The legendary Landon English teacher, Mr. Dixon, rest-in-peace, would be horrified by the attempt to create a new word and it is likely that a thunderbolt will strike somewhere soon by the brazen violation of his rules. However, this season, these boys and their coaches deserve the coining of the word—BEARACTER. It denotes the character of a group of young Bear men, led by teachers/mentors/coaches, whose players exhibit discipline, tenacity, resilience, intelligence, spirit and loyalty with their teammates and fellow Bears in the stands. The Landon 2014-2015 Landon Hockey is the picture next to the “word” Bearacter in the dictionary.
As the Landon skaters hit the ice, the Bear fans (with the student section literally deafening the Ice Gardens) set an incredibly supportive atmosphere. The first period was a time of exploration with both teams testing their opponent’s defense. Jack Concannon made a key save (one of several) on a CH player firing point blank. But for the L goalie’s brilliant save, the momentum might have gone the way of the Cardinals.
END OF 1ST PERIOD BEARS 0 CARDINALS 0
LSoG 9 CHSoG 5
Hard work led to the Bears’ initial score. Patrick Giles went into the corner where he beat two CH players for the puck and moved it to Tommy Crittenberger who buried it for a goal @ 11:34.
The remainder of the middle section of the game was a constant combat. As the clock wound down, Jones Lindner moved the biscuit to Nico Kenary who put it in the basket @0:46.6.
END OF 2nd PERIOD BEARS 2 CARDINALS 0
LSoG 14/23 CHSoG 12/17
The last period of the game exhibited the skills of the Cardinals with their MAPHL Player of the Year feeding a Russian student at CH for a goal at 6:37. Again the Cardinals’ top player scored at 1:23.
Throughout the period the Bear defenders (Trevor Wolf [who crushed a Cardinal in the corner], Alex Norwinski, Brian Jordan, Ben Gilbert, Jacob Ruttenberg) played hard. They were supported by the back-checking forwards (Tommy, Colton Rupp, Michael Soraci, Jones Lindner, Matt Wellington, Aditya Krishnan, Drew Wellington, Walker Hague, Drennan Greene, and Patrick (2nd team All MAPHL).
END OF 3rd PERIOD BEARS 2 CARDINALS 2
LSoG 11/34 CHSoG 12/29
The disappointment of giving up the tying goal late in the last period, but BEARACTER prevailed. The Bears controlled the game from the face-off (with a few exceptions in which Jack made great saves). The puck entered the Landon O zone and the tenacity of this team was demonstrated by their fight for the puck. Alex Norwinski defeated the CH opponents for the puck and made a brilliant pass to The Tommy who scored @ 1:27 of overtime. See below. Victory was earned.
The Landon hockey teams have exhibited BEARACTER over the last five years or so. A hallmark of many of these squads has been a growth in their performance from November to February. Great credit is due to the coaches, Messrs. Farnstrom, Fidler and Anas. Their patient guidance both improves the individual skills and creates units of players who understand/execute the structure and who trust their teammates.
The 2014-2015 was marked by some disappointing losses, but those setbacks did not deter this Bear squad. After January 22, Landon won the next eleven games all impressively. The penultimate was against DeMatha and that included severe BEARACTER with a tying goal with 0:49.8 left in the game plus a winning goal in O/T. The Calvert Hall game involved the reverse pattern, an early Landon 2 goal lead was erased in the last period, BUT rather than folding the Bear resilience was shown in overtime.
Another source of the teams’ success is the seniors. This year’s 2015 crew, The Tommy, Colton, Jones, Matt, Trevor, Jacob, Walter and Alex, provided the leadership need to extend the influence of the coaches. When practice tends to lag, or when a underclassman loses confidence, when there is a need for a little more energy, these eight veterans use their experiences to drive their teammates to the goals. They will be missed next year, but their spirit will remain with next year’s team.
It has been a privilege to watch these boys over the past few months and their example creates great confidence for the 2015-2016 season.
Glad to know that these Bears will be ringing the Class of 2013 Victory Bell soon. Certainly, the joyous noise is well deserved.
Go Bears !!!