lapses in the second period resulted in a 6-4 loss for the Avalanche Truckers. Jay Lenart scored, as did Nigel Black, a player on loan from Ft St James. ?It?s been a heck of a weekend?, commented the exercise lacking Black. ?I hope I make the cut for the home tournament.?
?We traded tournament fees with the Hornets, so we should have four teams confirmed for our March 4-5 tournament here?, supplied tournament coordinator Fred Banham.