Newark, Del. — Despite languishing at the bottom of the Ches-Mont Division standings, three Avon Grove Devils (3-10-3) demonstrated pinpoint sniping ability in a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Unionville (7-10-1) on Monday evening (Feb. 18) at the Patriot Ice Center.
With the game tied at two with 8:42 to go, Avon Grove blueliner Josh Sepela fired the game-winning goal from the left point through the five-hole of Unionville goalie Keigan Craig, giving the Devils a sweep of the season series with the Indians.
Set up by a J.T. McDonald assist 5:33 into the contest, Avon Grove defenceman Jake Criscuolo took aim from just inside the Unionville blue line with a bar-down rifle to give the Devils the early lead, but the Indians responded with a commanding second period. Not to be outdone just 15 seconds into the second period, Oscar Daum tied the game with a one-timer from the right point from a drop pass from winger Dylan Blackburn. Despite good net-front protection from the Devils’ defence through much of the game, Unionville went on to claim their only lead of the game with 3:26 left in the second when Cole Spano batted a loose puck past Avon Grove goalie J.D. D’Ambrosio amid a net-front scrum.
The Indians’ lead was short-lived, however, as two Avon Grove seniors combined to reclaim the lead in the first half of the third period. After co-captain Ian Huver tied the game with a 40-foot wrist shot at 1:01 off a centring pass from McDonald — who earned his second assist of the game, co-captain Sepela sealed the win for the Devils with his fourth goal of the year.
Despite reclaiming control of the Avon Grove zone for much of the final half of the period — the last 58 seconds with an extra attacker on in place of Craig, Unionville was left unable to battle back by strong goaltending work from D’Ambrosio and ample support in the slot.
Both teams were availed just one power-play opportunity, and neither succeeded. D’Ambrosio recorded 15 saves on 17 shots in victory, while Craig stopped 15 of 18 in defeat.