Stone, LaPax ice hockey teams skate to a tie

Hayes nets three for Cougars in ice hockey con­test

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­

Derek McKee’s power-play marker with less than seven min­utes re­main­ing in the third pe­riod helped the LaPax ice hockey squad earn a 3-3 tie with Thomas Stone in a Mary­land Stu­dent Hockey League South­ern Con­fer­ence con­test on Fri- day at the Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf.

LaPax — which con­sists of play­ers from La Plata, Great Mills, Calvert, Calver­ton and Chop­ti­con — led 1-0 and 2-1 but needed the late goal from McK- ee to sal­vage the tie.

“We had the odd man and it was a three-on-two and the guy stuffed the other guy, so I knew I had the lane,” McKee said of the goal. “My team­mate Alex [Har­vey] made a great pass and I just fin­ished it with a one-timer in slot.”

Hunter Blu­men­stein drew the se­condary as­sist on the goal.

The win was the third in four games for LaPax, which had pre­vi­ously earned a one-goal vic­tory over St. Mary’s Ryken II and Leonard­town.

“I think when you look at this team and its ca­pa­bil­ity we’re a bet­ter team be­cause ev­ery­body’s con­tribut­ing,” LaPax head coach Joey Mar­tel said. His team’s next sched­uled con­test is at 7:15 p.m. Fri­day at Bowie. “They’re get­ting along, which is great and they’re pass- ing [to each other] so it means they trust one an­other. When it comes to the level of pass­work and team­work no one’s ar­gu­ing, no one’s get­ting too up­set on the bench so I’m happy where we’re at. I’m con­tent.”

LaPax (2-1-1, 2-1-1 MSHL South­ern Con­fer­ence) opened the scor­ing when Gar­rett Estep skated down the right side and wristed a shot short side past Stone goal­tender Gar­rett Cher- ry at 9 min­utes 38 sec­onds of the first pe­riod.

Cherry was bom­barded at the end of the pe­riod when he was forced to make five saves in the last 25 sec­onds. Cherry,

who was orig­i­nally sched­uled to play for LaPax, but trans­ferred to Stone when LaPax needed a goalie, fin­ished with 41 saves.

“He played out of his mind tonight,” Stone head coach Jay Groce said. His team’s next sched­uled con­test is at 6:45 tonight ver­sus Leonard­town at Cap­i­tal Club­house. “He was a rock back there for us.”

The Cougars (1-2-1, 0-21) — com­prised of play­ers from Thomas Stone, McDonough, North Point, West­lake and Lackey — tied the game when Gar­rett Hayes scored the first of three goals on the power-play 6:05 into the mid­dle stanza.

LaPax re­gained the lead on Trevor Reece’s unas- sisted marker, but Stone tied the game 13 sec­onds later when Hayes picked off a clear­ing pass and fired a shot home.

Hayes, a ju­nior at North Point, is now sec­ond in scor­ing in the South­ern Con­fer­ence with six goals in four games.

“I felt like I had a pretty good game, but of course I couldn’t have done it with­out my team­mates,” he said. “There was a lot of com­mu­ni­ca­tion down there on the ice so we knew where each other was so we could make some plays.

“I’m very ex­cited with how the team’s play­ing. We’ve lost some guys, but I’m proud of how we’re do­ing. Win or lose we’re try- ing our best ev­ery game.”

“We don’t know who’s go­ing to step up from night to night, but it was just his night tonight,” Groce said of Hayes. “He’s a team guy and when he has an op­por­tu­nity to take it up he does and the guys fall back and cover him. He’s a heart and soul guy, very un­selfish.”

Hayes com­pleted the hat trick a few min­utes into the fi­nal pe­riod, but McKee’s tally earned each team a point.

“Our guys are smaller, but this sea­son more than any other sea­son it’s the level of pass­ing as far as give-and-gos, and work- ing to­gether as a unit this team has demon­strated more than any other skill,” Mar­tel said. “Most teams strug­gle with that, but that’s what gen­er­ated 44 shots on net. They’re lis- ten­ing to me which is nice, but it’s the pass­ing that makes this team.”

“We could have done a lit­tle bet­ter; we made some mis­takes here and there, but yeah I’m happy,” said McKee, a ju­nior at La Plata. “I’m not dis­ap­point- ed, a bit up­set I guess [we squan­dered two leads] but over­all it was a good game.”

Groce said he was pleased with his squad for bat­tling back from a pair of deficits.

“I’m so proud of the boys and how they bat­tled back,” said Groce, whose depth lim­ited him to just two lines. “They showed a lot of heart tonight and that’s what we’ve been see­ing all sea­son long. I’m very, very pleased with how they did. Even on the bench they didn’t get dis­cour­aged and kept en­cour­ag­ing one an­other and kept say­ing, ‘We can get it back’ and went on the ice and worked as a team and made it hap­pen.”


LaPax’s Derek McKee and Stone goal­tender Gar­rett Cherry reach for the puck as Stone de­fender Gar­rett Hayes moves in to help de­fend in Fri­day’s con­test at Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf. McKee scored in the con­test as the teams skated to a 3-3 tie.


Stone’s Damien Hock, right, looks for a pass­ing lane past LaPax de­fender Ryan Car­roll in Fri­day’s con­test at Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie.

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