Blair's Ice Hockey team narrowly pulled out a 7-6 win against Whitman High School at the Wheaton Inline on Friday, December 6. The offensive line showed much improvement from its previous game but the defense was at times weak.
The offense showed great versatility as seven different people scored Blair's seven goals. The six Whitman goals came from only two players. Sophomore starting goalie Graham Mathews said that having a wide range of people who can score is one of Blair's better qualities.
Mathews had 28 saves against Whitman, a record high for him. He also had an extraordinary glove save from a shot that came between one of his defender's legs on an odd man rush, keeping the game tied at 4-4.
Mathews takes the position of last year's starting goalie Andrew Cohn. Cohn was not a Blair student but was a phenomenal player, and now plays for a league in Canada.
Blair was weak on defense, allowing many shots within 10-12 feet of the goal and letting the defense "walk in", according to Mathews.
Senior forward Max Eckert also noted the defense's lack of physical and quantitative size as a problem. "We're the only team in the county with under 20 players on the squad, and we only have four defensemen," he said. With the absence of Zachary Tinkelman, the defense has had to make adjustments, including the addition of Dylan Irion, who traditionally plays forward.
The boys showed great improvement with regard to unnecessary penalties, a problem for them against B-CC. This game they only had four minutes of penalties while Whitman had 14.
The effort to control aggression, especially on the part of Irion and Eckert, has helped the team play more effectively. Irion started four fights and received nine minutes of penalty time in the game against B-CC, and Eckert was thrown out of a preseason game for checking from behind, a serious penalty. Since these incidents, both boys have managed to keep their aggressions "in check."
In recent years Whitman was not considered a threat to Blair, but this year the Blazers have less experience. Eckert knows that Blair will have to improve in order to be as good as last year and keep a shot at the playoffs, but he is confident in the ability of Coach Kevin McCabe to get the team into shape.
On December 13 the Blazers will battle Magruder at the Rockville ARC at 5:00 p.m.
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 »