Despite penalties, quick start gives ice hockey the edge, 6-3
WHEATON ICE ARENA, Feb. 7 -
The Blair community ice hockey team is not affiliated with 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 ice hockey team (8-3-1) solidly beat the Damascus Hornets (4-6-1) by a score of 6-3 in a game that was characterized by a strong first period and an unusual number of penalties, as well as several excellent saves from sophomore goalie Michel Devynck. With the win, Blair secured a spot in the playoffs, and the early lead gave less experienced players more ice time.
"We played a very good game," Coach Didier Devynck said.
The Blazers came out strong, with sophomore Captain Rudy Carson, senior assistant captain Peirce Marston, junior left winger Ryan Henson and junior assistant captain Alex Stewart each scoring a goal in the first period. "We rode an early outburst of offense, but after the first period we got kind of laid back," Marston said.
Carson went onto score two more goals, one a shorthanded goal when Blair was down two players due to penalties. "We were pretty good on the penalty kill," Carson said. Blair took eight penalties during the game, and Stewart took four of those eight. "They had some dirty players, and we got into too many fights," he said.
Devynck agreed, adding that some of the penalties were less problematic. "Some of the calls were questionable, and some of the penalties were what we call good penalties, where if the only way you can stop the guy getting to the net is to hook him, you do it," he said.
According to Devynck, he told his players to take some of the pressure off after the first period. "Once we were up 3-0, I told my top guys, 'Ok, that's enough.' We basically slowed it down a little bit," he said.
Michel Devynck said that he hoped the team could carry the lessons from their victory into the playoffs. "If we keep up this level of steady play, I think we'll do well," he said. "We just have to carry the momentum."
Devynck, Marston, Carson and Henson are all playing in Tuesday's All-Star game at the Rockville Ice Arena at 6:15 p.m. Didier Devynck will be coaching one of the teams.
Blair ice hockey will play their next home game on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m.
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