JV Hockey: Defense improves, scoring grooves

The JV ice hockey team can’t be stopped. After eight games in the season, they sit comfortably on top of the league table with an astonishing 7-0-1 record. Winning games consistently isn’t rare in sports, but winning games by such wide margins- as the Patriots have been doing- gives this squad “super team” status. With the majority of the squad serving as utility players for the just-as-dominant varsity team, it isn’t a secret as to why this JV team has found so much success. “More game experience is great. [Varsity] games are also faster, so it’s easier to read the game for JV,” sophomore center Jake Smith said.
The boys last played on Jan 4. when they defeated Bethesda Chevy-Chase 5-1. There were never any doubts in this game, as the Patriots built up a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period and were able to handily snatch up yet another win. Leading the way for the Patriots were Smith with two goals and one assist, and freshman winger Zeming Chen, who totaled one goal and two assists. Freshman winger Scott Collinson also made a major contribution by scoring two goals.
The boys started off 2017 by thrashing the Walter Johnson B-team by a score of 8-1 on Jan. 2. The scoring was on full blast as always, but the defensive unit truly impressed, especially since it has proven to be spotty in the past. Sophomore goaltender Seamus Graham faced 17 shots and only let in one. If patching up the defense was a New Year’s resolution for this team, it’s apparent that the boys haven’t ditched it, and it looks as if it’ll stay that way. Sophomore winger Eric Quam (two goals and two assists) and senior winger Sam Hershey (one goal and three assists) led the offense in this absolute shellacking of WJ.
Just before winter break, on Dec. 20, the boys squared off and beat the Walter Johnson A-team by a score of 4-3. Despite playing with an undermanned roster, the boys still managed to keep their undefeated hopes alive. While the scoreline suggests an extremely close game, it is slightly misleading. The boys were up 4-2 late in the game when WJ managed to score an ultimately meaningless goal with just over 30 seconds remaining. Smith and Quam had two goals apiece, while Graham faced 25 shots, only letting in three.
Christmas came early for the Patriots when their 10-1 humiliation of Whitman on Dec. 19 left practically every player on the team leaving the rink with a gift (coming in the form of goals and/or assists). Quam led the team by scoring a hat trick and adding on an assist while Graham put the Vikings on the naughty list, gifting them just one goal out of 18 shots. “Our success comes from playing like a team and not being selfish,” Quam said.
The “super team” Patriots have clearly established themselves as the team to beat entering the postseason. After displaying the ability to outplay every opponent, it appears there is only one threat to their championship hopes.
Themselves.

 

Joe Pohoryles

JV Sports Editor

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