Blazers overwhelm Bengals

Jan. 5, 2008, midnight | By Kiera Zitelman | 16 years, 3 months ago

Blair hockey knocks out Blake 10-2

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 flattened the Blake Bengals on Friday night 10-2, leading for the entire game and dominating both offensively and defensively. The blowout victory marked the first regular season victory for the 1-4 Blazers and saw possibly their best performance of the year. After building a sizable lead, the team lost focus in the third period but held on for the win.

Senior center and captain Alex Sandberg-Bernard scored Blair's first goal in the first two minutes of the game. From there, the Blazers had some trouble holding possession of the puck, but quickly overcame their difficulties to dominate the game. The Blazers had the advantage in shots, and were able to recover rebounds and put them back in the net for goals.

Sandberg-Bernard praised the Blazers' offense. "We moved the puck really well and we kept possession," he said. "We got a lot of shots," senior defenseman Ben Kastner agreed. "During the first and second period we played well in the offensive zone," he said.

By the end of the first period, the Blazers were leading 5-0, with two goals from Sandberg-Bernard, one from sophomore forward Jens Josephs, one from junior forward Adith Ramamurti and another from Kastner. Kastner and Josephs went on to score hat tricks. Overall the Blazers had five different goal scorers. The first period's final goal came as an assist from Josephs to Sandberg-Bernard with 2.3 seconds left.

Blair coach Kevin McCabe pointed out that the Blazers could simply skate better than Blake. "We outskated them in skating ability and sheer speed," he said.

The Blazers added two more goals, both from Josephs, in the second period, prompting spirited renditions of the Blair victory song. A brief fight ensued when Ramamurti tripped over the Blake goalie and brought another Blake player down, one of the first in a string of penalties, mostly called on Blazers. The penalties were one of the low points of the game, according to McCabe, who called Blair's play towards the end of the game "overaggressive." The Blazers had a total of nine penalties called, with six of those in the third period.

Sophomore defenseman Logan Schwebel scored with a slapshot to raise the score to 8-0. Barely two minutes later, Kastner snaked a shot through the defense for his second goal. He scored his third goal on a breakaway with two minutes remaining, outskating the Bengals' defense and burying the puck in the top corner of the net. Blake managed to score twice in the third period to make the final score 10-2.

Despite their victory, Blair players were critical of their third period effort, in which several players tried to score for themselves without passing to open teammates and taking their time to get good shots. "We kind of fell apart in the third period," Josephs said, citing the defense. "Toward the end we sort of lost focus," agreed Kastner. "Everyone wanted to score and try to take it individually. We stopped doing what we did in the first period, which was passing."

McCabe thought that Blair's huge lead going into the third period contributed to their inferior play. "We had scored a lot of goals," he said. "Like sharks smell blood in the water, everyone wanted to get in on the action...Inasmuch as we scored a lot of goals, we didn't play a complete game today."

As for the Blazers' next game against Sherwood, McCabe believes it will be "very competitive," and did not venture a guess as to who will win. Kastner and Sandberg-Bernard were more optimistic, with Kastner going so far as to guarantee a victory. "The next game will be a little more challenging, but we can definitely pull out a win," Sandberg-Bernard said.

The hockey team plays its next home game on Jan. 11 against Germantown at 5:30 p.m.

Kiera Zitelman. Kiera Zitelman goes by many names and Photo Booth effects. She enjoys being able to drive and representing Kensington. She likes her dog, Sophie, and her human friend of the same name. Kiera owns one-third of a hot dog toaster and one-fourth of a movie … More »

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