Ice Hockey: Strong start gives team optimism

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The goal of winning the state championship for the hockey team is off to a good start after ripping off four straight wins to start the season. The team retained most of their core players from last year, so the strong start was an expectation that was set in the practices leading up to the season opener.
They opened up the season with a 7-3 win over Walt Whitman on Oct. 28. Junior defenseman Zachary Lechner had three goals, while sophomore Hunter Band also had a hat trick and sophomore John Billingsley added one goal. Senior goalie Drew Keppler started off the season on a strong note, after having a turbulent year last year. Whitman, along with the Patriots, are considered favorites to take home the state title this year, so letting in only three goals was more than stellar.
On Nov. 4 they pounced on Quince Orchard, winning 7-1. Lechner followed up his hat trick with a two-goal game. Senior captain Nic Band had a hat trick of his own after going scoreless in the first game. Hunter Band had another goal and senior Ben Murk tallied his first of the season.
On the eighth the boys beat Bethesda Chevy Chase 5-3. Hunter Band had three goals on the night, while seniors Steven Fan and Captain Zack Butler each chipped in one. Lechner took four penalties this game, and was unable to get on the scorers’ sheet. This game was much closer than expected, as it was the first without star sophomore Billingsley. “I feel like that was a game we should’ve won by a lot more than two, but a win is a win,” Hunter Band said.
Junior forward Sidney “The Bull” Levine has been unable to get on the scorers sheet, but his physical play has been a plus for the team. He didn’t play in the last game for unknown reasons.
On Nov. 11 the boys took on the DC Stars, who are a combined team of local high schools who don’t have enough players to field their own team. The final score was an 8-3 win, but the score doesn’t reflect how close the game really was. During the game Band had a hard hit and got a 12-minute penalty for it. It was hard, as the team was already down Billingsley, so two of their top defenders were unable to play during that stretch, which lasted almost a 15-minute period. Band started off the scoring early in the first period with a slap shot that was rocketed past the goalie, and had another goal, despite his long penalty. Junior forward Ethan Heiberger and freshman forward Zeming Chen each got their long-awaited first goals. Lechner added two goals but made most of his contributions playing defense and stopping the Stars from scoring.
This year the boys are going for states and are working hard to achieve their goal. They played Churchill Friday, Nov. 18, but the game is too late to be covered in this issue.

 

Max Pasternak

Business Manager