There was likely only one way that Gonzaga College High School’s ice hockey team could have quieted a boisterous Georgetown Prep student section Friday night at Cabin John Ice Arena.
And it just so happens that scoring two goals in the opening two minutes — and four in a dominant first period — was that way.
The Purple Eagles’ Terence Schmutz and Ridge Slater opened the scoring before a majority of spectators could find a spot to view the action for the standing-room-only affair and in doing so sapped a significant amount of energy from the Prep side of the rink.
The Hoyas’ faithful didn’t have much to cheer about the rest of the way, either, as Gonzaga remained undefeated in an impressive 7-0 thrashing of Georgetown Prep.
“We come out here today and sometimes you just don’t have it,” Prep coach Paul Fritz said. “Sometimes you don’t have that knack for scoring. It just wasn’t our day. It really wasn’t.”
Gonzaga entered the game having played 17 games to Georgetown Prep’s four and the disparity in crispness was evident from the start. A pair of defensive lapses led to Gonzaga’s opening tallies. On the first, Slater dumped a puck behind the net that he caught up to and centered to the 6-foot-6 Schmutz, who slipped it by Prep goalie Barry Leese. Forty-four seconds later, Schmutz returned the favor, assisting Slater with a nifty centering pass from the wing. Gonzaga added a third goal when Schmutz cleaned up a juicy rebound at the goal mouth, forcing Fritz to call a timeout with 11 minutes remaining in the opening period.
“Over-preparing is something that’s sometimes worse than not preparing at all,” Fritz said. “I think they went out and they started to over think things and three goals real quick put us in the doghouse. It was rough getting back from there.”
Schmutz, Slater and Bobby Hally all had two goals and an assist for the Purple Eagles, who improved to 17-0-1 with the win, while Prep fell to 3-2-0 with the loss.
Despite the lopsided defeat, the Hoyas remain optimistic about the season as a whole. Coming into Friday’s game, they had scored 19 goals in four games, including wins against Mount St. Joe’s, Spalding and St. Paul’s.
“The season’s been going really well. Especially compared to last year,” Fritz said. “We were just devastated with so many injuries. This year, things are going smooth. For once, we can play most teams with three full lines. It’s still a young team, but every game they show me something different and they’re always getting better.”
After the initial shock of allowing three goals in four minutes the Hoyas settled down well enough to create a number of chances in the attacking end, but Gonzaga goalie Nick Platias was up to the task as he made 15 saves in the shutout effort. On the other end, Fritz said he was pleased with the play of Leese, who made 24 saves, but frustrated with some defensive lapses. Georgetown Prep junior Jack Olson led the team with eight shots, while captain Cole Taylor attempted seven, though neither could put any by Platias.
Georgetown Prep is next scheduled to play St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes on Friday before a showdown against DeMatha on Jan. 20.
“Next week is exam week,” Fritz said. “That’s a good time to kind of let them get all the steam out and then after that regroup and go from there.”
Gonzaga 7, Georgetown Prep 0
Gonzaga (17-0-1) 4 1 2 -- 7
Georgetown Prep (3-2-0) 0 0 0 -- 0
Gonzaga -- Bobby Hally 2 (7:23, 2nd; 12:13, 3rd), Terence Schmutz 2 (13:54, 1st; 11:02, 1st), Ridge Slater 2 (13:10, 1st; 11:54, 3rd), Connor Van Hoose (0:13, 1st)
Gonzaga -- Terence Schmutz (13:10, 1st), Ridge Slater (13:54, 1st), Joey Downey (11:02, 1st), Bobby Hally (0:13, 1st)
Gonzaga -- Nick Platias, 15
Georgetown Prep -- Barry Leese, 24