Players predict strong season with return of full squad
The Ice Hockey team suffered an unexpected 6-3 loss in its debut against B-CC at the Wheaton Inline on December 3. Extensive penalty time and a shortage of players contributed to Blair's loss.
Despite a valiant effort by freshman forward Nick Valisak, who scored all three of Blair's goals, the Blazers could not consistently penetrate the Barons' defense. Blair nearly pulled ahead in the second period with the score tied at two apiece, but were eventualy scored upon.
Contributing to Blair's goals were senior Wesley Gee with two assists and senior Dylan Irion with one assist.
The defense struggled with Irion out for more than five minutes because of penalties. Blair also felt the effects of the absence of senior defenders Mike Shields and Zachary Tinkelman. Shields will be returning for the next game and Tinkelman will return in late December due to a wrist injury.
Senior Matt Poness said that the game against B-CC was not one he expected to lose. "We beat them every year, and we would have beat them this year if it weren't for the loss of players and the penalties," he said.
With the penalties came injuries. Junior Chris Zaldivar suffered a badly-cut lip and had to leave the ice in the second period.
The team had a strong preseason, defeating Springbrook 8-0 in a scrimmage. The potential of rising underclassman and experience of many four-year varsity players is a source of encouragement for the team that hopes to uphold last year's 8-2 record.
Shields noted that the team is relatively young, and anticipates that the team's skill will continue to grow with the help of second-year coach Kevin McCabe. Andrew Ginsberg, a 2002 Blair graduate, is the assistant coach.
The team looks forward to a shot at the playoffs this year, a new possibility because the squad is composed entirely of Blair students. In recent years Blair's ice hockey team included students from other high schools, making the team ineligible for playoffs.
On Dec 6 the team takes on Whitman at 4:30 p.m. at the Wheaton Inline, where the Blazers hope to prove what damage they can do with a full squad.
Julia Gabriel. My name is Julia, but some people call me moonpie. I have lived in Silver Spring all my life and one day I hope to live in Colorado. I have two sisters, two parents and one dog. Occasionally I have a hamster but they tend … More »