MAPHL Champs 2015-2016 Landon 8 Gonzaga 1

bear champion_


Landon earned its second consecutive MAPHL championship, recorded a league leading #4 trophy and claimed its 4th ring in 6 years.

Friday night’s MAPHL championship game at the Laurel Ice Gardens had a sense of déjà vu all over again, a phrase Yogi Berra (an honorary Bear) coined. A mere 31 days ago, the Bears took a lead against the Eagles at Ft. DuPont of 4-2 into the 3rd period only to see three power play goals scored by Gonzaga to take a 5-4 lead 10 minutes of the last period. The purple sweaters claimed that victory; Friday night the Landon leadership and its full bench of the #3 seed did not allow that pattern to repeat. The early lead expanded by the constant pressure which Landon put on the #1 seed.

The Landon crowd was large and loud. In the pregame session, the Bear enthusiasts were vocal with their deafening cheers shook down the thunder from the sky” [i] or at the Ice Gardens—the rafters.

Statistically the Gonzaga team was just ahead of Landon in their Goals per game; so the visitors had to, and did, play exceptional D. A hallmark of the Bears’ play was exceptional skating, above average passing and in particular a stifling D.The dominance of the Landon D over the Eagles was based on Coach Farnstrom’s structure, the omnipresent Bear fore- and back- checking and a very high success rate in controlling loose pucks.

Jack Concannon made several outstanding saves, including many at point blank range—30 saves for the game. All of the forwards consistently beat the Eagles to the spheroid, stick-checked ably, took the body effectively and just played exceptional positional hockey. Little things like an Aditya Krishan checking a GCHS forward at the blue line and preventing a successful clear contributed to the Bear’s control.

The Bear D (Cullen Stout, Chase Blazer, Henry Chiperfield, Brian Jordan and Ben Gilbert) showed their confidence in and mastery of their defensive structure. They threw their bodies around authoritatively—not to hit for the sake of hitting, but to move the Eagle off of the puck. Many times, the Gonzaga men at the point cranked up a slap shot only to see their puck stopped by the leg or ribs or other body part of the Landon D. Frustrating would be an apt word to describe the Bear D’s effect on the Eagle O.

The Bears were first and last in scorebook entries. In an early PP opportunity, Patrick Giles cranked up from the point and the immovable object in front of the crease, Brian Jordan, redirected the puck for a goal @ 9:19. The visitors were found to have committed an occasion of a hockey sin and had to remove a player from the ice. Only 11 seconds into the penalty, a pass from Henry Chiperfield found Patrick for goal #2 @ 8:26.

The Bears #22 got control of the puck deep in the Purple D zone; he moved right to left and beat the Purple Net Minder with a backhander for goal #3 @ 6:13. Such an avalanche of Bear goals resulted in an Eagle time out; there was a need to regather the team’s focus. Perhaps, the coach recognized that the opponents’ rushes up ice, particularly by Patrick, were tiring their charges.



(L SoGs 11; L Saves 9)


The initial five minutes was tense, but no one scored. A Purple Eagle shot hit the only part of the Landon goal not covered by Bear G Jack—the crossbar. A later opportunity for a GCHS goal was denied when Brian dropped to the ice and allowed the puck to slam into his body.

As noted in a previous BSN report written by an independent writer, the sophomore Giles first name rhymes with HatTrick and #22 tallied his third goal and fourth point @ 12:29.

The referees found the home team to have violated a hockey rule (note: the chant “you can’t do that” is grammatically incorrect when commenting on a penalty; the Landon Legend, Mr. Dixon would have reminded his English students that correctly phrased would read “You may not do that.”) The boisterous Bears in the stands incentivized their classmates. The brown-sweatered players converted. Drennan Greene connected with Mike Soraci @ 11:56 to make it 5-0

The next score started with a break out pass from Patrick to Mike who made an incredible pass to Spencer Davis for goal #6 @ 4:37.

Visions of the January 8th game at Ft. DuPont started to reappear when the referees gave the home team a two man advantage for 1:16 to no avail. The Bears were aggressively attacking the puck for all 76 seconds. Déjà vu dashed again!



(L SoGs 11/22; L Saves 11/20)


The Gonzaga leading scorer added a goal to his total at 13:25. Less than 2 minutes later the line of Nico Kenary (A), Drennan Greene(A) and Cole Gibson (G) added a +1 to the Bears’ margin @ 11:45. Two consecutive Landon PK efforts stopped the Gonzaga between 7:58 and 3:31(with a 28 second interstice between penalties).

@1:55 Nico Kenary connected with Henry Chiperfield for the eight goal. By rule, the referees ordered the clock to run over the past 115 seconds. As the clock ran to 0:00, the Bear Bench emptied; sticks, helmets and gloves soon littered the ice. The celebration included the Bear fans with the skaters climbing the boards to share the victory with their buddies.


(L SoGs 6/28; L Saves 10/30)

It has been a pleasure to chronicle this team’s season. There is a pattern to the Landon hockey teams under the tutelage of Coaches Farnstrom, Weiss and Anas. Each and every year the team grows substantially between the beginning and end of the schedule. Impressive learning and deep talent.

[i] Perhaps only Jack Concannon will understand this obscure reference.

Published in: on February 20, 2016 at 11:25 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sandy, One of the most memorable parts of these remarkable past two seasons is your dedication and enjoyable written memories – the “Sandy Murdoch Landon Hockey Chronicles.” A million thanks! Keep them coming!

    • Thanks, Jon. Chronicling the Landon hockey team is easy because Drennan and all of his Bear brothers are great young men who work so hard.

  2. […] 6 years, the Bears have accumulated over 100 wins, 6 IAC trophies and 4 MAPHL championships. This year’s 8-1 win over Gonzaga in the “state” championship was incredibly impressive; this Band of Bears jumped […]

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