Vitalli Mikhailov scored what held up at the game winning goal, 1:06 into the third period as the Valencia Flyers held on to a 2-1 lead to win game one of their Western States Hockey League (WSHL) Western Division Semi-final against the Ontario Avalanche on Thursday night.
Mikhailov’s goal came with Valencia on a major power play after Ontario’s Jesper Olson leveled Flyers captain Nico Wilton late in the second, receiving a game misconduct along with the major penalty.
The Flyers took nearly the full five minutes to capitalize, as both teams penalty killing was impressive, as the teams killed off a combined eight of the nine penalties in the game.
The Flyers found a way as Mikhailov was able to slip it past Filip Subrt after Jakob Kranabetter found the 17-year old rookie for his first goal of the playoffs.
The assist was Kranabetter’s second of the night, which comes as no surprise as he broke the single season (52) and franchise records (117) for assists in 2015-16.
The Flyers got the scoring started late in the first after Kranabetter found Joakim Hofstad on the left to make it 1-0 Valencia.
Ontario tied it midway through the second after the rebound of a Jesse Simone wrist shot caromed off Niklas Ellbrant past Lynus Ryttar into the back of the net to knot things up at 1-1.
Mikhailov’s goal in the third was all Valencia would need to finish out the game, as the team played outstanding defense, outshooting the Avalanche 42-23 as Ryttar picked up his first victory in the playoffs, his 31 victory overall this season.
The teams will play again on Friday night at Ice Station Valencia starting at 7:15pm.
If you missed game one you can catch it on SCVTV, Time Warner channel 20, AT&T U-Verse channel 99 or online at SCVTV.com starting at 3pm and 9pm on Friday.
A replay of game two will play at 2pm and 9pm on Saturday.