Two hard-fought hockey contests took place Wednesday night at the Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf.
The first game, a Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League contest, saw St. Mary’s Ryken score four goals in the third period to come out victorious against Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore, 6-3. In Game 2, a Maryland Student Hockey League Southern Conference contest, Leonardtown led 4-1 after a period against Charles County Coop and ended up with an 11-4 win.
“It went pretty good. We started off slow, but we sped up at the end and started scoring,” said Knights sophomore forward Austin Groff, whose goal put the Knights back in the lead for good. “I bounced it off the boards to Liam Delong and he passed it back from right behind the goal and I just tapped it in and that got us into the lead. They were pretty fast. Sometimes we just let the lead go, but it was good. I want to get as high as we can as a team.”
The win for St. Mary’s Ryken (4-7-1 overall) was its second in a row.
“It took us a while to get going. I believe it’s the first game of the season that we’ve been scoreless through the first period,” said Knights head coach Matt Billman. “It took us a while, and we were sleeping there at the beginning. But I think Colin Lombardi our goalie played really well. We tightened up a bit, but once we did it was our game. Williams and Groff played well. We have two league games left, and we’re sitting in the playoff spot now.”
St. Mary’s Ryken and Mount St. Joseph were scoreless through one period. Then less than a minute into the second period, the Knights struck first with a goal from senior forward Josh Stevenson. One minute later, Mount St. Joseph junior Matt Deshong slid a shot past Knights goaltender Colin Lombardi (14 saves) to tie the game at 1.
The Gaels took the lead on a blazing shot from freshman Tom Rybinski with 10 minutes 21 seconds left in the period. Near the end of the stanza, the Knights tied the game at 2 with a goal from senior forward Matt Williams.
Mount St. Joseph opened the third period with a goal from junior Zachary Rozgonyi, making it 3-2, but St. Mary’s Ryken scored four unanswered goals to pull away.
Senior forward Peter Behrens snuck one past Gaels sophomore goaltender Jake Williams (16 saves) knot the game at 3 with 11:25 to play. Groff’s goal then put the Knights up for good at 4-3, then Stevenson and Shane Gregan provided insurance goals for the win.
St. Mary’s Ryken heads to Tampa Bay, Florida to play in a tournament this weekend.
Leonardtown tops Charles County
In the second game of the doubleheader at Capital Clubhouse, the Raiders scored four goals in the opening period and five in the third en route to their win.
“The first time we played them, they beat us (3-2 on Nov. 7), so we knew we had a good game ahead of us,” said Leonardtown senior Nick Burch, who scored two goals in Wednesday’s win. “We came out with the right mindset. We came out in the first period and scored the first goal and kept playing hard after that. At practice we do a drill behind the goal where I stand by the back post, and I did it twice today and it worked both times.
“We have senior night and another game left. For the rest of the season we just want to play hard and enjoy the rest of the season. We are jelling really well right now, so I’m excited.”
The win for Leonardtown (4-4) was its first in the 2019 portion of the schedule.
“I thought it went really well. There was some good passing going on,” Raiders head coach Jerry Leger said. “They were using the ice, finding each other our there and making stuff happen. Last time we played them it was tougher, a 3-2 game. This time they played as a team. Nick Burch had a really good game, Mason Gibbs, Trent Dean played center for me and scored the last goal at the end. Each position has a certain responsibility. We’re trying to peak, we had a rough start but we are ready for the playoffs now. We are hoping to peak then.”
Leonardtown started out shooting on Charles County goalie Cassandra Vaccaro (9 saves). The first goal scored by the Raiders came from Gibbs’ stick with 12:39 left in the first period from Mason Gibbs’ stick, and Merrick Kibler scored twice and Andrew Aus had one goal in the stanza. The Cougars got one goal past Leonardtown goaltender Matthew Corolla (19 saves) and trailed 4-1 heading to the second.
Gibbs scored again early in the second period and, with 5:26 left to play, Tyler Bates added a goal. Charles County (1-7) also got a goal Dylan Murphy to trim the Raiders’ to 6-2.
Leonardtown went into double digits with the five-goal third period. Burch scored twice, while Tyler Leger, Bates and Trent Dean all scored. Murphy had both goals for Charles County in the period to finish with a hat trick.
“It went well. We were sloppy in the first two periods, but in the third we picked it up and played to our potential,” said junior Alex Grove, who had three assists for the Cougars. “These kids are a good group of guys who can skate with anybody. We can beat anybody in this league when we play our game. Hockey is hockey. I’m excited to compete in the playoffs, and for the future of this team. Next year we will come back stronger.”
Charles County and Leonardtown are scheduled to return for another doubleheader at Capital Clubhouse against different opponents on Wednesday. Charles County is slated to take on Chesapeake (1-6) at 5 p.m., with Leonardtown facing off with Central Maryland (5-2) at 6:45.