Potomac Falls senior Nicolas Pogu is the team's leading scorer, despite not scoring in four games and missing one game over the holidays while he returned to his native France. Pogu scored three times in the first game of the season, a 9-1 victory over McLean, but has not done so since.
Pogu has supplemented his statistics with a wealth of assists, including five in a 10-4 win over Woodson and three in a 7-4 win over Langley. Six games into the season, has a team-high 15 points, with 12 on assists.
"He's been doing a lot around net, probably taking shots, and they're getting the rebound," Potomac Falls Coach Brian Logan said. "But he has also been doing a fair share of setting people up."
Potomac Falls (5-0-1) is off to a fast start, including a 6-6 tie with Broad Run on Dec. 20. The tie felt more like a loss to the players, however, because the Panthers led until Broad Run scored with 1.6 seconds to play.
"That would've been our first time to beat them," Logan said. "Whenever that happens, you need to remind them that a tie is a tie. We still walked out of there giving them a real fight."
Wilkinson Back on Track Wrist injuries can be tricky for hockey players, who use the hinge joint for nearly every movement in the game. That's why most of junior Mark Wilkinson's shots went high or wide in his first two games after he broke his right wrist.
The forward has recovered from the injury and is Loudoun Valley/Loudoun County/Heritage's second leading scorer, with four goals and four assists through four Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League games.
Wilkinson missed all of the preseason, returning for the Purple Puck Tournament in late December. He did not register a point in either of the first two games, but in the third game, against Gonzaga's Tier II team, he broke out with six goals.
"We played him in the Purple Puck Tournament, and you could tell his timing was off and that he was a little tentative," Coach Gregg White said. "But since then, he's been doing well, and he's one of our leading goal scorers. He's got speed, accuracy, so we try to loosen him up when we need a goal."
Sophomore Shayne Pouliot is the team's leading scorer with three goals and six assists and has meshed well with Wilkinson. Though not as prolific, junior Josh Gray (five points) will be relied on more in the next few weeks in games against Stone Bridge Jan. 31 and Broad Run Feb. 14.
"He is one of those guys that is quiet, but he anchors our team in a lot of ways," White said. "It doesn't show up as much in the stats, but Josh Gray has been one of our steadiest players."
Stone Bridge Bears Down When Stone Bridge and Broad Run each raced out to score four goals in the first period on Jan. 11, it looked as if both would easily score in double digits.
Caught up in a rush of offense, neither paid much attention to slowing the other until Stone Bridge Coach John Lynch had stern words for his team after the period.
"We mostly adjusted with the forwards," said Lynch, whose team yielded only one goal the rest of the game and won, 11-5. "We had them playing two-way hockey. We had the forwards backcheck. That was the change we made. We tried to do it midway through the period, but then we ended up screaming at them."
After a narrow 3-2 win over Chantilly in the season opener, Stone Bridge took its next three games by an average of 8.3 goals.
The victory over Broad Run, though somewhat lopsided, reminded the Bulldogs that defense will be necessary if they are to repeat as NVSHL champions.
"It was a real good game for us, because our guys had to concentrate on playing two-way hockey," Lynch said. "Teams like Broad Run, Potomac Falls, Westfield and Oakton will force us to play two-way hockey, so we better get used to it."