Maryland Scholastic Hockey League final: Churchill beats Urbana 4-3 to claim Capital Cup
Tuesday, March 1, 2011; 1:13 AM
Moments after missing the first penalty shot in the history of the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League finals, Zach Arden picked an uneasy time for introspection. After scoring a team-high 25 goals to that point this season, the Churchill sophomore center paused in the middle of the third period and wondered if he would recover mentally in time to help win his team a championship.
"I was extremely upset with myself," Arden said. "After I missed that, I said there's no way I'm letting my team not win this game."
Just over four minutes later, Arden set up in the low slot in front of the Urbana net, pounced on a rebound and poked in the game-winner to give Churchill a 4-3 victory and its second Capital Cup before an overflow crowd at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
The teams alternated goals throughout, with Arden's decisive tally coming with 4 minutes 10 seconds left.
"It was wild," said Churchill Coach Ray McKenzie, whose team won the 2006 title, but had not been back to the final since.
Urbana (14-3), making its first finals appearance, had a tremendous size advantage on the Bulldogs (14-5). The Hawks flexed their muscle early, but that didn't give the Bulldogs pause.
"We weren't sure how they'd react to it," Urbana Coach Toby Heusser said. "But they stood up to it and stood their own."
With the Hawks trailing 2-1 early in the third period, Urbana junior defenseman Ian Patrican moved out of the left corner, skated across the goal mouth and poked in the tying score.
Four minutes later, Arden and Connor Liu skated in on a two-on-one. Urbana freshman goalie John Ketzenberger made a fantastic stop, and Liu tried to poke in the rebound, but an Urbana player closed his hand on the puck in the crease, resulting in a penalty shot.
Arden took it, and went backhand, but Ketzenberger made a terrific glove save. Yet off the ensuing faceoff, Churchill's Connor Martin wristed in a shot from the left point to make it 3-2.
Three minutes later, Urbana freshman Mike Matrone poked in a rebound from the high slot to tie the score with just over five minutes left.
Churchill, however, went on the power play less than a minute later. Martin's shot from the point caromed off the rear boards into the slot. Derek Gritz's rebound was blocked, but landed on the stick of Arden, who punched in his 26th goal of the season.
"When you have the best player on the ice, he controls everything," McKenzie said. "He's just a creator and a scorer."