|Christian Elsborg, DeMatha|
|Matt Opsaul, Landon|
|Sam Anas, Landon|
|Eric Sade, St. Albans|
|Max Greenwald, Landon|
|Alex Joyce, Landon|
Landon hockey is known for its speed, but in Friday night's victory over DeMatha, the Bears took it to another level.
Landon scored just eight seconds into the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL) championship game on a Sam Anas goal, and the Bears scored three more times in the first period to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Although DeMatha played competitively in the final two periods, Landon's strong first period proved to be the difference, as the Bears won 8-2 to win the MAPHL title.
"It's a perfect ending," Anas said. "We started the game eight seconds in and we just never looked back...it's just a great feeling. There's not much better than this."
The victory leaves Landon with an undefeated 24-0-1 record for the season, with their only blemish coming in a 9-9 tie with Spalding back on February 3rd. All season, the Bears used their speed to attack on offense while junior goaltender Alex Joyce was dominant in the net, especially against DeMatha. Although the Stags managed to score two goals in the game, Joyce made a number of impressive saves in the second period.
Joyce, who will replace his older brother as Landon's lacrosse goalie this spring, almost didn't play hockey this season after dealing with concussions. He changed his mind the first day of practice and has been leading Landon on the defensive end ever since.
"I was pretty set on training for lacrosse," Joyce said, "but I'm glad I decided to play. Winning this was one of our goals this season."
The Bears won eight games by shutout this season and only allowed one goal in nine others.
"Alex has been the story of the year," Anas said. "He's been the x-factor for us. He's been everything we could have ever wanted from (our goalie)."
Even with Joyce making incredible saves during the second period, DeMatha was able to make the game interesting. Landon's Matthew Opsahl scored his first of two goals of the night as the Bears went up 5-0 with 10:36 to play in the second period, but DeMatha started to play physical, which seemed to get in Landon's head. DeMatha kept even with Landon and managed to score two goals, but it was too little too late for the Stags.
"They got us off our game a little bit," Anas admitted. "They started to get a little physical because we went up quick. They couldn't handle our speed so they tried to have us make penalties, but we were able to stay pretty disciplined and shut them down."
Offensively, Landon was led by Matthew Potolicchio (3 goals), Sam Anas (2 goals, 2 assists), Matthew Opsahl (2 goals), David Lackner (1 goal) and Joe Snivley (3 assists). Edmund Wellington, Max Greenwald, Issac Porter and Connor Meike also had 1 assist.
|7||Mount St. Joseph||11-9-2||3-6|
|10||St. Stephen's & St. Agnes||1-12-0||0-9|