Wootton coasts to Maryland Student Hockey League 2A title


Wootton celebrates its championship victory. (Tom Schad/The Washington Post)
February 28

With less than two minutes remaining in Friday’s Maryland Student Hockey League 2A championship game against Leonardtown, Wootton defenseman Jordy Bretner scored a goal and dropped to one knee. As he slid toward the center of the ice, he threw one glove in the air and pointed his stick at it, as if he were shooting the glove out of the air.

Bretner’s older brother, Josh, frequently used the celebration during his time at Wootton, when the Patriots won back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009. So with the team minutes away from another championship, Bretner figured, why not?

“I went for it,” Bretner said, grinning. “It’s cool coming out here and winning one, just like he did.”

Bretner was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct — the 22nd penalty of the game —but he didn’t care. The Wootton-heavy crowd went bonkers, and Bretner smiled as he skated to the penalty box. His second goal of the night was also the last, as No. 3 Wootton cruised to a 7-1 victory at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel.

Five others scored for the Patriots (16-1), who won their third state title and first since 2009.

The Patriots came out strong and never looked back in defeating Leonardown, 7-1. (Andrew Kloc for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

“We have a deep team, a really talented group,” Coach Dave Evans said. “We were pretty disciplined, even with the penalties. We played a smart game.”

It took 40 seconds for Wootton to score its first goal, and it took all of 17 minutes after that for the game to spiral out of control.

The Patriots led 3-0 early in the second period as their crowded student section continued to taunt the Leonardtown goalie, who lost his cool and skated toward the glass.

The goalie gestured at Wootton’s fans and had to be restrained by referees, drawing one of Leonardtown’s 11 penalties. Senior Austin Schoenfeld scored five seconds later to give the Patriots a 4-0 lead.

Leonardtown (13-1) scored its lone goal with 5 minutes 29 seconds left in the second period but otherwise appeared more focused on ramming the Patriots into the boards than scoring on them. Wootton was equally violent.

“This was by far the most physical game,” Bretner said. “We weren’t expecting all of this, but when it gets physical, you’ve got to hold your own.”

Ben Keppler, Nic Band, Luke Klecker and Harrison Linowes also scored for Wootton.

Friday marked the final game for 10 Wootton seniors. When asked what will most stick out about this particular group, Evans paused.

“The balance,” he finally said. “We didn’t rely on two guys, three guys. Third line, fourth line — it really didn’t matter who it was. We had a captain on the fourth line. We really had so many guys who could contribute.”

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