Germantown too hot for Blair hockey

Jan. 12, 2008, midnight | By Kiera Zitelman | 16 years, 3 months ago

Blazers outskated 6-1

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 Blazers' record dropped to 1-5 after a 6-1 loss to Germantown on Friday. Though the Blazers kept up a good effort throughout the game, they managed only one goal and could not stop the faster, more experienced Germantown team.

The game remained scoreless for the first five minutes, until Germantown flipped in its first goal. The Blazers played aggressive, swarming defense, led by senior center Johnny Slenkovich and senior defenseman Ben Kastner, and Germantown did not score again until the end of the period. Multiple checks from senior defenseman Tobi Adeoye encouraged the rest of the team to persevere, despite a two-goal deficit.

Senior defenseman Tobi Adeoye steals the puck from the Germantown offense. Photo courtesy of Julia Seiger.

Blair's mental determination allowed them to stay in the game, according to Kastner. "We were playing with them," he said. "We played with intensity," agreed senior captain and center Alex Sandberg-Bernard. "We played really hard and showed a tough effort."

The Blazers stepped up their physical game in the second period, with some determined defense by sophomore forward Jens Josephs. Despite the effort, Germantown outskated Blair and scored on a Blair power play to go up 3-0. They went on to score two more goals, both in the top right quadrant of the net.

Kastner had several good checks in the game, and he praised the team's physical play. "We played a pretty physical game," he said. "They were scared. You want to go out there and hit them."

Freshman goalie Peirce Marston had 32 saves out of 38 shots, while Blair had just 19 shots. "We played better than the score shows," Marston said.

The unusually warm night provided some problems for all of the players. At almost 50 degrees, fog was rising off of the ice and condensing on the glass. The warm atmosphere also wore out players quickly. "The first two periods, I was feeling it a lot," Kastner said. "The heat really gets to you. I was definitely tired."

The Blazers' physical play resulted in ten penalties, mostly for illegal checking. Adeoye was called for tripping, but he claimed that the refereeing was unfair. "It was probably the worst penalty I've had called on me all season," he said. Kastner agreed, saying that "a majority of the penalties were due to bad refereeing."

Senior defenseman Ben Kastner weaves through the Germantown defense in the hopes of scoring for Blair. Photo courtesy of Julia Seiger.

With 1:11 remaining in the second period, sophomore forward Ben Stewart was hit in the stomach by a Germantown player's helmet. He fell on the ice and was unable to move for about five minutes before Sandberg-Bernard assisted him off. An ambulance arrived shortly after the incident to take Stewart to Suburban Hospital, where he was given a CAT scan and painkillers. As of the next day, Stewart was at home with no apparent ill effects, although doctors were worried about potential damage to his intestines. His status for the season is still unclear.

Less than two minutes into the third period, following the sixth Germantown goal, Blair junior defenseman Jon Kesten scored on a breakaway. Kesten skated past the Germantown defense and flicked the puck just past the goalie. His goal was the last of the game, for a final score of 6-1.

Though the Blazers were never winning, they stayed in the game and kept faith, according to Marston. "Anything can happen at any time," he said.

The hockey team plays its next home game on Jan. 15 against Gaithersburg at 3:30 p.m.

Editors' Note: Silver Chips Online incorrectly reported on Ben Stewart's condition in a previously posted version of this story. The inaccuracy has been fixed and we apologize for any confusion.

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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