Hockey: Gonzaga coasts through near-perfect season

March 12, 2014

Top-ranked Gonzaga picked up exactly where it left off last March — at the top of the rankings and the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League — and never faltered in a 26-0-1 season that saw the Eagles take their third championship in five years. Coach Nate Jackson fulfilled a prestigious trifecta in his sixth year as coach with a win in the National Capital Hockey Tournament, a rout of Landon and a league championship. The only team to mildly challenge the Eagles throughout 2013 and 2014 was Calvert Hall, which tied Gonzaga in Baltimore in mid-December. Their final meeting saw the Eagles win, 3-1, with the Cardinals able to score only during a 5-on-3 power play.

The Eagles coasted through the playoffs, outscoring opponents 18-1 and allowing goalie Nick Platais to record his 11th shutout of the season with a 7-0 win against Georgetown Prep in the semifinals. He anchored the Eagles with a 1.02 goals against average in 27 games. Senior captain Bobby Hally added 32 goals and 31 assists and led an offense that failed to score within the first period just twice the whole season.

They didn’t miss a beat despite the graduation of All-Met Player of the Year Jack Slater, who pulled in 33 goals and 21 assists in his senior season. Along with Hally, Ridge Slater, Ian Smith and Terence Schmutz all contributed double-digits goal totals as the Eagles outscored competition 108-22.

“This was as complete of a team as you could conceive,” Jackson said.

Rankings

Wootton cruised to a 7-1 victory against Leonardtown in the Maryland Student Hockey League championship. . . . Briar Woods earned a second consecutive Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League title with a 4-1 win against Stone Bridge. . . . Atholton fell to the eventual league champions, 5-1, in the semifinals. . . . Langley took a 4-3 loss to Stone Bridge in the semifinals. . . . Churchill was knocked out of playoffs by Wootton, 4-2. . . . Landon beat Spalding, 4-3, to advance in the MAPHL playoffs, then fell to Calvert Hall, 8-3. . . . Georgetown Prep eliminated DeMatha from the playoffs with a 7-3 win in the quarterfinals.

1. Gonzaga (26-0-1) LW: 1

2. Wootton (16-1) LW: 3

3. Briar Woods (12-1) LW: 6

4. Stone Bridge (11-2) LW: 5

5. Atholton (12-1) LW: 2

6. Langley (9-3-1) LW: 4

7. Churchill (13-4-1) LW: 7

8. Landon (11-3-2) LW: 9

9. Spalding (7-6-3) LW: 8

10. Georgetown Prep (8-6-1) LW: NR

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