Gilman gets a Tier I lesson, makes most of it

Greyhounds win 2 in row after bruising in D.C.

Hockey notebook

January 28, 2003|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

New Gilman hockey coach Paul Veillette knew his Greyhounds were good, but he also knew they lacked confidence. He came up with a novel way to change that.

Veillette scheduled his Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference team to play Washington's Gonzaga. Not Gonzaga's Tier II team, but the Tier I team. Predictably, the Greyhounds lost, 4-1. But Veillette got his point across.

"They rallied around each other after that game," said Veillette. "I could see we had turned a corner."

A few days later, the Greyhounds (9-6-3, 3-3 in MIAA B Conference) defeated conference-leader Boys' Latin, 4-0. Friday, they rallied to defeat St. Paul's, 5-2.

The Greyhounds had lost to both teams earlier in the season.

"All I ask is that they play disciplined hockey, and give me 150 percent," said Veillette. "They're starting to do that now. We only have two seniors on the team, so we still have to mold together."

Junior Mac Williams and senior Greg Sclama, both centers, have led the Greyhounds. The two provide most of Gilman's play-making ability and scoring.

Veillette knows that winning the B Conference will be a long shot for the Greyhounds, who have three league losses. He does think, however, that the Greyhounds can secure one of the three berths in the conference playoffs.

"I think it will come down to us, Boys' Latin and St. Paul's," said Veillette. "I've seen many of the MSHL Tier II teams, and I think any of our teams would do very well in the state playoffs."

Falcons win big one

Severna Park took a major step toward winning the MSHL's Eastern Conference title Friday when it defeated Talbot County's Easton, 8-6, at Benfield Ice Rink.

The Falcons and the Warriors entered the game with 6-0 conference records. Severna Park (23-3, 7-0) took a 5-0 lead in the first period before Easton closed the gap to 7-6 midway through the third.

Severna Park's Mitch Belisle put the game away with 2:30 left when he scored on a rebound. The Falcons got two goals each from Belisle, Matt Blanchett and Brian Bocskor and goals from Luke Freeman and Brian Sweeney in the win.

"We knew this was a huge game for us," said Belisle. "The whole week we were recruiting kids at school to come out and watch."

In conference play, Severna Park has South River and Bowie left on its schedule. Both of those teams have sub .500 records.

Because of the way the MSHL playoffs are structured, there's a good chance Severna Park and Easton will meet again in the postseason.

"I think that game will be just like this one was ... intense," said Belisle. "I look forward to it."

Dons play tough

Loyola took a big step toward securing one of the MIAA A Conference's three playoff berths last week with a win and a tie in key games. On Thursday, the Dons got a late goal by freshman Mark Henninger to defeat Spalding, 4-3, at Piney Orchard Ice Rink in Odenton. The Cavaliers were last year's A Conference runner-up.

On Friday, the Dons got a late goal from senior John Molinaro to tie archrival Calvert Hall, 2-2, in a game at Ice World in Edgewood. The puck was in the air when Molinaro batted it in with 1:10 left to force the tie.

"Anytime you can get three out of a possible four points in a two-game stretch, then you have to be happy," said Loyola coach Mike Reardon. "We played two excellent hockey teams and did very well."

Reardon and his staff have taken the Dons from a 2-21 record last season to contenders this season. Loyola is 13-4-1 this year, including 3-3-1 in the A Conference.

"You pretty much have to concede first place to Mount St. Joe, but after that, it's a four-horse race," said Reardon. "We've done pretty well against the other three teams [Spalding, Calvert Hall and St. Mary's], but we still have a long way to go."

The road doesn't get any easier for the Dons, who play Mount St. Joseph and St. Mary's this week.

If you'd like to contribute to the hockey notebook, please e-mail us at sunhockey@comcast.net.

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