The WJ hockey season has been underway for over a month now. The team played tough opponents in their first five games, resulting in two tie games and one loss, a lopsided 10-3 loss to defending state champion Churchill.
“We know they are good, but we feel we can do much better when we play them next,” senior and goaltender Jackson Miller said.
One key player who was hurt during that game was senior Brando Kobernick, who is one of the top players on the team with two assists in just two games. The team has leaned on juniors Aaron Greene and Wally Cronin to lead the attack. Each racked up five points in the three games in November. A helpful new addition to the team this year has been senior Tiger Lindsay, who has helped solidify the Wildcats defense this year. He has also contributed to the offense with three points in the three November games.
The season opener against Wootton started off very well. With about 10 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats were up three goals, but a late surge by Wootton tied the game, 6-6.
“We all thought we should have won that game,” Kobernick said.
The second game was against another top team in the county, Whitman. The Wildcats competed the whole game and were tied most of the way. The game finished with a 3-3 tie. The team was happy with the result but knew that they had their toughest opponent next game.
Churchill has been a dominant force in Maryland hockey for a very long time. They have been state champions three times in the past five years. The last time WJ won a state championship in hockey was in 2005. Churchill started off fast scoring four goals in the first period alone. Entering the third period, Churchill had a commanding 8-1 lead. WJ ended up scoring two more goals in the final period and the final score was 10-3.
“It was important for us to get some momentum heading into our next games,” Miller said.
WJ played three of the top teams in the state in November. In December they play easier opponents, which should give them confidence heading into future games against Wootton, Whitman and Churchill later on in the season.
“We know our record can get much better heading into January,” Kobernick said.
WJ started off December on a good note after winning against Bethesda Chevy-Chase 6-2. This win marks the first one of the season for the icecats. A match up with Richard Montgomery is the next game on Friday, Dec. 11th. Then a game against Sherwood on Dec. 14, and another game on Dec. 18 against B-CC ends out the games in December for WJ.
January has WJ playing five games, including the final regular season game against Churchill. The team is hoping to finish the season strong and head into the playoffs as a strong contender for the state championship.