Landon blasts Georgetown Prep -- Gazette.Net


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This story was corrected on Jan. 11. An explanation follows.Before the Landon and Georgetown Prep ice hockey teams stepped onto the ice at Cabin John Ice Rink Friday, their respective coaches had cautioned their players about the importance of containing their emotions.

From the opening face-off, however, it was obvious that only one squad had been prepared to deal with the intensity inside the crowded, chilly rink as Landon scored early and often and occasionally shorthanded to dispose of host Georgetown Prep, 7-1, in the IAC regular season finale for both teams. Georgetown Prep players had been greeted by a noisy student section and the Little Hoyas were hoping to ride that emotional surge to a quick start. But none never matieralized and by the end of the second period, with Landon comfortably ahead, 6-0.

“From the beginning, we talked about being able to control our emotions and just let the game take care of itself,” said Landon coach Chan Gammill, whose team claimed the IAC league title on Friday and will head into Tuesday's playoffs as the top seed in the tournament. “This rivalry between Landon and Georgetown Prep extends beyond the ice and beyond lacrosse. It really carries over into so many areas of their lives. But tonight our focus was on being able to stay calm early and fight through all of the emotions and just focus on executing.”

In a game in which they were beaten in every phase, Georgetown Prep took the game's first shot on goal, but as he would do throughout the evening Landon goalie Sean O'Brien made the save. The Little Hoyas would get another shot on goal before the Bears took their first shot of the night, but bouyed by O'Brien's play in the net Landon soon went on the offensive. Junior Jones Lindner got the Bears' first goal off a deflection on a shot from the point by junior teammate, Alex Norwinski.

During a five-minute span soon thereafter it was Georgetown Prep again that launched several counter attacks, but Landon forged a 2-0 lead when Brian Jordan scored on a power play goal with 5 minutes and 14 seconds remaining in the first period. Over the last five minutes of the opener, Landon dominated play and had five more good scoring chances but the period ended with the Bears holding a modest two-goal lead. At the time, senior captain Jack Barton admitted there was some concern.

“When you dominate a period like that, you expect to be up by more than two goals,” said Barton, the team's lone three-year starter. “When we started the second period, we knew we couldn't waste any more scoring chances.”

Georgetown Prep had the chance to narrow the deficit in half at the start of the second period with an early power play opportunity, but it was the Bears who came away with the goal. Barton stole an errant pass inside the Little Hoyas' zone and skated in behind the net and wristed a pass to Campbell Blue, who promptly fired the puck into the net for a 3-0 Landon lead. Prep finally began to play with a hint of desperation, forcing O'Brien to make three more saves over the next two minutes, but again it was the Bears who got on the board when Lindner collected the rebound of his own shot inside and scored for a 4-0 lead. Roughly 30 seconds later, Barton scored his second goal of the night and shortly before the period ended he had recorded a hat trick that gave the Bears a commanding, 6-0 lead after two periods.

“Before the game, I told the guys that we had to stick to the game plan and not allow our emotions to get the better of us,” said Georgetown Prep coach Paul Fritz. “We have a tendency to play with our emotions on our sleeves. I truly believe we have the most talented team in the IAC. But when the kids play like individuals and not as a team, then this is the type of result that can happen. The best part is we know we'll play them again [in the IAC playoffs]. We'll get another chance to see them.”

tblack@gazette.netIn the original version of this story the Landon goaltender was incorrectly identified. Sean O'Brien was the goaltender.