Ice Hockey Team Faces Challenges As February Playoffs are Imminent

by Adam Pfeiffer ‘20

The hockey team has had an up and down season, and following a 7-3 loss to Blake on New Year’s Day, the Warriors held a 2-7 record. Heading into a rivalry game against Damascus on January
11, the boys knew what they had to do. “We just need to stick to the game plan and not get dragged into playing defense the whole game … against Damascus who plays a dirty, physical game; we need to not retaliate,” explained senior Steven Blum prior to the  game. Ultimately, the boys lost 5-1. For much of the game, the Warriors and the Hornets were stalemated at a 1-1 tie, until Damascus netted three goals in the 2nd period to break the game open. Until this point, Sherwood was playing very well, and not reacting to the Hornets’ physical play style. “It’s definitely one of the best games we’ve played all year,” said Blum. Due to graduation of key talent, there has been a drop off in the success from last year’s Montgomery champions to this year’s squad “It’s been a really great season so far … even though our record hasn’t reflected it,” said senior Sam Rudnick. The defending champs aim to win another championship, but before they can even think of it, they need to refine and perfect their game before the playoffs start. This includes simple things such as puck movement, which will allow for more shots and success scoring. Controlling the puck will also take the pressure off the defense and goalie, limiting opponents’ shots and scoring opportunities. Hopefully, these points of emphasis will improve in the next three games (Jan. 25 vs Blair, Feb. 1 vs WJ, and Feb. 8 vs Rockville), before the playoffs
] start shortly after. The team is led by Rudnick and Blum, and fellow seniors Alec Hurley, Matt Postorino, Dylan McDermitt, and Joe Diuguid have all stepped up. Sherwood has already beaten
Blair, 9-4, and Walter Johnson, 10-1, this year, although the Blair game was played in October and Walter Johnson in December. The Warriors cannot overlook these opponents, as teams improve much over the course of the year. Wins in these games will be huge, building momentum heading into
the big tilt against Rockville. Momentum builds confidence, which is huge for a team who has felt their struggles throughout the year. A confident team that is overlooked can be dangerous come the  postseason, and that is what potentially could happen to this team. “[We’re] definitely gonna
be a big underdog. Hopefully it carries us and motivates us to work harder,” said Rudnick.

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