The 2017-2018 campaign began in earnest this past week for the DeMatha Catholic Prep hockey team with three games against familiar foes, culminating in a big Friday afternoon MAPHL opener with the Calvert Hall Cardinals.
On Wednesday evening, the Stags opened the first of two pre-season exhibition games against the Cavaliers from Severn, Maryland. Freshman Bryce MONTGOMERY got the Stags off to a quick start with a goal at 4:01 of the first period. The Stags fumbled the power play at 11:45 of the first resulting in a shorthanded goal by Spalding’s Jackson GOOD. Kian OLEXO of Spalding took a crosschecking penalty at 14:16 and this time the Stags cashed in with a power play goal by Colin MERCIER. DeMatha would add to their 2-1 lead in the second period with goals by Eric REINIGER and Henry PENDLETON, to extend their lead to 4-1. The Stags would see their lead cut into, however, at 14:51 of the second after suffering a major penalty and two quick power play goals by Spalding, making for a close game at the zam break. The Stags took control of the game in the third with three goals highlighted by a shorthanded goal from Colin MERCIER who ripped the puck off of a Cavaliers defenseman in their own zone then promptly tucked the puck in the back of the net to give the Stags a 5-3 lead. Ryan SALB and Bryce MONTGOMERY also added goals to seal the game and a 7-3 victory.
On Thursday afternoon, the prep squad found themselves on the short end of a 4-2 decision in a pre-season matchup with the Gonzaga College Eagles. The Stags went to work on the power play in the third period and converted twice, the first at 8:09 with a two man advantage featuring a nice tic-tac-toe passing play from BARARD and REINIGER to Colin MERCIER for the first goal. Then at 11:08 REINIGER carried the puck behind the cage to find BARARD on the face off dot who promptly deposited the puck over the right shoulder of Eagles goalie Dominick BASSE for goal number two.
On Friday afternoon, the Stags took to the ice at the Gardens Icehouse for the MAPHL (Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League) marquee matchup with the Cardinals of Calvert Hall High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The Stags got the jump on the under-manned Cardinals, keeping them on their heels from the opening face-off with a staggering 20-0 shot count in favor of DeMatha during the first period. The Stags took a 2-0 lead into the second period when Stags goalie Andrew TAKACS finally was woken up by the sight of a puck coming his way, predominately due to four penalties taken by DeMatha in the second frame, giving the Cardinals four cracks at the power play. Nonetheless, the Stags managed five tallies in the second period and took a 7-0 lead to the intermission. During the final period, the Stags managed to stay out of the box save for one minor penalty at 7:35 and locked things down again for TAKACS allowing only three shots on goal, while adding three additional markers for a 10-0 drubbing of the Cardinals. Offensively, the Stags were led by Junior Henry PENDLETON who scored his first career hat trick at DeMatha and Sophomore Ryan OLSON with two goals of his own. Johnathan MATTA added a goal and an assist, and Bryce MONTGOMERY and Wyatt HINKSON chipped in with two assists each from the blue line.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, continue to follow all of the action as the Stags take on St. Augustine Prep (New Jersey) and St. Albans School (Washington, DC) in non-league tilts on Monday and Wednesday.