Northstars' win tainted by fight

February 14, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Valentine’s Day is usually for lovers, but in the case of Monday’s Maryland Scholastic Hockey League first-round playoff game between the Washington County Northstars and the Carroll County Bears, it was quite the opposite.

A fight that broke out in the third period left two Washington County players suspended in the wake of a 6-3 Northstars win. The Northstars advanced to play Rockville next week.

“All I saw was their kid throw a couple of punches at (Josh) Barron, and then (Andrew) Green jumped in, and that means he’s the third involved,” said Northstars coach Jamie Blackwood. “That’s two of our players suspended for the next game.”

Washington County’s Barron threw a check at Carroll County’s Kyle Hooper, who took exception and started throwing punches. Barron defended himself and Green got involved. Pretty soon, all three were ejected from the game.

“The loss of those two players is going to be tough,” Blackwood said. “We’re already somewhat thin.”

The game itself weighed heavily in Washington County’s favor. After Hooper scored a quick Bears goal at 9:47 in the first period on an assist by Jacob Miske, Drew Brooks scored two straight goals for the Northstars (10-1-2) to give them a 2-1 lead at the end of the first.

Miske tied the game at 2 when he poked a rebound past Mikhail Gardner at 14:40 of the second period. The Bears (5-4-4) and Northstars traded goals, with Kevin McCormack scoring on an assist by Keith Koontz for Washington County, before a wraparound goal by Koontz gave the Northstars a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.

“We’re struggling on line rotations and once again we didn’t take advantage of our power plays,” Blackwood said. “Some of my kids are being cut short and I hate that, but we’ve got to find ways to win.”

Washington County scored two more goals in the final period — Barron scored on assists by Sean Kreps and Brooks, and an empty-netter by Matt Stemper sealed the win.

Blackwood’s focus was on his team’s maturity level.

“We’ve got a lot of maturing to do in the next 5-10 days. We’ll piece this thing together and we’ll figure it out,” said Blackwood.

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