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Avs Berra-cade Jets, 1-0

AJ Haefele Avatar
April 10, 2015

Late in the season, searching for positives and desperate to find redeeming qualities, the Colorado Avalanche gave everyone the story of the season when rookie Joey Hishon’s story of redemption, his long battle against concussions and the long-derailed career of the once-great prospect finally appearing back on track, overtook the hockey world. Very quietly, Avs backup goaltender Reto Berra has built his own story of redemption.

After making zero between late November and late March, Head Coach Patrick Roy finally turned to his backup goaltender to see what he had. All Berra has done in those starts is give the Avs their best chance to win games and stay competitive until the end, posting save percentages over .900 in 4 of his 5 appearances. In this one, all Berra did was shut out the visiting Winnipeg Jets, who needed to win in order to clinch their spot in the playoffs, to the tune of 41 saves en route to a 1-0 victory in the shootout.

Tonight’s game was one of the least eventful Avs contests of the seasons until late as the first two periods flew by with very few scoring chances and shots favoring Winnipeg 20-11 but entering the 3rd, the Jets would wake up and start playing like a team trying to make the playoffs. 17 shots on goal and one exciting rush by Jets forward Blake Wheeler with 15 seconds remaining in regulation that resulted in an official review, the two teams would head into overtime.

While not the most exciting overtime period between these two teams this season, it featured plenty of odd-man rushes and scoring chances as the Jets ultimately outshot the Avs 4-3 in the additional frame but could not beat Berra, who looked completely different from the goalie who gave up goals in every imaginable way earlier in the season before being sent down to the AHL for a conditioning assignment.

On the other end, Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec continued his shutout streak by adding his third in a row tonight, denying the few chances the Avs were able to muster up against the ruthless Jets defense. Unfortunately for Pavelec and the Jets, the Avs have been one of the better shootout teams in recent seasons and tonight certainly was no different as both Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene beat Pavelec effortlessly and the Jets shooters Wheeler and Andrew Ladd failed to solve the Berra puzzle.

For the Avs, they further damage their potential draft pick, which could have been as high as 7th, and are now looking at a pick in the 9-11 range but continue their reputation as a team you can’t count out on any given night. Despite being outshot 83-44 in their last two games, the Avs continue to find ways to win down the stretch as they have solidified their ignominious title as the best last place team in any division in the NHL this season.

3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Reto Berra – 41 saves
  2. Ryan O’Reilly – shootout goal, 5 SOG, 25:30 TOI
  3. Ondrej Pavelec – 21 saves


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