Hockey: Boys close in on playoff bubble after hitting rough patch

After a strong start to the season, the hockey team is just outside of the playoff race. Whitman is tied with Churchill at the top of the division with 13 points each, while this school is just behind with 12, through eight games.
On Dec. 9 they took on DC Stars, and won handily in a 10-1 game. Senior Drew Keppler was back in net and only let in one goal, the least he’s let up in a game this season. Senior Nathan Sharp had two goals, his first two goals of the season. Meanwhile, usual suspect Hunter Band also had two, to push his team leading total to nine goals. Senior Nic Band was able to stay out of the penalty box and added a goal while playing defense. Junior forward Ethan Heiberger contributed to the strong defensive outing, even though he was on offense for most of the game.
On Dec. 16 the boys played BCC, and lost 2-1. Earlier in the season they beat BCC 7-4, so this loss wasn’t expected. This game was started by freshman goalie Colin Brick, who only let in two goals, one of which was redirected by a defender. He kept the team in the game-saving shot after shot. Band played well until he got ejected for reaching the maximum number of penalties a player can have in a game. In addition, junior Zack Lechner took yet another 12-minute penalty. The lone goal was scored by senior Kun Do, his fourth of the year. His speed has been difficult for opposing teams to keep up with, as he skated by multiple players on the other team on the way to his goal. The team had multiple power play chances in the third period, none of which that they could capitalize on in their attempt to tie up the game.
Sophomore John Billingsley made his long-awaited return after his hip injury, although he only played a couple shifts. “It felt really good to get back out there,” Billingsley said. “Hopefully I will be able to play a little bit more each game.”
The game was at Cabin John Ice Rink, and there is only one section for students, unlike Rockville where each school has a section to themselves. Although it might be expected that the section at the BCC game would be half this school and half BCC, it was packed with Patriots, while only three BCC kids were in the student section. “It’s awesome that we have the best student section in the county, and it really sucks that we couldn’t get the win for them,” Lechner said.
Their next game is Dec. 21 against Blair, too late to be covered in this issue.

Max Pasternak

Business Manager

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