Blazers dominate first home game of the season for a 7-3 win
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.
WHEATON ICE ARENA, Nov. 24 –
Blair's boys' ice hockey (1-0-2) defeated a Richard Montgomery (RM)/Rockville combination team in a provisional match-up that showcased the Blazers' superior skating skill in their first home game of the season. Led by strong offensive talent and anchored by junior Peirce Marston's excellent goal-tending, Blair cruised to an easy 7-3 victory.
The Blazers dominated from the beginning: senior Jens Josephs snatched the puck from the RM/Rockville team and sent it soaring into the goal to give Blair a 1-0 lead, 15 seconds after the game's start. Blair's forwards kept the action in their attacking zone throughout the majority of the first period; when the Rockets managed to break through the Blazers' offensive line, a strong defense stopped them in their tracks. Senior defenseman Logan Schwebel, in particular, crisscrossed the rink to prevent the Rockets from maneuvering the puck to their advantage.
As the first period continued, Blair slammed the puck into RM's net three more times – one more goal each from Josephs, senior Max Pollacco and freshman Rudy Carson. Finally, with less than a minute left in the period, an RM offender found a clear path to the goal and placed the Blazers into the first break with a 4-1 lead.
During the second period, Blair shifted their strategy. The game became increasingly physical, especially as Blazers started using their bodies more to push RM around and pummel their defense. And the otherwise scoreless period was punctuated by two sharp goals from Carson, who proved his mettle as the team's rising star during a double-team effort with sophomore Alex Stewart.
The third period saw a marked drop in intensity, but Josephs powered up again to score Blair's seventh goal even with two Blazers down due to penalties. Finally, with less than five minutes to go, the Rockets gained momentum and scored two goals in short succession. But it wasn't close to enough and Blair secured their first win of the season.
Head coach Kevin McCabe expressed disappointment in his team's level of play. "We had more talent but we didn't give an intense effort," he said. "The last time I checked, nobody in this room had the last name Ovechkin on their jacket."
Blair players agreed with McCabe's assessment. "I didn't really give it my all," Pollacco said.
"We kind of just, like, glided a lot of the time," sophomore Philip Sequeira said. "We didn't really push."
McCabe did think, however, that the win could potentially bode well for the rest of the ice hockey season, noting Blair's strengths in skating ability and speed. "If we can make improvements in our effort, with the talent that we have, I think we can accomplish good things," he said.
The boys' ice hockey team plays their next home game against a Poolesville/Northwest/Seneca Valley/Albert Einstein combination team on Dec. 2 at 8:15 p.m.
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