The U10 White team had an incredibly successful season no matter how you define success. They had an overall record of 36-15-5 with a CBHL record of 18-1-3. They averaged 5.22 goals per game while allowing just 2.18 goals per game. The goalie tandem of Tullo and LeBlanc allowed the least amount of goals in their entire twelve team division. They won the Congressional Cup Fall Classic and beat teams that were in higher divisions at several other tournaments. However, the Patriots played two playoff games on the weekend of February 29th that took the season from successful to magical.
The Pats entered the weekend as the second seed and faced off against the third seeded Bowie Bruins on the first day of playoff action. The Patriots got off to a quick start with a goal from Zach Schumacher that went bar down at 13:05 of the first period .He scored again off of a rebound when William Vaughn took a nice low shot. Alex LaMontagne scored a short handed goal by ripping a shot from the blue line and the game appeared to be well in hand. However, the Bruins responded by scoring two goals to get them back within one. There was tension in the air as LeBlanc made several stellar saves including one on a breakaway to keep the score at 3-2. Coach Henry turned to his second year players at the end of the game to close it out. Streeter, Colantoni, LaMontagne, Valascho and Bhatti skated onto the ice and did not disappoint. LaMontagne and Streeter both had assists on a critical goal that put the Pats ahead by two. The Patriots held onto the 4-2 lead for the last 1 1/2 minutes and advanced to the Championship game.
The following day, the players entered Richmond Ice Zone prepared for a battle against Caps Academy. The two teams knew each other well. The Pats lost 5-4 against the Caps in November after leading the game 3-1. The Patriots beat the Capitals in an exhibition game in January. However, they faced off the very next day in a league game where the Caps managed to leave with a tie after being down 2-0. The Capitals ended the season with an undefeated record of 19-0-3 and a knack for roaring back in games against the Patriots.
The Championship game began on an ominous note as the Capitals scored on their very first shot on goal. However, this group of Patriots were prepared and ready to compete. The hunger and drive for victory was palpable. Five of the players on this team had lost in the Championship game the season before and refused to allow this season to end in similar fashion. First, Cohen Bhatti made a beautiful pass to James Burns who roofed the puck into the top corner of the net. The Schumacher/Vaughn combo each scored goals with assists from each other before the period ended. Gunnar Streeter then began to impose his will with help from teammates Marm and Dinwoodie. He scored a goal midway through the second period that forced the Caps to call a timeout. However, the break in the action did little to cool off this Patriots team as LaMontagne scored another goal 25 seconds later. Streeter scored again before the period ended and the crowd was going wild. First year players Hailey Crosson, Declan Henry, Jaxson Jaynes and Justin Kernan battled all game long and played some of their best hockey of the year. Defensemen LaMontagne, Colantoni, Bhatti and Valascho showed an astonishing level of skill and sheer will as they helped to hold the Caps to eight shots on goal through the end of the second period. The Caps attempted to come back in the third period and managed to fire ten shots onto Xander Tullo. However, he stood tall and was prepared in net with some clutch saves. Streeter completed his hat trick with three minutes left and the final score was 7-2.
The Patriots won the Championship game against a formidable opponent who were undefeated in league play. The players and families came together on the ice to celebrate a game that was emblematic of their hard work and dedication all season long. The U10 Potomac Patriots White team held their banner high and cannot wait to bring it back to the Prince William Ice Center to share with the rest of the Patriot family.
Tag(s): U10 White