Northstars' Business Line closes deal

January 10, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |
  • Northstars goalie Mikhail Gardner stops a shot by Oakdale's Will Thornhill.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Washington County Northstars’ “Business Line” lived up to its moniker Monday night.

Kevin McCormack had a hat trick, Zach Kimmel had a goal and four assists and Keith Koontz added a goal and two assists as the Northstars shut out Oakdale 6-0 to take another step toward a possible Monocacy Valley championship and the Western Division’s top seed for the state playoffs.

“That line’s been together for three years,” Northstars coach Jamie Blackwood said. “They call themselves The Business Line. They don’t celebrate a lot, they just take care of business and put the puck in the back of the net.”

The Northstars (12-1-1, 10-1-1 Monocacy Valley) outshot Oakdale (0-7-1, 0-7-1 Monocacy Valley) — a first-year program with no seniors or juniors — 35-8, with Northstars senior goalie Mikhail Gardner making all eight stops. He stoned Zachary Pard twice on point-blank efforts to preserve the shutout.

Oakdale goalie Kyle Olmstead played well, making 29 saves and stoning the Northstars on several 1-on-1 chances as well. But he was under constant pressure and couldn’t stop every shot.

“They’re a very young team,” Blackwood said of Oakdale. “They have some talent there. They’re going to suffer another year, but then they’ll be a team to reckon with.”

With 7:18 left in the first period, Koontz skated into the offensive zone on the right side, put on the brakes and found McCormack streaking down the middle. McCormack took the pass, skated in and scored for a 1-0 lead.

With 3:26 left in the period and the Northstars down a man, Kimmel got the puck and broke in alone on the left side, scoring to make it 2-0.

Three second-period goals put the game out of reach. With 6:29 left, Josh Barron got the puck in the right corner and fed Drew Brooks in front for a pretty one-time strike and a 3-0 lead. With 5:39 left, McCormack broke in alone and shot high off the underside of the crossbar and in to make it 4-0. With 4:08 left, Koontz’s backhander was stopped but McCormack buried the rebound for a 5-0 lead.

Koontz scored with 9:34 left in the third period, getting the puck down into the right corner, then circling back in front of the goal. Michael DiMercurio got an assist on the play.

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