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Dec. 6, 2005

Blair Ice Hockey hopes for a strong season

by Devon Madison, Online Entertainment 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.

The Blair Community ice hockey team's 2005-2006 campaign has begun, and despite a slow start, Blair hopes to extend last year's success. Last year's star seniors, Neal Vasilak, Brad Gee, Nathan Barrymore and Graham Mathews, were sorely missed in Blair's 10-0 loss during the first game of the season against Churchill on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Blazers suffered another, but less brutal loss to Paint Branch on Friday Dec. 2nd, when they were defeated 5-3. Blair's losses have proved that the team must make adjustments to their offense to make up for the absence of last year's seniors and current senior defenseman Jake Drengwitz.

This year's team, led by seniors Lee Shields and Jesse Mueller, juniors Robert Ginsberg and Marty Viger and sophomore Ben Kastner, is depending on its defense to win games, largely because last season's prolific scorers, Vasilak and Gee, are missing from the offense. "We're going to have to find some people to score," says Ginsberg. This year, Viger and sophomore Alex-Sandberg Bernard and Kastner are expected to step up as key offensive players.

The team is coached by Kevin McCabe, who has been leading the Blair team for approximately six years. Bill Sandberg and Pierre Viger assist McCabe. Shields, the prospective captain, and Ginsberg find the coaches to be one of the most positive aspects of the team. "Kevin's a great coach, and a pretty funny guy," says Ginsberg. McCabe, who was an All-American at Brown University and played briefly in the NHL for the Boston Bruins, has plenty of hockey experience.

The Blazers, who were 7-5 last year, are looking forward to playing rivals such as BCC, Springbrook and Blake, and also to the tougher games against Wootton and Sherwood, who have been strong teams in previous years.

With the powerhouse Churchill team behind them, the players are trying to think positively and urging fans to as well. "Our success during the season depends on the fans and how into it they get," says Mueller, who finds that more fans helps raise the morale of the team.

Despite the team's loss of offensive players and its slow start, the Blazers are confident that they can win. "We had some key losses in the offense but I think with some of our new additions and the improvement of some of our existing players, I think we can still make the playoffs this year," says Ginsberg, who saved 41 shots against the Paint Branch Panthers on Friday.



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  • Medicin Man on December 6, 2005 at 5:00 PM
    GO BLAIR HOCKEY!
  • fan man on December 6, 2005 at 6:36 PM
    next game at 8:30 at Laurel Ice rink, be there.

    Directions from Blair:

    1. Start at 51 UNIVERSITY BLVD E, SILVER SPRING going toward WILLIAMSBURG DR - go 0.4 mi
    2. Bear Right onto I-495 EAST toward BALTIMORE/COLLEGE PARK - go 2.6 mi
    3. Take exit #27 onto I-95 NORTH toward BALTIMORE - go 2.7 mi
    4. Take exit #29A-B/MD-212 onto POWDER MILL RD toward BELTSVILLE - go 0.8 mi
    5. Turn Left on OLD GUNPOWDER RD - go 2.0 mi
    6. Arrive at 13800 OLD GUNPOWDER RD, LAUREL, on the Left

  • dude on December 6, 2005 at 7:41 PM
    are you serious? "moral"?
  • Grace Marston (View Email) on December 6, 2005 at 8:32 PM
    WHEN AND WHERE ARE THESE FREAKING HOCKEY GAMES?!?!?!
    i understand that the team is independent but it would still be nice to find a schedule somewhere.
    i have a friend on the team and i'd like to support him and support blair but i have no way of knowing how. help!
  • jon on December 10, 2005 at 4:52 PM
    here's a conference schedule http://home.comcast.net/~mshlstats/Conference
    the time for the next game is also posted in the articles for each game.
  • hey on December 11, 2005 at 2:57 PM
    Does anyone know the scoop about why the coach got thrown out last game?
  • Manoj Bhutani (View Email) on December 12, 2005 at 3:04 PM
    anyone know navin bhutani?
    He was the one who started the Blair Ice hockey team about 5 years ago.
    He was class of 2000 and first mvp of the hockey team.
  • alex sb on December 14, 2005 at 6:23 PM
    coach got thrown out because Johnny got hit when he didnt have the puck and there was no call. (he had x-rays taken later an found out he had a fractured collarbone) so coach started yelling at the ref. the ref told him to stop yelling and when the ref turned around coach slammed the gate to the bench an the ref got pissed and ejected him.
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