Icecats blaze trail towards state championship


Photo by Sanir Byanjankar

Senior captain Ethan Birndorf lines up for a faceoff against Marriotts Ridge. The Icecats went on to win the game in style, 12-1.

The Icecats played their first state playoff game against Marriotts Ridge on Feb. 21 after earning their state playoff berth with a 5-2 win over Wootton on Feb. 10. Team morale was high and riding the coattails of their victory against Wootton, the Icecats crushed Marriotts Ridge 12-1.

Wootton gave the Icecats a scare, leading 1-0 after the first period, but any worry was quickly put to rest by second period goals from seniors Coleman Santy and captain Alex Chang followed by three more WJ goals in the third. “Wootton was our first playoff win and it really gave us a taste of what a playoff victory feels like and we want more of that. Hopefully we keep winning until we win it all,” junior center Adam Pyott said.

The Icecats secured the number one seed in the “Montgomery 1” division allowing them to play the bottom ranked team in the “Howard” division for their first round state playoff matchup. While WJ was the clear favorite, they hit the ice with true playoff energy and intensity.

Four first period goals set the tone early and the Icecats kept their foot on the gas scoring five in the second and adding three in the third as the cherry on top. The Icecats showcased their relentless offense and puck movement, hurling 54 shots on net while maintaining possession and keeping the puck in the offensive zone for most of the game.

“Playing as a team was what did it for us. We knew we had the more skilled players so it was just a matter of moving the puck around and keeping it out of the other team’s hands. If they don’t have the puck, there’s nothing they can do against us,” freshman winger Henry Horwell said.

The Icecats swarm goaltender Izzy Pharr after defeating Marriotts Ridge. The Icecats win propelled them into the second round of the state playoffs. (Photo courtesy of Jouky Chang)

Senior Izzy Pharr stayed solid in net although she didn’t get much action as Marriott’s Ridge only squeaked out four shots on goal for the whole game. The Icecats strong defensive presence backed up by the elite pairing of goalkeepers in Pharr and Jason Conlan make championship dreams seem more like reality each day.

The Icecats simply played their game against Marriotts Ridge and they showed that they’re more than ready to traverse the path that lies between them and the state championship trophy.

“Our team this year has something really special because our extensive roster depth allows us to rest our top players instead of constantly tiring them out. Everyone has really bought into the system coach Malcolm Pharr has implemented and it shows. We have three more games left against the best in the state, so expect us to raise the intensity,” Chang said.

The next playoff game for the Icecats will be on Monday, Feb. 27 at The Garden’s Ice House in Laurel, MD.