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HOCKEY: Weber wobbles, won't fall down

North Stars goalie stands tough in third period, gets win

North Stars goalie stands tough in third period, gets win

February 02, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

Washington County North Stars senior John Weber has shared time in goal with sophomore protégé Alex Benda this season.

Friday night against Walt Whitman High School, Weber shared his reflexes and reaction time with all in attendance at the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex.

Weber made 20 saves -- 10 in the third period -- and garnered Player of the Game honors as the North Stars remained unbeaten with a 4-2 victory over the Vikings.

"(Benda) is developing into a strong goalie, but we wanted to go with the senior experience," said North Stars coach Jamie Blackwood. "John is consistent and that's what you want out of your goalie."

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Weber played all 45 minutes and was pitching a shutout before William Fitzgerald scored at the second-period buzzer to cut the Washington County lead to 2-1.

"I just had to hang in there and try to shake it off," said Weber. "We were still up one goal, so I wasn't too heartbroken about it."

Neither were the rest of the North Stars.

Joe Blackwood scored on assists from Dakota Durning and Kevin McCormack with 8:09 left in the game to give Washington County a 3-1 lead.

Weber surrendered his second goal to Douglas Greig with 4:23 remaining, but the North Stars had an answer once again as Jack Barr found the net just 43 seconds later on assists from Durning and Paul Stavrakas for a 4-2 edge.

"I have great confidence in my teammates. I know they'll always be there in tight situations," Weber said. "I just try not to lose track of time and try to go one shot at a time."

The game was more than four minutes old before the first shot on goal was attempted. From there, the squads went virtually shot-for-shot -- Washington County held a 23-22 edge -- but the North Stars executed their opportunities with a bit more precision.

Jeremy Barron assisted a goal by Durning with 4:11 left in the first period, and Drew Lowery unleashed a shot from about 25 feet that went untouched into the back of the net with 7:17 left in the second period to give the North Stars a 2-0 lead. McCormack and Joe Blackwood assisted the Lowery goal.

"We didn't play extremely well, but we were stable," Jamie Blackwood said. "We came out a little flat before picking it up as the game went on.

These guys work together and never get down on each other. They've always risen to the challenge."

Washington County improved to 10-0-2 with its final home game to be played Monday against Urbana at 6:30 p.m., during which the North Stars will celebrate Senior Night.

"We take a lot of pride in what we've accomplished," Jamie Blackwood said. "One of our goals was to win 75 to 80 percent of our games this year. To be where we're at now is pleasing."

Brenden Hart had 19 saves for the Vikings. Chris Kelly, Matt Milzman and Jeremy Alman were credited with assists.

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