Patriots, Cougars win on the ice
Pats beat SMR II, Stone downs L-town
Northern and Thomas Stone each picked up victo- ries in a Maryland Student Hockey League Southern Conference ice hockey doubleheader Wednesday night at the Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf.
The Patriots (5-0, 4-0 MSHLL Southern Conference) broke open a one-goal game in the second period with four answered goals and went on to defeat St. Mary’s Ryken II, 8-3.
“The guys are playing really well,” Northern head coach Erik Larsen said. “The guys got off their game a little bit. Ryken did a real good job of muscling and chasing us around, but we were able to get back to our game and I think the score showed back.”
“I’m happy we won, but I definitely think we could have done better,” Northern junior defenseman Justin Robinson said. “We had a few defensive breakdowns and they capitalized on them, so we need to clean up on those.”
In an almost mirror image of Game 1, Stone scored three straight goals in the second peri- od to break open a close game and went on to post a 6-4 win over Leonardtown.
“They dug deep and a lot of things came together tonight that didn’t come together the other night,” Stone head coach Jay Grove said, referring to last Friday’s 3-3 tie against LaPax. “But the other night there were a lot of lessons learned and as a team we’re really starting to jell.”
Northern jumped ahead 3-0 before the game was five minutes old, but SMR rallied on goals by Nicholas Colasacco and Liam DeLong to pull to within a goal just before the midway point of the second period.
But just 47 seconds later, the Patriots’ Justin Lantz scored his second straight goal and team- mates Michael Cross and Brian Middledorf scored 58 seconds apart later in the stanza.
“[Middledorf] is a really good skater and he definitely controls the game,” Knights head coach Cameron Beck- ner said. “We had to get a body on him and we didn’t for the first couple minutes so he could run away with it. And there were a couple loose pucks behind the net we didn’t clear out and they capitalized on that.”
Northern’s Andrew Bru- ening added a back-break- ing tally with 4.3 seconds left in the second to give his team a 7-2 cushion.
“They came out real strong [in the second], but we were able to get our head straight and an- swer,” Larsen said.
Brian Middledorf had two goals and an assist, Wesley Crofoot had a goal and an assist and Tyler Middledorf and Michael Cross each scored once. Reston Potter added two assists and Gavin Glaubitz had one. Freshman goaltender Jacob Hunting made 25 saves.
“They had some nice break-ins on him and he came up with some big saves,” Larsen said of Hunting.
Sophomore Joshua Stevenson had a goal and two assists to lead SMR (1-5, 1-4).
“It could be a little better,” Stevenson said, assessing his performance. “I could skate a little harder and start dangling a lit- tle better.”
Troy Tallant also had an assist. Colin Lombardi made 17 saves and Bryce Travers played the first and second period in goal and made 10 saves.
“We’ve had a problem all year coming out and getting to a quick start,” Beckner said. “We’ve been behind in almost every game this year and I think the three goals [by Northern] really put a spark in the guys and they said, ‘Let’s step it up’ and they did. After that it was definitely a different game. Our guys fought hard right until the end and tried to get a couple goals, so we have to be proud of them for that.”
In the nightcap, the Cougars (2-2-1, 1-2-1) snapped a 1-1 first-period tie on a pair of goals by Garrett Hayes within the first 4 minutes 38 seconds of the second period.
But like in the opening game, the Raiders (2-2-1, 1-2-1) pulled to within a goal when Merrick Kibler scored on the power-play 7:48 into the second.
Parker Hopkins helped the Cougars pull away when he scored twice within a span of 3:23 and Hayes later completed the hat trick — his second in as many games — to put Stone, which is comprised of players from Stone, Mc- Donough, North Point, Westlake and Lackey — comfortably ahead 6-2 af- ter 30 minutes.
“I was just playing my game,” Hopkins said. “I was a little frustrated that we were behind, but we’ve been doing a good job of communicating. We realized we’re short on players; we didn’t have as many as many skaters as them, so we just needed to get the puck deep,”
“We dug deep and kept our foot on the gas,” Grove said.
Leonardtown closed to within 6-4 on markers by Myles Mayshark-Hamlin and Bryce Leger, but it was unable to close the deficit any further despite two breakaways and a power-play over the final five-plus minutes.
“We’re at the point where skill level really matters,” said Mayshark-Hamlin of the Raiders, who graduated 11 players from last year’s state-qualifying team. “Last year we had a really good team, every player was really skillful, but I believe we can put this in the bag, I really do because we all know each other. My statement is mental above physical, so if we have organization, we can beat [our opponents].”
Christian Coombs also scored for Stone and Hayes and Shane Purnell also each added an assist. Garrett Cherry made 17 saves in goal.
Trent Dean also scored for Leonardtown and Mayshark-Hamlin, Kibler, Bryce Leger, Andrew Severson and George Matthews each added an assist for the Raiders. Matthew Corolla made 29 saves in net, including 15 in the third period.
“It was a tough game,” Leonardtown head coach Jerry Leger said. “They played well positionally. They did a good job blocking the lanes and blocking pucks. We had some issues as far as things not going our way at times. We got out of position, we let some breakaways happen that shouldn’t have happened so that hurt us early. We fell behind and we played catch up the rest of the game.”
Leonardtown’s Catie Corolla, left, and Thomas Stone’s Kristof Lile battle for possession along the boards in Wednesday night’s contest at Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf. Stone went on to defeat the Raiders, 6-4.