Coming off of a huge OT win less than 24 hours prior, the Hoyas went into the IAC Championship Game with a new level of momentum. Their opponent, Landon, gave the boys an additional level of energy as they sought revenge after a loss to the same team just a few days earlier.
Play began in front of a huge Prep student section as well as a group of Landon students. The boys got off to a quick start thanks to the brutal play of Jack “The Jackhammer” Olson. After getting control of the puck, freshman Max “The Rocket” Newnam passed the biscuit onto the tape of Jack’s stick who then carried the puck into the Landon zone. With two defensemen in front, the Junior let one fly while falling to his back and miraculously managed to place the puck right past the Landon goalie. Just 40 seconds into the context, the Hoyas gained a 1-0 lead. The lead, however, was short lived as Landon struck back three times in the first bringing the score to 1-3 at intermission.
The Hoyas looked to turn things around in the second stanza. Just one minute in, that change came for the boys in blue. After Lazar “Serbian Machine” Zamurovic carried the puck into the zone, the senior delivered a beauty of a pass to junior Jake “Bean” Neeb who finished off the play by putting the puck right where it belongs. As the score moved within one, the Hoyas then had to take to the penalty kill. Landon managed to capitalize on the powerplay with 11:35 remaining in the period. With the score at 2-4, senior captain Cole “Dangle Snipe Celly” Taylor worked some magic. The senior held the puck in the offensive zone on the powerplay and let a shot fly from right in front of the rowdy Prep student section. Just as the puck hit twine, the senior showed the crowd where the “Celly” part comes from as he fired up the student section so much the glass nearly came out of the boards. With 9:33 remaining in the period, Captain Cole brought the score to 3-4. About 8 minutes later, the Hoyas moved the score to a tie. As Jack “The Jackhammer” Olson led the rush, senior Lazar “Serbian machine” Zamurovic barreled down the ice to the front of the net. At just the right moment, with the senior wheeling at full speed, Olson unleashed a pinpoint pass in the perfect position for one of Lazar’s famous one-timers. This beauty of a play brought the Hoyas and the Bears to a tie score at 4. As all the offense was happening at the other end, junior netminder Barry “Brick Wall” Leese stood tall in net. The junior made save after save fending off many Landon chances in front of the hostile Bears student section. Despite his best efforts, Landon managed to put one more on the board before the period’s close bringing the score to 4-5 to end the period.
Coming into the third and final stanza, the boys faced a one-goal deficit. After a fruitless powerplay chance early, play continued as usual including a monster hit by Jack “The Jackhammer” Olson, shaking up the Landon captain. Despite spending minutes sprawled out on the ice, apparently the Landon player was well enough to play in his next shift, go figure. With 8:29 remaining, the Hoyas took to the penalty kill. Just seconds later, the other guys scored their sixth goal of the game. The game concluded with a score of 4-7 after Landon scored another goal on an empty net opportunity.
Despite this loss, the boys as a whole played a “winning” game that just didn’t end in their favor. Now, they look forward to the MAPHL tournament this coming week and a chance at redemption after Wednesday’s loss. Hoya Saxa!