Winston Churchill High School’s Zach Arden was nearly unstoppable on Friday night against Walt Whitman.
The senior forward scored four goals and assisted on another, all in the first two periods, to help the Bulldogs to a 7-3 win against the rival Vikings in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Rockville Ice Arena.
“It’s always great to have all our fans out there. It gives us a big boost,” Arden said. “It was a good win but we have to keep going.”
Churchill (2-2) took control of the game early and held the puck in its offensive zone for the majority of the first two periods.
In Whitman’s net, Zach Butler made save after save in the early going to keep the Vikings (2-2) in the game. But under constant pressure, Butler couldn’t keep every puck out of the net.
Churchill out shot Whitman, 44-15.
“I just had to focus a lot. I was tired a lot after the game,” Butler said. “I need to maybe condition more so I’m better prepared.”
Arden scored three of the Bulldogs’ first four goals, two on power plays in the second period. He scored his fourth goal with 44 seconds remaining in the second period. His assist followed just 28 second later on a goal by Connor Martin, a backhand shot from 5 feet outside of the crease.
“I thought we had a lot of chances to break it open before that,” Churchill coach Ray McKenzie said. “Their goalie was great. He made a lot of big saves. Pucks we thought were in, weren’t going in. ... Generally it was grinding, getting pucks deep, letting Zach do his thing and everyone else kind of pushing. That’s what we do every game and we’re going to try to continue to do it.”
Three of Churchill’s goals were scored on similar one-timers, with the assist man passing the puck from within a faceoff circle across the net to a waiting shooter, giving no time for Butler to catch up. Two of those came on power plays.
“Especially when we’re a man up, we have some pretty talented guys, especially the seniors, who if you give them a little space and time they’re going to make the right play almost all the time,” McKenzie said. “If you give us a 5-on-3 or a 5-on-4, the puck’s going to end up in the net more often than not.”
Winston Churchill 7, Walt Whitman 3
Churchill 2 4 1 — 7
Whitman 0 1 2 — 3
C — Zach Arden (Jacob Arden)
C — Zach Satin, power play (Connor Martin)
C — Zach Arden, power play (unassisted)
C — Zach Arden, power play (Ross Allen, Zach Satin)
W — Andy Dexter (Lucas Karron)
C — Zach Arden (Connor Martin)
C — Connor Martin (Zach Arden)
W — Lucas Karron
C — Christopher Lai (unassisted)
W — Stephen Nowack (Lucas Karron)
Churchill — Alex Chen 12
Whitman — Zach Butler 37