Hockey Leans on Special Teams in Coach Finer’s Debut Win

After only five on-ice practices under first-year head coach Dan Finer, the St. Albans hockey team opened their season Tuesday night with a 5-2 Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL) win over Mount St. Joseph’s in front of an animated Dog Pound at Fort Dupont Ice Arena.  For most hockey teams, finding rhythm on the power play and refining their penalty killing tactics takes several weeks and specialty units often look disjointed in the early parts of seasons.  That was not the case Tuesday as the Bulldog power play accounted for 4 of the team’s 5 goals in going 4 for 8 on the night and the penalty kill was a perfect 8 for 8.  Senior Miles Gunty led the offensive attack for STA with a natural hat trick in the first period, scoring an even-strength goal at 3:25 and power play goals at 10:09 and 11:14 of the opening frame.  After killing two penalties in the first period, the Bulldogs put their killers to the ultimate test with 6 penalties in the second period, including a stretch in which three STA skaters were sent to the box in 17 seconds.  Starting goalie Benjamin Skowronek made several acrobatic saves in the period while defensemen Alex Tilton, Charlie Boggs, Liam McCarthy, Will Roberts and Zachary Skowronek blocked shots and won boxouts around the crease to minimize the Gaels’ rebound opportunities. 
Before the Bulldogs’ run of infractions McCarthy found the back of the net just over three minutes into the period on the power play with a sharp wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle after a nice exchange play with Gunty along the blue line. Although STA kept the Gaels’ power play in check, the resilient visitors found the net with an even-strength goal to cut the lead to 4-1 with 5:33 left.  That’s how the score stayed going into the final period.  Tilton put the game out of reach for good with a power play goal with 8:55 on a rebound off a James Baker shot.  Gunty also picked up an assist on the play to give him 5 points on the night.  MSJ added a late goal to account for the final score.  Skowronek was credited with 12 saves on 14 shots in the win while the Bulldogs put 26 shots on goal.  STA takes on DeMatha in a non-league game at 11am Wednesday at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel before heading into their Thanksgiving break.  
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.