Landon Hockey @ Calvert Hall 12/7/12

The Landon Bears hockey team ventured north out of town once again on another Friday evening to engage in their first MAPHL league game of the 2012-13 season.  While a perhaps greater Washington vs. Baltimore sporting event awaits tomorrow afternoon, this city rivalry dynamic also occurred last evening with the Bears playing against the Calvert Hall Cardinals. It is a Baltimore private Catholic College preparatory school for young men.

 

Calvert Hall was the 2008-09 MAPHL AA Champion and this year’s Cardinal hockey team is composed of mostly underclassmen with only two seniors and a single freshman. Included in their roster is former Washington Capital defenseman Ken Sabourin’s son. This was the Cardinal’s third league game of the season having previously tied with Dematha and earlier this week beating St. Albans in very close game.

 

The Bear’s started the game with strong play at both ends. The first line out of Shue, Soraci and Kim set a pace of voracious play that was maintained well as the other lines rolled out. The defense responded soundly against the very skilled, hard checking and quick puck movement play by the Cardinals who appeared to be the most challenging team the Bears have encountered to date this season.

 

Senior leadership by Jack Sears, Graham Shue, Will Buckingham and Sam Kroll provided smart, energetic and steady play to return to the winning form from their last outing earlier this week. This strong play was rewarded with a Bear power play at the 7:21 mark of the first period.  Landon’s power play moved the puck around effectively and efficiently receiving the desired result with a power play goal by Colton Rupp with the primary assist from Satchel Clendenin.

The rest of the period was battled well with the defense, effectively played by Jack Barton, Alex Norwinski, Jack Sears, Brian Jordan and Jacob Ruttenburg safeguarding the single goal lead. With 00:13 remaining Landon went on another power play.   When the first period expired Landon led 1-0 while also outshooting the Cardinals 13-8.

 

The second period started well with Landon on the power play. At 13:53 Alex Norwinski received a pass from Junmo Kim a little on his outside where Alex adeptly spun around backwards launching the puck off the back of his blade where it hit the back of the net to everyone’s amazement and surprise, especially the Cardinal goalie. Awesome!

 

After the faceoff the Bears took off with the momentum of their second goal back into the Cardinal’s zone where once again, this time at even strength and at the 13:29 mark they banged the rubber into the netting by the reciprocal of the first goal with Colton Rupp giving the primary assist to Satchel Clendenin’s goal elevating the Landon lead to 3-0.

 

Both teams continued play but one could see that the Cardinals increase their energy in play by fighting to win puck control along the boards and contesting well for unclaimed pucks in open areas. Landon’s overall puck movement was a vast improvement from midweek. The Bear players repeatedly played team hockey with a number of well-timed and positioned drop passes. Defenseman Jack Barton skillfully carried the rock into the opponent’s zone and then made a number of terrific centers to his teammate forwards with good angles to the net. Still more work is needed in the Landon odd man rushes so as to pass the puck more to get the goalie moving, leaving an open side to the goal net.

 

The hard charging Cardinals kept competing and were rewarded with a goal close to end of the 2nd period. The second period concluded with Landon up 3-1 and 10 shots to the Cardinals 11 that period.

 

 

The Zamboni treated the ice during the intermission of the 2nd and 3rd periods and play resumed. This is where two aspects of this year’s Bear’s team stood out. The first is the keen development of the line with Jones Linder, Campbell Blue and Tommy Crittenberg.  This line played with energy, good judgment and strong puck control at both ends of the ice providing vital continuity throughout last evening’s play.

 

But the deafening silence was between Landon’s goal pipes. Sam Kroll displayed another stellar and arresting exhibition of text book and athletic goalie play.  Sam faced down a number of shots from outside as well as close in, all with traffic in front. What shots on goal that he did not absorb by adept glove and pad squeezing play he redirected the puck away from Cardinal opponents. His calm composure was silky smooth and reassuring not only to his teammates, coaches but to the fans as well. The overall play of the 3rd period was fierce with the Cardinals pressing.

 

Landon had one penalty midway through while the Cardinals picked up two penalties in the last 4 minutes. With 50 seconds remaining the Cardinals pulled their goalie for one last hard thrust, but were denied. The game concluded with a Landon 3-1 victory and the Bears banking their first 2 points in league standings.

 

 

Dan Buckingham ‘75

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Published in: on December 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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