senior sports editor
As the playoffs approach, the Patriots finished off their regular season with a record of 12-4-1 and have clinched the number one seed in the Montgomery Conference. After dropping a game to DeMatha, the team secured three straight wins against Quince Orchard, BCC and Churchill.
Senior defenseman Hunter Band has confidence in the team. “I think we have a good chance to make a run at states this year because we have a really strong team and we are on a roll right now,” Band said.
After not playing for the first part of the season due to prior engagements made with his travel team, senior forward John Billingsley is back to making an impact. In seven games Billingsley has totaled six goals and eight assists to give him 14 points on the year. Billingsley is excited to be back and lead the team to a state title. “I’m happy to be back with the team because I think we can achieve something special this year,” Billingsley said.
The Patriots took on DeMatha on Jan. 23, and lost 12-1. Junior forward Zeming Chen scored the lone Patriot goal. Senior forward Eric Quam liked the team’s attitude after such a large defeat. “Even though we lost by a lot, the team responded well, everyone stayed positive,” Quam said.
The team responded in a big way, defeating Quince Orchard 9-0 on Jan. 25. The Patriots defense was the story, holding the Cougars to only six shots. Sophomore center Nick Billingsley, junior forwards Daniel Tomashevsky and Scotty Collinson and senior forwards Jake Smith and Band each tallied two goals in the win. Sophomore Riley Jordan recorded the shutout in goal.
The Patriots followed up their shutout win with a 3-1 victory over B-CC on Feb. 1. After conceding an early goal, the Patriots responded with three unanswered goals from Tomashevsky, freshman forward Jack Yeilding and sophomore forward Robert Neill to propel them to a win. Quam was elated with the two big wins. “Having two straight wins going into the Churchill game is huge for us,” Quam said.
And then came the biggest game of the year. The Patriots faced off against rival Churchill on Feb. 8 for senior night. A win against the Bulldogs would be the first in five years for the Pats, and they didn’t let the fans down, winning 8-3. After trailing 1-0, Billingsley responded with two goals of his own. After another a Churchill goal, Tomashevsky responded with a goal, putting the score at 3-2 after two periods. The third period was a scoring clinic for the team, netting five goals in the final frame, including the eighth goal from senior Danny Rothenberg. This capped off the biggest win in the last five years for the team. Band was ecstatic with the team’s performance, “I loved how our guys played. We needed a great game and we played a great game,” Band said.
The Patriots first playoff game had not been scheduled as of press time.