Billingsley’s return not enough to bolster team
senior sports editor
The varsity hockey team currently sits at 4-3-1 after a disappointing loss to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
Sophomore forward Brett Strauss still leads the team with seven goals, while sophomore forward Robert Neill leads the team with 11 points and sophomore forward Nick Billingsley leads the team with two game-winning goals. Junior goalie Riley Jordan leads the team with an .835 save percentage.
Senior defenseman Hunter Band believes the team still has room to improve after a decent start. “I think we still can get better in some aspets of the game. Once we play to our potential we will be a very good team,” Band said.
The B-CC loss came with one big positive- the return of senior forward John Billingsley. Billingsley was an alternate captain last year and has been one of the best players on the team since his freshman year. Billingsley didn’t start the season with the team because of prior commitments he had with his club team. He decided to return to the Patriots to try to win a state championship in his last year of high school.
Last season Billingsley led the team in goals (19) and points (24). During the B-CC game Billingsley was on a minutes restriction because of the limited practice time that he had with the team. Billingsley is excited for the challenge of trying to win the state championship this season. “It’s going to be tough, but I am excited to see what this team can accomplish, I think we can go far this year,” Billingsley said.
Billingsley plans to play hockey in college and possibly one day play in the NHL.
In the B-CC game on Dec. 7, they lost 3-2. Band scored an early goal to get the Pats out in front for the whole first period. Then, early in the second period, B-CC responded with a goal of their own, and then Neill tallied another goal to give the Patriots the lead late in the period. With six minutes remaining in the game the Patriots held a 2-1 lead.
B-CC then scored two quick goals to give them the lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game, securing a 3-2 win for the Barons. This was a game that the Patriots could’ve won and had plenty of opportunities to win, but they weren’t able to keep the Barons’ offense in check in the final period.
Band was disappointed with the loss but remains optimistic. “Even though this was a tough loss, we can bounce back and go on a run,” Band said.
The Patriots took on Walter Johnson on Dec. 14, winning 7-2. Strauss and Neill each scored two goals in the team’s big win.
The team faces Northwest today at 5:00 at Rockville Ice Arena.