GMHS Ice Hockey Splits Games

The George Mason High School club hockey team, partnering with West Potomac, split its games played in the last week of November, suffering a narrow defeat to North Stafford before bouncing back in a decisive win over The Potomac School.

Against North Stafford on Monday, Nov. 26, the Mustangs traded goals in the first period, with Mason’s Hunter Olson and North Stafford’s Austin Boettcher each sniping twice to make the score 2-2 at the end of the first period. The second period belonged to North Stafford, though, as Mustangs committed a string of penalties and gave the Wolverines multiple man-advantages. The Wolverines exploited the gift with three goals, taking a 5-2 lead going into the third period.

The Mustangs refused to give up, however, and a passing connection from Andrew Williamson to Matt Lowrey to Olson paid off with Olson’s third goal mid-way through the third, making it 5-3. Their spirits lifted, Mason and its WestPo allies turned up the pressure, forcing repeated North Stafford turnovers and gaining multiple scoring opportunities.

But Stafford goalie Ian Hayes stepped up his game, and the crowd was treated to a five-minute exhibition of Mason’s domination of the puck and Hayes’ acrobatic net minding. On blast after blast, Hayes was able to close the door and maintain his team’s two-goal lead.

With two minutes left, GM-WestPo pulled their own goalie, Bryan Snigur, to add a sixth skater. The move paid off when Mason winger Williamson took a bullet pass from Marsden Davis and slammed it past Hayes to make the score 5-4 with 1:30 remaining.

Snigur went back in goal for the ensuing face off, and then sprinted back to the bench when his team gained control of the puck. West Potomac’s Bobby Soule jumped the boards to join Olson, Williamson, Fendley, Davis and Connor Rhodes in another shoot fest against Hayes, but the Stafford goalie turned away shot after shot until the buzzer sounded and his team skated off with a 5-4 win.

Returning to their home ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday November 30, the GMHS-WestPo team took out their frustration on Potomac School. The Panthers struck first on a goal by Ryan Kelly after a long scrum in front of the net, but it proved to be a short-lived advantage. The Mustangs stiffened their defense, pushing the Panthers off the puck and blasting it at goalie Will Langstaff. With 11 minutes remaining in the first period, Marsden Davis hammered home a rebound to tie the score.

Hunter Olson then picked up the pace, taking a long pass from defenseman Adam Fendley and whipping it over Langstaff’s blocker. Two minutes later, Olson made a carbon copy of the same shot off a pass from Davis to make it 3-1 at the end of the first period.

Then on the first shift of the third period, Olson let teammate Andrew Williamson do the hard work, with Williamson putting on a puck-handling class, weaving around three Panthers and setting set up Olson for a short one-timer. Olson had his second hat trick in two games, and the score was 4-1.

Stephen Logan kept the Panther’s hopes alive with a puck slipped past Snigur with one minute left in the second period to make the score 4-2, but Mustang defenseman Jack Stricker deflated his opponents on the first shift of the third period with slap shot from the point that went hard and low under Langstaff’s blocker. The score was 5-2, and went to 6-2 when the Mustang’s WestPo teammate Soule took the puck top shelf over Langstaff’s shoulder.

The Panther’s Kelly gained a third goal for his team at the mid-way point of the final period, but the Mustangs answered again when freshman Sam Allan sent a break out pass to Tyler Taylor, who passed to Connor Rhodes in front of the goal. Rhodes muscled around a defenseman and slipped the puck under the goalie to make the score 7-2. With five minutes remaining, the outcome was no longer in doubt, and the Mustang’s first and second line forwards were done for the night. Potomac picked up two academic goals in the remaining minutes to make the final score 7-4.

With the win, the Mustangs’ record moved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. Their next game is Friday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. against Osbourn High School at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.