The Colorado Avalanche entered the most critical week of their season with a match against a team they are chasing in the Anaheim Ducks. The Avalanche fooled everyone into thinking they were going to pull out a crucial victory umtil they collapsed on a third period lead and lost in overtime.
A penalty filled affair started early in the first period but it was a total fluke which got the Avalanche on the board at just 1:16 into the game on a face off which went off of an Anaheim skate. The goal was credited to Kerfoot initially as he was in to take the face off but there was some talk bout giving it to Blake Comeau even though he was not on the ice at the time because he was the last Avalanche player to touch the puck. As it stands now it is still Kerfoot’s goal.
The lead did not last long as Andrew Cogliano would would convert at 6:08 on a breakaway. The rest of the period was mostly a chippy back and forth tug of war.
In the second period Tyson Jost announced he was going to make a difference in this contest with two goals to put the Avalanche up by two. The first on the power play at 1:04 into the period with slick backhand rebound shot.
Jost’s second goal at 12:10 was of the highlight reel variety on a rush which he started and then a beautiful give and go play with Alexander Kerfoot in which Jost ripped a nasty wrister which went post and in for a 3-1 lead.
It was not enough for the Avalanche to secure a victory as Anaheim would score three unanswered goals. The first from Adam Henrique at 7:43 and then Ryan Kesler would have the last laugh at 9:19.
At least the Avalanche got the game to overtime for a critical point but Ondrej Kase put the dagger in at 1:34 and Anaheim walked away with the two points.
In a critical game for the Avalanche it was a great sign for progress and the future to see Jost in particular step up and make huge contributions in the game. It is a glimpse to see what kind of impact he might make in the future.
While the playoff picture likely won’t get set until later in the week or even the last day and the Avalanche will continue to stay in the mix, this is a devastating blow. Playoff teams don’t give up two goal leads in the third period in must win games.
The Avalanche can’t dwell on this as they still hold their fate in their hands and even winning two of their last three will put them in a good position to make the postseason. Lessons like tonight are painful but don’t have to be detrimental if they quickly learn from them.
The Avalanche head across town to in another do or die match on a back to back with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, April 2nd at 8:30pm MT.