Hockey: Young team impresses early, then hits wall

After coming out hot winning their first four games, injuries have started to take a toll on the ice hockey team, losing their last game to push their record to 4-1.

On Nov. 13 the team took on Churchill. Without junior John Billingsley and freshman Robert Neill the offense took a big hit. They are first and third on the team in goals with seven and three respectively. After going down 3-0 in the first period the team was never able to come back. They ended up losing 6-0 for their first loss of the year. Churchill moved ahead of the team in the standings, but they are still in second. Freshman Riley Jordan has been starting in goal, in part because sophomore Colin Brick has a concussion. Brick started the first game, and Jordan has started all the games since then. Jordan currently has a 3-1 record.

On Nov. 10 the team took on BCC. They played without Billingsley, but were still able to escape with a win. Jordan only allowed two goals, which helped with Billingsley’s absence. Just a minute into the game, freshman Brett Strauss scored a goal, his second of the season. Later in the first period senior Ethan Heiberger scored a power play goal, but BCC scored soon after that to make it 2-1. “When our power play is working well we can be hard to stop, but if we’re not drawing penalties and we’re always playing at even strength our offense can struggle at times,” Heiberger said.

Neill scored in the beginning of the third period on another power play to make it a 3-1 game. Five minutes into the second period BCC scored a power play goal of their own to make it 3-2. Nobody scored in the entire second half of the game, and it ended in a 3-2 win.

On Nov. 3 they squared off against Blair in Frederick. There were not many fans due to the game being in Frederick, which could explain why the team started off slowly. Wootton’s student section has been consistent for the nearby games this year, so the team wasn’t used to this. “Our student section has been amazing all year, so it was unusual to play in front of a small crowd,” senior captain Zack Lechner said.

After going down 2-1 at the end of the first period, they came out firing in the second. Billingsley scored three goals in the second period, with assists coming from Lechner and Heiberger. Junior Hunter Band scored one each in the first and second. Junior Jake Smith contributed a goal as well, to make it 6-2 by the end of the second period, but that wasn’t the end of an action packed night for Smith. At the end of the game he kicked someone with the bottom of his skate, resulting in an immediate ejection and a two-game suspension. He appealed it and the suspension became only one game. Fans were holding up signs that read #FreeJakeSmith at the BCC game because they clearly disagreed with the league on handing down a suspension to him.
Their next game is Nov. 17 against Richard Montgomery, too late to be covered in this issue.

 

Max Pasternak

Senior News Editor

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