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Nov. 24, 2004

Blazers blown out in opener

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
The Blair Community ice hockey team is not affiliated or sponsored by the Montgomery Blair High School athletic program or Montgomery County Public Schools. The team is an independent group of Blair students.

NOV. 23, WHEATON ICE RINK-

The strangely thick fog that covered the ice tonight at Wheaton’s outdoor rink made it hard for anyone to see, but for the Blair community hockey team, maybe it was better that way.

The team opened their season on a most sour of notes, being demolished by the Paint Branch Panthers 11-1 and having the game called with 7:38 left in the second period due to the Mercy Rule.

“We [stunk],” said winger Lee Shields, summing up the problem for this Blair (0-1), a group that went 0-11 last season. The team went down early to the Panthers (1-0), allowing the first three goals. From there, after being down 6-1 after one period, it only got worse for the Blazers.

Early in the second, Blair goalie Graham Matthews and skaters from both sides got in to a scrum in front of Blazer net, resulting in a defensive interference call against Blair. The penalty resulted in a penalty shot for Paint Branch, which was put into the back of the net by the Panther center for an 8-1 lead.

The barrage continued, and after the 11th goal that put Paint Branch up 10, the game was called due to the Mercy Rule, sending this hearty crowd home very early.

Matthews was pulled in the second period for Robbie Ginsburg, and according to Jesse Mueller, the fog, created due to the rain outside, body heat inside and the ice all mixing together, had an impact on his struggles in net. “Our goalie[s] couldn’t see anything,” he said.

Left wing Peter Semitekolos agreed, adding candidly that "it's hard to play when you can't see five feet in front of you." Nevertheless, Paint Branch played in the same conditions as Blair and won big.

What made the loss even more disheartening was that Paint Branch won with half as large a team as Blair’s. “The other team was really good even though they only had like nine players,” Shields opined. He also observed that what hurt the Blazers, more than the fog, was their lack of physical play and the fact that the Panthers dominated with speed.

“We didn’t play physical, and most of their goals came on breakaways. We should’ve just played dump and chase to wear them out because they were undermanned, but we didn’t and we lost.”

Mueller was more upbeat about the game. “It was a tough loss, but we will not hang out heads. We'll still come out next game with everything we have got and hopefully leave with a win.”

Neal Vasilak scored Blair’s only goal early in the first period. But from there on out, it was a Paint Branch-dominated game, and an especially sour start to a new season on the ice. Shields summed up the feeling of the team by stating plainly, “that was demoralizing.”



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  • C-man on November 24, 2004
    That really wasn't all that bad. IT could have been a whole lot worse.
  • BIG FAN! on November 24, 2004
    NEAL YOUR MY HERO!!!and halo sucks!
  • thats sad... on November 24, 2004
    wow.... -_-
  • L-boogey on November 24, 2004
    no it sucked
  • chick on November 28, 2004
    its okay guys, you'll do better next time
  • The Paint Branch goalie on November 28, 2004
    It was foggy at my end too.
  • some magnet kid on November 29, 2004
    halo does NOT suck. :D
  • 05 on December 1, 2004
    yes your wear bad.
  • goalie on December 1, 2004
    robbie ginsburg also played in the game he came in after i was pulled at the start of the second period.
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