Congratulations to Gonzaga’s hockey teams, which are MAPHL champs for the second consecutive year!
In front of a raucous capacity crowd of more than 800 at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel on Friday night, the Gonzaga Eagles (12-0-1 in the MAPHL) overcame an early deficit and went on to defeat the DeMatha Stags, 4-1, and capture their second consecutive MAPHL AA Division title. Click here to read a recap from the Washington Post.
The celebration on Eye Street actually began nearly two hours earlier after the Eagles’ A division team defeated St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, 5-2, for a record third consecutive league title. This year also marked the first time that the same school won both divisions two years in a row.
Here is a short tribute featuring play-by-play from the Monumental Sports livestream broadcast:
In the AA Division game, DeMatha’s only goal came on a rebound just over three minutes into the first period. But the Stags could only hold the lead for a little more than 10 minutes before Luca Docking ‘20’s power-play goal knotted the game at one each. Gonzaga would take a 2-1 lead at 9:59 of the second period when Tommy Krisztinicz ‘19 used a defender as a screen and wristed a shot over the DeMatha goalkeeper’s glove and into the top corner of the net.
The Eagles defense came up large in the third period when it killed off a 5-minute major penalty for boarding. Gonzaga’s Chase Vallese ‘18 ripped a slap shot from the point to give the Eagles a two-goal cushion. Eagle goalie Dominic Basse ‘19 stopped 31 of 32 shots on goal. Will Rosen ‘19 sealed the victory and sent the Gonzaga faithful into a frenzy by scoring an empty-net goal with 45 seconds left in the game.
Here are the complete game highlights of the AA MAPHL Championship game:
In the A Division championship, the Eagles were the first to strike when Connor Byrne ‘19 scored shorthanded at 8:28 of the first period. The lead did not last long though, as St. Stephen’s & St Agnes evened the score just 30 seconds later. Byrne would strike again, however, at 14:22, to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead after the first intermission.
Three more goals would follow—including two from Nico Giannetti ‘20 and one from James Todaro ‘18—as the Eagles would build a 5-1 lead early in the third period to cruise to their third title in the seven years since the MAPHL created the A Division in the 2011-12 season.
Here are the complete game highlights of the A MAPHL Championship game:
During the games, the MAPHL announced the A and AA Division All-Conference teams. Leading the way was Cole Vallese ‘20, who was named the AA Division's Player of the Year. Cole's brother, Chase ‘18, was named to the AA second team along with Will Rosen ‘19. Henry Middlebrook ‘18 and Domonic Basse ‘19 received honorable mentions.
In the A Division, Jack Martino ‘20 was named Player of the Year, while Ethan Baxley ’21 and Robbie Dubay ‘19 each earned First Team honors and Connor Byrne was selected to the Second Team. Co-head coaches Sammy Gerdano and Ford Lands earned the Ervin J. Terwilliger "Coach of the Year" Award.
Congratulations to Coach Slater and the entire Gonzaga Hockey program on another record-breaking year!