The DeMatha Catholic Prep hockey team launched the 2017-2018 season once again amidst high expectations and high hopes with a 3-2 triumph over the visiting Salesianum Sallies from Wilmington, Delaware in a Non-League matchup last Friday evening at the Gardens Icehouse.
Although the score was close, the ice was tilted the Stags way for most of the game starting from the opening face-off. Some immediate pressure and a stong forecheck finally saw dividends at 12:10 of the first period when a wrist shot from Junior Ryan SALB found the back of the net on an assist from Junior defenseman Christian HALBIG.
After a 15-2 shot count advantage in the first period, the Stags kept the pressure on the Sallies to begin the second period, leading to a Tyler MERCIER tally at 8:10 to give the Stags a 2-0 lead. Mercier was assisted by fellow Freshman Bryce MONTGOMERY for his first goal as a Stag. The Sallies were able to find their forecheck in the second and applied some pressure of their own on the Stags. After Junior Casey CHESNICK was sent to the penalty box for Interference at 13:23 of the second, the Sallies went to work on the power play and made the most of it by cashing in on a goal by BERGEMAN, assisted by SELLERS and BELL at 14:58 to make it a 2-1 game. The one goal game was short lived, however, as Erik REINIGER scored from Johnathan MATTA just prior to the horn to end the second period to send the Stags to the intermission with a 3-1 lead.
The third period was a similar narrative which saw the Stags pepper Sallies goalie WELSH with 17 shots with little to show for it, while the Sallies managed to find the back of the net at 5:34 as NAUMAN scored on an assist from SELLERS. All told, the Stags outshout the Sallies 45-20 and held on to claim a 3-2 decision. Andrew TAKACS stopped 20 of 22 shots for DeMatha.
Follow the Stags as the season heats up this week with three games against league opponents. The Stags will host Archbishop Spaulding and Calvert Hall on Wednesday and Friday afternoon respectively at the friendly confines of the Gardens Icehouse in Laurel, Maryland and on Thursday afternoon with a 3:10 matinee puck drop at the Ft. DuPont Ice Arena in Washington, DC to face league rival Gonzaga College High School.