For every Landon goal, Archbishop Spalding had a response.
Three minutes after the Bears tied Thursday’s Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League game late in the third period, the Cavaliers took advantage of a failed Landon clear and freshman Adam Beyerlein scored the game-winning goal with 46 seconds remaining to give his team a 5-4 win. It was Landon’s first MAPHL loss of the season.
“I saw the guy slip down, so I took it around him and shot it on net,” Beyerlein said. “It felt really good.”
Landon was in control through the first two periods while out-shooting the Cavs 46-19. Despite the onslaught of shots, only 24 were on net and the game was tied at two entering the third period.
Play was more even in the third period after Spalding, which hadn’t played a game in nearly two weeks, knocked off the rust from the time off. And as Spalding got into a groove, Landon lost focus and started to tire while playing without captain Graham Shue and Brian Jordan, both defensemen. Shots were even in the third period at 14.
“We have a short bench to begin with and [the absences] caused us to be even shorter,” Landon coach Chan Gammill said. “But I’m not so sure it was that we lost our legs in that we lost finding ourselves as a team and we had some individuals try to find it individually.”
After an initial 25 minutes of scoreless hockey, neither team could keep the puck out of the net.
Landon started the scoring on a goal by Jones Lindner, who redirected a shot by Jacob Ruttenberg into the upper-left of the net just after a Spalding penalty was released. But as soon as Landon scored, there was a Spalding echo, of sorts. Thirty-five seconds after Lindner’s score, Jake Hess tallied a goal. Twenty-eight seconds later, the Bears scored on a one-timer from Junmo Kim to Michael Soraci. Fifty-six seconds later it was Spalding’s Johnathan Sage on a slapshot, which he scored on a 2-on-1 advantage, the Caveliers first odd-man rush of the game. He took the puck through the blue line and, without passing, blasted it past a frozen Sam Kroll (24 saves). The four goals were scored in a span of 1 minute, 59 seconds.
Less than 30 seconds into the third period, Landon took the lead back when Alexander Norwinski took a slapshot from the blue line which Spalding goalie Thomas Glendenning thought was going wide and didn’t make a play on it. But the low shot went into the net. Twenty-nine seconds later, Samuel Paquin evened the game, finding the puck on his stick, alone, after a scrum in front of the net. He took a high wrister from just outside the crease to tie the game.
“Sometimes we were rushing the puck,” Gammill said. “Our defensemen might rush the puck up and we’re not covering back on D. They turned it around and pretty quickly [and] we gave up some odd-man rushes and they converted on a couple of those. So it was some mental errors. Spalding’s a good team and they capitalized on those mental errors that we had.
“But it’s okay if one of the six guys on the ice for us makes a mental error. But if we have two or three out of the six, then teams are going to make you pay for it.”
Added Spalding coach Patrick McNeally: “I’d say we were very fortunate. I’d like to think it was more than that, but it was very fortunate that we answered quickly because it immediately killed the momentum and put the game back to even keel.”
Spalding took the lead with 12:52 left on a shot from Austin Milligan, which bounced off of Kroll’s right leg pad. Landon’s Lindner tied the game with 3:38 remaining.
It ends a tough week for the young Bears. On Tuesday, they tied Bullis, 4-4. The loss to Spalding was the first loss against a Maryland team this year — their two other losses both came against John Jay (N.Y.) in the Ice Line tournament. Landon tied Walt Whitman, 4-4, in its third game of the season.
“I think our boys are searching for what our identity is as a team,” Gammill said. “I think we thought we knew what it was. But the Bullis game on Tuesday, this game today, I think we’re questioning that identity. Wednesday against [Georgetown] Prep, hopefully we’ll find out who we are.”
Spalding 5, Landon 4
Landon 0 2 2 — 4
Spalding 0 2 3 — 5
Landon (10-3-2, 2-1): Goals: Jones Lindner 2, Alex Norwinski, Michael Soraci. Assists: Junmo Kim 2, Norwinski, Soraci, Jacob Ruttenberg, Blue Campbell, Orlando Arevalo.
Spalding (9-1-2, 5-1): Goals: John Sage, Sam Paquin, Austin Milligan, Jake Hess, Adam Beyerlein. Assists: John Sage 2, Dominic Crofoot 2, Sam Paquin, John Bilodeau.