Churchill shuts out Richard Montgomery -- Gazette.Net Photos from Friday's game

" /> Photos from Friday's game

" /> Photos from Friday's game

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Winston Churchill ice hockey coach Ray McKenzie stood in the center of the Bulldogs' locker room on Friday evening at Rockville Ice Arena and made sure his team's heads didn't get too big.

Sure, they just beat Montgomery County 1A Division leader Richard Montgomery, 9-0, as all in the room expected. But it was just a step along the way to the team's bigger goals of reaching the state playoffs and ultimately winning the tournament. McKenzie made sure his team remembered that.

“There was a little bit of rust [today],” he said. “Just crispness and making the right decisions. We have a lot of work to do and they know that.”

It was the Bulldogs' first shutout of the season and keeps them in first place in the Montgomery County 2A division.

From the first period, Churchill had the Rockets on their heels, keeping the puck out of its defensive zone while bombarding the Richard Montgomery defense with shot after shot.

Connor Martin and Ross Allen each scored three goals. Allen also had two assists to lead the team with five points. Zach Arden finished three points (one goal, two assists).

At the end of the first two periods, the Bulldogs scored with just over 10 seconds left. With 10.1 seconds to go in the first, Jacob Arden scored from just outside the crease, going top shelf over Rockets goalie Conor Inglefield's right shoulder. With 10.9 left in the second, Allen deflected a shot by Justin Spivak to score.

“We basically controlled the play and kept their scoring chances to a minimum,” said defender Zach Satin, who had a goal and an assist. “[With the offense playing like it is] it's fantastic as a defenseman. You can just relax at the blue line and let your forwards go to work. We have such good forwards. Our first line with Zach Arden, Connor Martin and Ross Allen, they just dominate down low and that lets us do our job up top.”

McKenzie said the Bulldogs have the most room for improvement on the defensive end. For the most part, Churchill kept the Rockets' attack in check by keeping play near the boards. But there were times when the Bulldogs lost their assignments and left a Rocket alone near the net. But Alex Chen (two periods, five saves) and Luke Hall (one period, six saves) were there to keep the puck out of the net.

“Our gameplan basically in our own zone is to keep them out of the middle and force them outside. We did that pretty well,” Satin said.

The Bulldogs have a loaded schedule during the coming weeks with games against Gonzaga, Walter Johnson, Walt Whitman and DeMatha on the horizon. But the focus is solely on Monday's game against Bullis (4-1), which the Bulldogs lost to last year after squandering a 5-2 lead.

“It's meaningless as far as the standings go, but that was a bitter pill,” McKenzie said. “We had some issues last year that came out in that game. But I think we're a better team this year so we need to come out and play hard and play well.”

cstevens@gazette.net



Churchill 9, Richard Montgomery 0

Richard Montgomery 0 0 0 -- 0

Churchill 3 4 2 -- 9

SCORING

Richard Montgomery (5-3): none.

Churchill (7-2): Goals: Ross Allen 3, Connor Martin 3, Zach Arden, Zach Satin, Jacob Arden. Assists: Ross Allen 2, Zach Arden 2, Brandon Levenson 2, Zach Satin, Jacob Arden, Christopher Lai, Philip Satin, Charlie Butler, Trevor Dixon, Justin Spivak