Blair ice hockey crushed in opener

Nov. 17, 2006, midnight | By Robert Feasley | 14 years, 2 months ago

Mercy rule yields an unhappy start to the season


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.

With high hopes for the 2006-2007 season, the Blair ice hockey team took the ice tonight expecting to flex their offensive muscle against the Magruder Colonels in their season opener. However, the Colonels completely shut down the Blair offense and dominated the Blazer defense, inducing the mercy rule with 2:02 left in the third period with a score of 10-0.

"It was a less than auspicious debut," Head Coach Kevin McCabe noted. "Magruder was not 10 goals better than us - it should have been a competitive game."

The first period, from the beginning, appeared to be a fair match. Both teams fought to maintain possession of the puck, neither succeeding until a Magruder player, with seven minutes left, intercepted the puck on a Blair offensive drive and slapped it past senior Robert Ginsberg. "Hockey is a game of momentum," said McCabe, "and apparently that first goal was all Magruder needed to get the ball rolling."

The Colonels scored again, 45 seconds later with 6:15 left on the clock — and again three minutes later — and again two minutes after that. With 1:22 left in the first period, the score was 4-0, Magruder.

The second period showed little variance in play, with five more Colonel goals to Blair's none - the last of which was scored with only 8 seconds in the period.

Senior Scott Lavon attributed the vast majority of the goals to problems with the penalty box. Of the first eight goals, seven were scored on the power play. "At some points in the game we were two men down - and for a team that's already struggling to get the puck away from their own goal, that's just hard to overcome."

The team, heading into the third period, was down 9-0. Despite the deficit, the Blazers performed admirably, largely due to the efforts of senior Aaron Jarboe in goal, and held off a storm of Magruder attacks. However, the Colonels put an end to the game when, with 2:02 left in the period, a Magruder player broke past the Blair defense on a fast break and flicked the puck through the legs of Jarboe.

McCabe, despite the loss, was optimistic about the rest of the season. "Tonight's game is in no way indicative of what to expect. We should've been even with that team but we just didn't put in the effort," he said. "We'll be fine."

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