The Washington Post

Underdog Stags finish turnaround with a title



Seeded eighth in the Mid-atlantic Prep Hockey League after a slow start, Dematha went into the postseason as an underdog and came out as a champion.

Led by captain Jeremy Wilson, the Stags developed just in time, notching two shutout wins to reach Monday’s title game against Georgetown Prep, which they beat soundly, 5-2, at the Washington Capitals’ practice rink in Arlington.

“It was really tough and really hard to get people motivated once we had such a rough start to the season, but when it got to playoffs I told everyone that the regular season doesn’t matter,” said Wilson, a senior forward who scored twice in a decisive second period. “When it gets to winning a playoff game, if everyone goes all out and everyone wins their battles, we can win every single game if we try — and we did.”

After a scoreless first period, Dematha struck first in a busy second when Christian Gamez received a cross-ice pass from Ryan Trindade and connected from the blue line. Georgetown Prep’s Walker Johnston then equalized on a power play off a pass from Conner Mccarthy.

The Stags turned it on from there.

Just 24 seconds later, Trindade put them back up with a wraparound goal. Wilson then scored just 20 seconds later and found the net one more before the end of the period.

The third-seeded Little Hoyas (8-2-3) narrowed the gap with another second-period goal before Dematha clinched the game with Anthony Tallant’s emptynette­r.

The Stags’ season mirrors the previous time they hoisted the MAPHL trophy — in 2008. That year, Dematha was 7-14-3; this year, it finished 7-15-3.

“It’s not a recipe that I want for the first four months, but it’s not a bad recipe for the last four games,” Coach Tony Macaulay said.

Macaulay told his team about that 2008 group, and it resonated.

“In [2008], he saw it happen, and he saw the same team in us,” Wilson said. “So as soon as he said that, it inspired our locker room and made us get through each and every game as a team.”

Gonzaga V2 takes ‘A’ division

In Monday’s early game, Gonzaga V2 defeated St. Stephen’s/ St. Agnes, 4-3, after a Saints shot with 3.9 seconds remaining was ruled no goal.

The Eagles were able to clear the puck out of the zone to solidify their second consecutiv­e MAPHL A division title and the fifth in school history.

Forward Matthew Shay scored twice, including the game-winner on the power play late in the second period.

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