Yes, the headline is RIGHT; the Bears beat the Little Hoyas seven (7) to one (1).

Any pregame prognostication of this game for the IAC hockey championship would have predicted a close match. The GP roster consists of bigger players and a longer bench (actually too many players were suited up and two boys had to go back to the locker room). The Little Hoyas arrived by individual cars. The Landon squad came on a bus and were all outfitted in the same Bear hockey warm ups. “They came off the bus as a unit and for the 45 minutes spent on the Cabin John Ice, all 18 Bears played as one”, said Coach Gammill.

Every game is a series of contests for the single puck. Those battles are determined by skaters constantly moving their feet, by smart positioning and awareness of where your linemates are, by using your body to protect your possession and to separate your opponents from the puck and by stick work (handling and checking). Landon excelled at all of these throughout the game. It was a total team effort for every second. Clearly Coaches Gammill and Farnstrom got the boys ready, laid out a plan and worked it to a T!!! The WIN was well deserved.

To say that the crowd was raucous encouraged by a heavy mix played over the PA system. The home stands were large (by design of the rink) and vociferously cheered their team (note: please read the measurement of GP enthusiasm after the 2nd period BELOW). Landon, by contrast, had no comparable place to gather, but were strident in support of their Bears

The first period proved the Gammill/Farnstrom strategy was wise for Landon possessed the puck for more than their share of this 25 minutes for all the reasons explained above. The result was a beautiful blue line D to D pass and a slap shot that was redirected on the way to the Bears 1st goal. Trevor Wolf slid the puck over to Alex Norwinski, who teed it up at the blue line and rocketed it toward the GP goal where Jones Linder made sure that it scored @ 10:42.

The home team was assessed a penalty and again the puck ended up on the stick of a Bear D Brian Jordan whose slap shot impressively beat the GP Goalie @ 5:14.

The Bear goalie Sean O’Brien faced a number of very difficult shots (nine in the first period and by the end of the game 34) and up until 1:02 remaining he pitched a shutout. His stick and his glove frustrated many, many Little Hoyas shots and on the rare occasions that he did not immediately control the initial probe, he quickly smothered the misbehaving spheroid. He was so AWESOME that one of the GP Moms complained how large he was; when you incur the ire, or is it envy, of an opposing hockey mom, you have registered your credibility.  Thirty four saves certainly merits status.



The second period was a little different; the Bears were penalized a total of eight minutes and for two of those short-handed minutes, THE BEARS SCORED. The first Landon penalty was incurred 15 seconds into this stanza and two seconds before the Bears were restored to even strength, Jack Barton pushed the puck to Campbell Blue who put the Bears 3rd goal behind the GP netminder @ 12:37.

The Bears next tally was an even strength goal @ 5:43Ben Gilbert feeding Jones. The Little Hoyas barely had recovered their breaths when @ Jack Barton rushed the entire length of the ice for the Bears’ 5th goal; it was thing of beauty. From 4:36 until 2:00, one or more Bears occupied the penalty box. No matter, even after penalty killing for an inordinate length of time, Tommy Crittenberger got the puck to Jack for Landon’s 6th goal and 2nd short-handed one.

Because the visitors were penalty killing for much of this segment, they were outshot 11-15, but Sean was inviolate in his crease.

As the clock rolled to 0:00 to signify the end of this 15 minute segment, much of the GP crowd left their stands to support the Little Hoyas hoops team back on campus.


The final 15 minutes followed a strategy to control the puck, pushing it down the ice, but favoring possession over scoring.  The key was to carry the spheroid well into the Bear O zone and forcing the Little Hoyas to carry it all the way back before being able to consider a shot. Frequently, a Bear stick would lift the rushing opponent’s stick and a turnover would ensue or the Little Hoya breakout pass would not pass the Bears’ blue line due to a well-timed pinch by a Bear D or a good intercept by a Landon forward. All the time all 6 Bears on the ice played as a team.

Another Bear penalty put the brown-sweatered team short for another 2 minute segment. As the penalty started to expire, the action moved to the home team’s crease. A number of Landon skaters whacked at the puck and the score sheet recorded that Jack and Campbell were the last two to touch the puck with Mr. Blue getting the 7th goal @ 2:50. As an anticlimactic event, GP scored at 1:02. With less than 30 seconds left, more penalties were assessed; the end result was the home team had an advantage. Landon didn’t score.


A tremendous effort by all of the Bears; given the truly team effort, it is fitting and proper to list all of the Landon players:

John Barton (captain) 2014
Aaron Beguelin 2014
Thomas Blue 2014
John Concannon 2016
Thomas Crittenberger 2015
Benjamin Gilbert 2016
Drennan Greene 2016
Thomas Hague 2015
Brian Jordan 2016
Jones Lindner (A) 2015
Alexander Norwinski 2015
Sean O’Brien 2014
Colton Rupp (A) 2015
Jacob Ruttenberg 2015
Steven Valentine 2014
Culver Van Vleck 2014
Matthew Wellington 2015
Trevor Wolf 2014
Bernard Akinboyewa (M) 2014

Note: Drennan received the best birthday gift from his teammates a big W over GP!

 Landon v. Calvert Hall Monday at Bears Den @ 4:30pm

Tuesday the IAC tournament begins on home ice presumably at 4:30pm


This may not be the most talented Landon hockey team in recent history, but clearly its efforts deserve as much support as any other Bear hockey team.


Published in: on February 8, 2014 at 9:04 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Goalie is Sean O’Brien, not O’Connor.

    • Sorry, you’re right, my bad.

  2. Happy you explained the GP rooters disappearance – they went back to support their basketball team. It was dramatically wrong that their team didn’t have the support in defeat which should have been.

  3. At least, they have a basketball team to root for!

    • Bill, not really last night, GP lost to StA 61-58 in hoops ; bad day for the Little Hoyas

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