ROCKVILLE - Before Friday evening's clash on ice between the Landon Bears and the Gonzaga Purple Eagles, a "Be Brave and Shave" haircutting cancer fundraiser was held at the Rockville Ice Arena Bear's Den. After Thursday night's 9-9 tie against the Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers, haircuts were the only close shaves the Bear hockey squad wanted to encounter in the MAPHL collision against the Eagles.
While sporting powder blue "Be Brave and Shave" sweaters, sophomore forward Graham Shue scored Landon's first two goals and senior captain Sam Anas netted goals three and four as a focused bunch of Bears rebounded with a 7-1 win over visiting Gonzaga.
"These guys were more focused than I've ever seen them before," said Landon coach Chandler Gammill. "To tell you the truth, last night (Thursday) was probably one of the best things for us. It was a wakeup call. Spalding was a good team and came after us. That tie helped us today, and our guys dug hard and found a way to win tonight."
After Shue started the scoring with a one-timer on a Landon power play four minutes and 52 seconds into the contest, the Eagles did respond with an equalizer. Gonzaga's leading goal scorer, Pierce Radecki, won a scrum in front of the Landon net to bounce home the Eagle's lone goal with 5:55 remaining in the first period. After the Radecki goal, the Bear's scored six unanswered goals on their home ice.
Shue scored the eventual game winner at the 8:53 mark of the second period on another one-man advantage for the Bears. Teddy Wellington and Max Greenwald assisted on Shue's second goal, and the Bears led 2-1.
To close out the second period, Anas charged the Gonzaga crease and swatted home a Connor Meike rebound, and with just 39 seconds until the intermission, the Bear captain went top shelf to Eagle goalie Nick Platais' glove side for his second goal of the night.
"On the first goal, our defenseman, Connor Meike took it down the side, and actually it (the rush) started with David Lackner," Anas said about Landon's third goal. "Connor threw it to the net, and out of mid-air, I just kind of swung at it; the goalie went down, and it went over his shoulder."
In the third period, Matt Potolicchio scored twice and Lackner wristed home a score for the still undefeated but refocused Bears.
"When we tied 9-9 (Thursday), that was kind of unexpected, and it shocked us," said Shue. "Coach (Gammill) told us we had to bounce back quick."