Landon Hockey 1 Gonzaga 2

To put this week in proper context, the Bears’ opening schedule more resembles the end of the year with games against highly rated teams. Last Friday, Landon faced WaPo #8 Prep and then after a match on Monday against strong MAPHL opponent Mt. St. Joseph’s (a 4-1 victory), they played the #1 team, O’Connell, the #3 team Churchill and tonight #2 Gonzaga. In each of these games, the players played hard for the full 45 minutes against top flight competition. The tie and three losses should not be disheartening; for the lessons learned will be seen during the February playoffs.

The pregame ceremony included a moment of silence and of a presentation of a ceremonial #11 Gonzaga jersey. This symbolic action recognized their fallen player, Dominik Pettey, who was killed in a tragic accident in November. It was a fitting tribute honoring this young man and reflecting well on Landon.

The first period was literally controlled by the Bears for all three minutes. Our boys did not allow a Purple Eagle shot on goal until 8:16 remaining and blanked the visitors until the final minutes. At 4:40 and then at 3:32 the home team was assessed minor penalties. On their power play, they scored at 2:57 with a two player advantage and then with one Landon skater in the box, Gonzaga netted their second goal.

The next stanza was a defensive battle with neither team scoring.

The last 15 minutes were highly contested and both teams were physical. Landon had repeated chances to score, but both an excellent Purple Eagle goalie and several Bear shots miraculously missing the nets kept the home team off the scoreboard. Finally at 8:34 of this final period, Colton Rupp hit a streaking Tommy Crittenberger with a perfect pass. #2 beat the opposing goalie at the far corner of the net. The goal uplifted the Landon fans and team. The Bears continued storming the Gonzaga nets but with no success.

Everyone left the Bears’ Den with the view that with a bounce here or a shot two inches to the right or left, the result could have been different. Most importantly, all Bears and their fans agreed that the experience of this match will pay dividends later in the season. The 2014-15 team is three lines deep and five able defensemen with help in the nets; as they get to know each other the performance improvement will be seen on the ice.

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Published in: on December 13, 2014 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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