When Junmo Kim scored Landon’s opening goal in Friday’s Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League matchup with No. 8 DeMatha, the freshman celebrated by making a hard left turn on the ice and slamming his body into the glass directly in front of the DeMatha student section.
He was met by a swarm of teammates — and the jeers of the vocal Stags cheering section. The fact that the fourth-ranked Bears still trailed their rivals hardly seemed to matter to Kim. He was just getting started.
Kim tallied two more goals, including the go-ahead power-play marker with just less than two minutes to play to lead Landon to a 5-3 comeback win at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
The game was a rematch of last year’s MAPHL championship, won by the Bears, 5-1.
“Especially the seniors, they came into this game expecting nothing less than the biggest wins against the biggest rivals,” said Kim, who doubled his goal total for the season with Friday night’s hat trick. “It was fantastic to get a win out of them. It really encouraged the team and the players. It was just amazing, the outcome.”
DeMatha junior Kyle Hooper netted the game’s opening goal just 20 seconds into the contest. But 20 seconds later, he was ejected for delivering a hit from behind to a Landon player. Stags senior Chris Ordoobadi was sent to the penalty box one minute later for cross-checking, but the Bears were unable to capitalize on the ensuing five-on-three power play or most of the other advantages provided by DeMatha’s eight penalties.
“Every time the puck was loose, you knew there was going to be a big hit thrown,” said Landon defenseman Christopher Javens, who scored the Bears’ second goal. “Somebody was going to fall, whether it was from DeMatha or Landon, you knew somebody was going to get hit hard.”
The Stags (12-11-2) led 2-1 after the opening period and 3-2 after the second.
Landon (10-2-1) finally managed to make DeMatha pay when Stags captain Garrett Hasken was sent to the box for slashing with 2 minutes 41 seconds left in the third period. Kim, who tied the game earlier in the period, beat Stags goalie Jonathan Hudson to give the Bears their first lead with just less than two minutes to play.
Landon defenseman William Buckingham added an empty-net goal with a 1:30 left.
“DeMatha has some really intimidating players,” Kim said. “It was a little frustrating how they came out really aggressive. We knew that we had to overcome that in order to win.”