Gilman finds itself in a slide at the worst possible time

Three losses last week cost team shot at playoffs

Hockey notebook

February 05, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Last week looked like a good time for Gilman's hockey team to make some noise in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference. As it turned out, what it produced was silence.

The Greyhounds lost to Boys' Latin on Monday (3-1), Severn on Tuesday (4-1) and St. Paul's on Friday (4-2). The losses, all in conference, eliminate the Greyhounds from the playoff race.

The slump came as a disappointment to Gilman coach Pat Pothel.

"Very much so," said Pothel. "We thought we were prepared, but we got outplayed. Third-period breakdowns just killed us."

The Greyhounds were in each game after the second period, but were outscored 6-0 in the third period of the three games.

Pothel said the inability to stop offensive threats like Severn's Kyle Laughlin (two goals against Gilman) and St. Paul's Charlie Daniels (three goals) played a big part in the losses.

"They were the difference," said Pothel. "You expect them to play well in big games, and they came through."

Severna Park on roll

Severna Park's 8-4 win over Bowie last Tuesday all but locked up the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Falcons, who are 24-1-1 overall, also capped off the week by defeating DeMatha's Tier II team, 8-3, on Friday.

Severna Park coach Chuck Fox attributes much of his team's success to the play of goalie Derek Brutger. The netminder had a 92 percent save ratio entering play this week.

"He's been excellent," said Fox. "We have a balanced team, but he's made some standout plays this year. We've done what we needed to do to win this season, and he's been a big part of that."

Although the Falcons have had a dream season this year, Fox never thought they'd be this good.

"I was expecting us to be good, but I don't think I thought we'd be 24-1-1," he said. "We hope to go deep into the playoffs, but now's the time when we can't afford to take anyone lightly."

Dominating Gaels

Mount St. Joseph finished its MIAA A Conference schedule Friday with a 10-0 record. Just how dominant were the Gaels? Check out these stats.

In the 10 games, Mount St. Joseph outscored its opponents, 88-1. Even more impressive, the Gaels gave their opponents 41 power-play opportunities. Of those, they did not allow a single power-play goal on the way to the regular-season title.

"This is a special team," said Gaels coach Erv Terwilliger. "They've done some great things, and in the next few weeks, we'll find out just how special they are."

"Hockey is a team game, and we play team-first hockey," he said. "We don't worry about individual goals, only team goals. Every kid is pulling an oar."

Playoffs coming together

As league play begins to wind down, many of the playoff spots have been decided. There's still some suspense left, though.

In the MIAA A Conference, Mount St. Joseph has locked up the top seed, with St. Mary's and Spalding getting the other two playoff berths.

The B Conference will advance Severn as the top seed, with Boys' Latin and St. Paul's also qualifying for postseason play.

Barring a slip, the Howard Conference appears set. Atholton will be the top seed, with River Hill and Centennial also advancing. The Hawks and the Eagles play next week in a game that will not count in the conference standings.

In the Eastern Conference, Severna Park will get one playoff spot, but the other is up for grabs. Either Easton, Fallston or Southern could advance to meet the Falcons in the conference finals.

Amoung the Tier II private school teams, Mount St. Joseph will advance. The Gaels' B team, coached by John Poisal, has only a 3-3 tie with Fallston as a blemish on its record.

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