The Arvada Hockey Association PeeWee AA are your 2017 Avalanche International Qualifier Champions with a dominating 8-0 victory over DU at the Pepsi Center. (Photo courtesy of Michael Martin)
Arvada goaltender #33 Kaleb Bartholomew shrugs off one of his 12 saves on his way to the shutout win. (Photo courtesy of Michael Martin)
The 2017 Avalanche International Qualifier Championship at the Pepsi Center came down to two undefeated opponents facing off to see who would represent the Avalanche at the Lions Cup International Tournament in the spring.
Arvada (3-0-1) got to the finals after an opening night tie (3-3) against Boulder before ripping off three straight wins over Colorado Springs (6-0), Vail (7-5) in quarterfinals, and Arapahoe (4-2) in the semifinals.
DU (4-0) rattled off four consecutive victories to get themselves to the championship with wins coming against the Colorado Rampage (9-1), back to back over Foothills (1-0, 6-2), and a semifinals triumph over the Littleton Hawks (3-1).
The fireworks would start early and come often for Arvada, as they would take control of the game in the first minute and not look back. Avalanche Qualifier's leading goal (6) and point scorer (10) Noah Grolnic (1G, 1A) put Arvada ahead 1-0 with a goal just 31 seconds into the game and teammate Gabe Kennedy (1G, 2A) added another toward the end of the period to give them a 2-0 lead over DU after the first.
#15 Gabe Kennedy celebrates his unassisted goal toward the end of the first period to give Arvada a 2-0 lead. (Photo courtesy of Michael Martin)
Unfortunately for the DU Junior Pioneers, things wouldn't change for them over the next two periods. Arvada would score six more unanswered goals over the rest of the game to pull away to a convincing victory. Gavin Rowan (1G, 1A), Mario Rodriguez (1G, 1A), and AJ Ulrich (1G, 1A) all lit the lamp in the second to give them a 5-0 lead going into the third.
The final period would bring three more tallies for Arvada. George Poirier (1G, 1A), Zachary Palik, and Tsavo Cole (1G, 1A) all got into the scoring column and goaltender Kaleb Bartholomew (12 SV, 0 GAA, 1.00 SV%, SO) made all 12 of his saves to lead them to a 8-0 shutout win and the Avalanche International Qualifier Championship.
Arvada put forth a total team effort in the title game. Eight different players scored for them and seven players had at least two points apiece. They now have the opportunity to head to Europe to play in the Lions Cup International Tournament in Finland this upcoming spring.
A big stick tap to all of the teams involved in the tournament, to DU and Arvada for reaching the finals, Arvada for winning it all, and the Colorado Avalanche for another fantastic event. Best of luck to Arvada in Europe, represent us well and go show them how we play Colorado hockey!
Arvada goes wild after winning the 2017 Avalanche International Qualifier 8-0 over DU. (Photo courtesy of Michael Martin)
The Avalanche International Qualifier Champions Arvada Hockey Association take their title banner for a spin around the Pepsi Center ice. (Photo courtesy of Michael Martin)