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Northstars skate past TJ, 8-0

December 13, 2010|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — On a night when the Washington County Northstars donated a defibrillator to charity, they got an offensive jolt of energy to defeat Thomas Johnson 8-0 in a prep hockey game at the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex on Monday. Mikhail Gardner earned his second shutout of the season, stopping all 20 of Thomas Johnson’s shots on goal.

Despite a 1-4 record, the Patriots played with tenacity through the first two periods. Goalie Devin Shields, a freshman, stopped eight of Washington County’s nine shots on goal in the first period, only allowing a wrister in front of the net by Zach Kimmel which was assisted by Kevin McCormack.

Andrew Green helped preserve the shutout at the end of the first period with a thunderous hit on a TJ forward who had an open shot on net. Green also stopped two shots at the end of the period with Washington County up 1-0.

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“They just came out and played their game,” said Northstars coach Jamie Blackwood. “They have so much self-confidence in their lines that they just increased the tempo on TJ.”

Thomas Johnson’s only penalty came in the second period when Brandon Hagy was called for high-sticking. That led to Drew Brooks scoring on a fast break with one second left on the Northstars’ power play. Kimmel scored again on a shot that was virtually identical to Brooks’ to increase Washington County’s lead to 3-0 at the end of the second.

In the third period, the Northstars (9-1) broke the game open, scoring five more goals. Keith Koontz earned a natural hat trick, Brooks scored his second goal of the game and Josh Barron scored his 13th goal of the season.

“It was definitely the fastest hat trick I’ve ever scored. I just threw the puck out there, seeing what would happen,” said Koontz. “Good job to my teammates for finding the open man.”

The big story of this game was McCormack, who had four assists to give him 22 on the season, inching him ever closer to former Northstar Eric Bowers’s scoring record.

“It wasn’t really a goal of mine at the beginning of the season, but now that I’m getting close to breaking the record, it’s really something,” McCormack said. “I played with Eric and he was a heck of a player, to break his record would be quite the accomplishment.”

“The line discussed it on their own, and they got their man the stats,” Blackwood said. “We’re all about sharing the wealth on this team and tonight was (McCormack’s) night.”

Even with the 9-1 record, Blackwood is looking forward to getting some of his players back.

“Sean Kreps is back, and we’re looking forward to getting Gage Clifford back as well,” Blackwood said. “With the meat of the season still to come, being at full strength will just make us stronger.”


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