(Laurel Ice Gardens, 11/19/12) In their 2012-2013 season opener, new head coach Paul Fritz saw his Prep charges began a bit sluggishly, but then rally to make their power play goals count, in an impressive 5-2 win over Baltimore power Mount Saint Joseph in the season’s first Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL) contest.
Prep took a penalty just over 1 minute into the contest, and the Hoyas went on the season’s first penalty kill (PK). Fortunately, hard work and two impressive saves from senior goaltender Steev Ward (’13) kept the Gaels off of the board. Initially, the Gaels seemed to carry the play, fresh from their 3-0 win over the DeMatha Stags last week. However, as the first period continued, the mighty Hoyas came together well as a team. Passing was crisper, positioning was more solid, and the always-present Prep work ethic shined. Although the period ended 0-0, Prep gained a territorial advantage in possession and dominated the shots by a 16-4 margin.
55 seconds into the second stanza, Prep took its second penalty, but once again was able to withstand the Gaels extra man advantage as the scored remained deadlocked at 0-0. About a minute and a half later, the fireworks began as MSJ’s captain took a boarding penalty, providing Prep with about a 1:40 power play (PP). A subsequent hook of a Prep player by MSJ gave Prep a 5 on 3 advantage and a great opportunity to open the game scoring. 4 minutes into the period, junior defenseman Matt Billings (’14) drilled a shot from the point that was tipped by senior team CaptainKyle Chadwick (’13) to sophomore winger Jack Olson (’14), who ripped the puck into the net, opening the scoring for the game and giving Prep a 1-0 lead.
About halfway through the second period, MSJ took a boarding call. An outraged MSJ parent began to catcall the referee – this is of course, never a good idea. The referee asked the fan if the fan preferred a “5” minute major instead of the 2 minute call. The parent responded, and the referee complied: a 5 minute major for boarding was assessed to MSJ, giving Prep 5 minutes literally to “score at will” as major penalties are not replaceable.
Big Hoya junior defenseman and 2011-2012 All-Gazette selection Lazar Zamurovic (’14) made the Gaels pay almost immediately, by sending a rocket blast that found the back of the net on assists from Matt Billings (’14) and Kyle Chadwick (’13) to give Prep a 2-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, and with the MSJ player still sitting off his major penalty, speedy junior winger Ryan Howe (’14) let loose a blazing wrist shot off of a Lazar Zamurovic (’14) pass, opening up a 3-0 lead for the Hoyas.
With 6:33 left in the period, MSJ tripped junior center Cole Taylor (’14), drawing another penalty and providing Prep with a 5 on 3 advantage. Less than a minute later, Matt Billngs (’14) passed point to point to fellow defender Lazar Zamurovic (’14) and Lazar drilled another huge slapper into the net for a 4-0 Prep lead.
All of the sudden, the reverse began. Prep took three penalties in just over one minute of playing time, providing MSJ with an extended 5 on 3. The never-say-die Gaels made Prep pay by scoring their first goal of the game with only 2:33 left in the period, and followed with a second goal with just over one minute left in the period, to cut Prep’s lead to 4-2. Even so, Prep led the Gaels in overall play and in the shot advantage, by a wide margin: 15-3.
The Hoya nation remained optimistic as the third period began. Prep once again had the shot margin, 13-9 but the Gaels continued to press. With 1:58 remaining in the game, MSJ pulled their goalie in favor of a sixth attacker. Again, senior Prep netminder Steev Ward (’13) was equal to the task, deflecting shot after shot by the feisty Gaels.
With 1:29 remaining in the game, junior Centerman Cole Taylor (’14) grabbed an errant puck off of an MSJ pass, and raced across the MSJ blueline with a juicy open net in front of him. Unhindered, Cole deftly tucked the “biscuit in the basket” to score an unassisted, empty-net goal to give Prep a 5-2 lead and to close out scoring in the game.
The Thanksgiving break is upon us, and many parents and players will join the team as we celebrate the Scott Smith Alumni Game and Dinner. Game time is at 5:45 at Cabin John on Wednesday, November 21. The dinner is in the south room immediately after the game. Prep hockey will be awarding a past player and a past parent volunteer at the dinner. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and Go Hoyas!