Ice Hockey falls to 1-3

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Photo courtesy Wootton Ice Hockey Instagram

Sophomore Connor Jackson fights for a loose puck.

Last year, the ice hockey team did not meet their expectations for the season with a 4-7-2 record. This season the team is led by their senior captains Conor Harris and Grady Sellman and new coach John Doe.

The first four games for the Patriots before Thanksgiving break were against some of the top teams in the county – Sherwood, Churchill, Walter Johnson and Whitman – but the Patriots were determined to start the season on a high note.

The first game of the season was against Sherwood on Oct. 21. When both teams came onto the ice it was clear that Sherwood was a much bigger team than the Patriots, but that did not seem to faze the players. The Patriots came off fast, moving the puck and getting lots of shots off, but none of them seemed to hit the net. By the end of the first period the score was 1-1; the Patriots scored a goal by Harris in the 10th minute. When the second quarter started, it was clear the Patriots controlled the game scoring five goals in the period from Harris, junior Ilhom Abdulaev, senior William Rusiecki and Sellman with two goals including one off a great power play. In the third period, the Patriots took their foot of the gas but still had a dominant 8-3 win.¨Before the game we were already really excited to play because it was the first game of the season and that clearly transferred into the game”, Harris said.

The next game of the season was against the former county champions Churchill on Oct. 28. The Patriots knew this was going to be a tough game but five minutes in, Sellman scored in the front of the net. Although the Patriots scored first, Churchill answered right back and went on to control the game, winning 10-3 even with two more goals by Abdulaev and sophomore Sam Hosier.
Looking to put the loss behind them, the Patriots had a game on Oct. 31 against Walter Johnson, another talented team. The team did not look like themselves though. After Walter Johnson lead 2-0 after the first period, the Patriots had their head down too soon, which resulted in a 5-1 victory to the Wildcats. ¨The last two losses are definitely hard to deal with but I am confident that this team will pull it together and start playing like we should be,¨ Micheal Murphy said.

The fourth game of the season was against the second best team in the county, the Whitman Vikings, and it was another tough game for the Patriots. They were unable to put points on the board with a 0-6 loss. “The season only started and we played three of the best teams in Montgomery County .I think this team will turn some heads after the break and get on a roll,¨ sophomore goalie Connor Jackson said.