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Prep Ice Hockey: Northstars storm into state semifinals

February 14, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Washington County Northstars' Nate Liefke, left, and Montgomery Blair's Daniel Alger try to settle the puck during the first period of Thursday's game at the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Washington County Northstars played Noah’s Ark hockey on Thursday.

They unleashed a storm of offense and scored goals two by two.

Sean Kreps scored a hat trick and added an assist as the Northstars scored all their goals in their first 22 shots in an 8-1 victory over Montgomery Blair in the quarterfinals of the Maryland Student Hockey League Class 1A playoffs.

Six of Washington County’s eight goals were scored in sets of two, seconds apart. The Northstars did all their scoring in a 25-minute span and led 8-0 after two periods.

“It seems like we do that every game,” said Kreps. “That first goal always seems to open up the floodgates. And in high school hockey, the momentum of that first goal can usually carry through.”

It all started in the most unassuming way for the Northstars after spending the first 4 1/2 minutes of the game posturing with the Blazers.

Zach El Mohandes opened the floodgates with a shot from the blue line into traffic in front of the goal. The puck got through cleanly and past Montgomery Blair goalie Michel Devynck for a 1-0 lead with 10:19 to go in the first period.

Travis Biggs followed just 20 seconds later by stuffing in a shot in front of the goal on an assist by Drew Brooks for a quick 2-0 lead.

“That’s the way this team is,” said Northstars coach Jamie Blackwood. “Once the well opens up, they go for the jugular.”

The Northstars held a 35-12 edge in shots on goal.

Washington County netted its next two goals in a 12-second span as Josh Barron scored on a breakaway of a pass from Brooks at the 8:14 mark before Kreps got his first score by charging the goal off the faceoff at 8:02 for a 4-0 lead.

Brooks scored off a crossing pass from Kreps with 1:08 left for a 5-0 lead after one period.

The Northstars got their last grouping of goals to start the second period. Kreps scored when a shot he flipped at the goal to start a shift change squirted out of Devynck’s glove and into the net.

Forty-two seconds later, Brooks scored in front of the goal for a 7-0 lead at the 11:15 mark.

Kreps completed his hat trick with 29 seconds remaining in the period.

Montgomery Blair’s Alex Ortiz scored with 12:16 to go in the game to allow the Blazers to avoid the shutout.

The Northstars, the two-time defending state champions, advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, possibly for a rematch with Carroll County, which handed Washington County a 3-1 home loss earlier this month.

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