Silver Chips Online

Blair ice hockey loses play-off

Blazers end season in hard-fought loss to Washington County, 5-2

By Alison Kronstadt, Online Opinions Editor
February 27, 2011
Having made it farther in the playoffs than in any other season, the Blair ice hockey team (10-5-1) was eliminated by the Washington County North Stars (15-1-2). Despite strong performances later in the game, Blair failed to overcome a rough first period and lost the game by a score of 5-2.

"It was a tough game. We came in expecting it to be tough," sophomore right wing Adam Maisto said.

The first period was a struggle for Blair, with Washington County scoring two early goals - one shorthanded and one right after a faceoff. Three more goals made the score at the end of the period 5-0. Blair managed to better shut down Washington County's formidable defense in the second and third periods. Sophomore captain and forward Rudy Carson scored one goal in each of the next two periods to make the final score 5-2. Carson's last goal was a beautiful slap-shot. Of the last goal, Carson said, "I don't think I've ever shot the puck harder than that."

Still, according to Coach Didier Devynck, the players can be proud of their performance. "In spite of what the scoreboard says, we had very good defense. There's no question that we were able to hold our own even against a very fast team," he said. "I know the guys were disappointed to lose, but they can go home with their heads up tonight."

Senior assistant captain Peirce Marston attributed the team's improvement after the first period to an increase in intensity. "In the first period we laid back too much. We gave them too many chances and they out-played us," he said. "Then we started playing, we got more physical, we skated more. We didn't have urgency in the first period, but we had urgency in the second and third periods."

According to junior assistant captain and defenseman Alex Stewart, Blair's historic season came as something of a surprise. "We lost a lot of seniors," he said. "It was unexpected, but really cool." Carson attributed the success to a good team dynamic.

"Everyone was quiet at first, but then in the middle of the season we started talking, we started getting along more, and we started winning. I think the reason we got this far is because everyone believed in each other," he said.