WJ hockey seniors line up on the ice in the pre-game ceremony. The teams eight seniors all played during the game, although they combined for only two points.
WJ hockey seniors line up on the ice in the pre-game ceremony. The team’s eight seniors all played during the game, although they combined for only two points.
Courtesy Parker Kim

Icecats finish regular season on five-game win streak

In the WJ Icecat’s last game of the regular season and the team’s senior night, underclassmen led the way to an 8-4 victory over Wootton High School on Friday, Jan. 26. Seniors Jon Corwin, Becca Freda, Brendan Klotz, Sam Mayster, Gianluca Megna, Jordan Potash, Adam Pyott, Sami Rosenberg and Eric Shekter were each honored before the start of the game, and head coach Jared Webb started an all-senior lineup to take the opening faceoff.

“Senior night meant a lot to me because I remember all the last senior nights and seeing my teammates tell me after theirs that the seasons fly by and I should make every moment count. Skating in front of my friends and family was a great last hoorah. My favorite memory was taking a picture with my parents and brother, because this was the first and only time I got to play on the same team with him,” Corwin said.

Sophomore Henry Horwell celebrates with senior captain Brendan Klotz after a goal as Wootton goalie freshman Kevin Yu laments. Horwell scored a hat trick on Friday and leads the team in goals. (Courtesy Parker Kim)

Senior Becca Freda received the starting nod in goal, starting in her second game for WJ varsity. Freda normally plays for the Montgomery Hockey Conference Girls’ team in addition to recording three shutouts this season for WJ. However, Freda’s start was cut short as Webb subbed in freshman goalie Isaac Russ following the first goal of the game, scored by Wootton senior Ilholm Abdulaev.

“[Becca and I] have worked to support one another on and off the ice which helps the overall connection of the defense with us. I think we need to work on better awareness, especially in front of the net and all the attacking players,” Russ said.

Russ stayed in between the pipes until the third period, saving 10 of 13 shots on goal. In total, the Icecats outshot the Patriots 38-15 in the game. The Icecats quickly recovered from the early deficit by scoring four goals in the first period, with two goals a piece coming from sophomore Henry Horwell and junior Patrick Murphy.

In the second period, the Icecats and Patriots would trade goals by Pyott and sophomore Owen Goozh to end the period 5-2. Wootton senior Timothy Yun scored two minutes into the third period, but three more WJ goals sealed the victory.

Horwell recorded the first of the three third-period goals, capping off his hat trick, while freshman Ruslan Titov and junior Cameron Luskin also found the back of the net. Wootton senior Grady Sellman would score with four minutes remaining to end the game 8-4 in favor of the Icecats.

“Scoring a hat trick is always great because it helps the team. It being senior night definitely helped, and it is always great to get that senior night win to really cap off the four years for the seniors,” Horwell said.

Ending the season on a five-game win streak and with a record of 8-2-1, the Icecats ranked second in the Montgomery Hockey Conference behind Churchill High School (9-1-2). With the second-place finish, the Icecats earned a first-round bye in the 13-team conference playoffs, which will determine which four teams advance to the state playoffs.

The Icecats will next play the winner of the matchup between RAM (Rockville and Magruder) and DC Stars on Feb. 9 at Rockville Ice Arena.

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