Before a record crowd of over 1,000 screaming students and nervous parents, the Bulldogs of Winston Churchill were crowned champions of the MSHL, topping arch rival Thomas Wootton in a hard fought 5 - 4 contest. It was the eighth championship for the Potomac squad and fifth straight.
This is the closest MSHL championship game since the unforgettable 2007 shootout between South River and Linganore which saw the Seahawks emerge with a 9-8 victory. Churchill has been involved in two one goal title games, beating Severna Park 6-5 in 2006 while dropping a 2-1 decision to Walter Johnson the previous year.
From the jump, Wootton was determined to thwart the Churchill attack and met every zone entry at the blue line forcing turn overs which put the Patriots on the attack. That strategy was rewarded at 1:55 when Scott Collinson's shot pinballed around the crease before crossing the line. Robert Neill picked up the lone helper.
The continued pressure saw a 2-0 Patriot lead when Daniel Tomashevsky banged home a rebound at 9:26 (John Billingsly with the helper).
However, just 16 seconds later, Sam Parsons found the back of the net for the Bulldogs with Hayden Farrand picking up the lone assist, cutting the lead to one.
Billingsly restored the two goal lead at 12:38 with Tomashevsky returning the favor with the assist. But with 54 seconds left in the initial frame, Churchill's Alex Durant got the defending champs back within one with assists going to A.J. Moshyedi and Brandon Chen.
After a five goal first, thing settled down with the lone goal scored by Chance Begun assisted by Farrand at 2:54. The assist was Farrand's 50th of his career.
After the intermission break, Churchill came out firing on all cylinders and was rewarded at 3:57 when Sam Margel picked up a loose puck near the right hashmark and found the back of the net with Chen picking up his second assist of the night. 54 seconds later, Matt Danzinger's screen shot gave Churchill a two goal lead with an assist to John Pogorelc.
Wootton repeated the attack but it was now the Bulldog defense that thwarted the Patriot forays into the offensive zone.
With netminder Colin Brick pulled for the extra attacker, Billingsley's strong individual move was rewarded with just 51 second left, but Churchill was able to shut the door and prevail.
Wootton finishes the season 15-5-1, while Churchill ends the 2018-19 campaign with a 16-7-2 mark.
Tag(s): MSHL Varsity