On Saturday, February 18, Masuk boys hockey faced Guilford at the Shelton Rinks. With a score of 9-5, the Masuk Panthers took the victory, bringing their current record to 15-1-2, currently first in both states and SWCs.
The Panthers came out firing in the first, with senior captain Drew Scalia finding the back of the net off a rebound, assisted by Nick and Luke Kondub. The game got chippy, and Guilford took three penalties in a very short time. During the powerplay, senior Colin Deering doubled the lead, bringing the score to 2-0. Towards the end of the period, Guilford scored off a breakaway, and the teams went into intermission with Masuk up 2-1.
The second period began with a Masuk penalty, but that didn’t stop Scalia from spinning between two Guilford defenders to score a tough goal down a man. Senior captain Aj Michetti soon found twine, expanding Masuks lead to 4-1.
Guilford took another penalty with two minutes left in the second, and senior Austin Braiewa capitalized on the powerplay, scoring from deep off an assist from Luke Kondub.
“The powerplay was working really well, the boys did a really good job keeping their composure,” says Coach Andrew Townsend. “They didn’t get frustrated with the officiating, and were able to stay out of the penalty box.”
The second ended as Masuk held a hefty lead of 5-1.
As the third and final period began, the Panthers looked like they were going to cruise to an easy victory. Junior Nick Kondub quickly scored off an assist from Scalia, bringing Guilfords deficit to five. The game wasn’t over yet though, and the Grizzlies scored three consecutive goals within a few minutes, closing in on Masuks now two point lead.
However, Braiewa shut down Guilford and its rowdy student section with an unassisted snipe, his second goal of the night.
“It felt great to stop their scoring spree, they had a lot of momentum in that 3rd period but we were able to shut them down and take back over.”
Soon after, the Kondub brothers scored on a breakaway, with Nick Kondub assisting Luke Kondub. The Panthers control the ice the rest of the night, and Masuks scoring ends with Scalia capitalizing on a sloppy turnover behind Guilfords goal.
With a minute left, the Grizzlies score one final goal, but Masuk comes out on top 9-5, putting them at 15-1-2.
“We produced a lot of offense and shut them down on defense, and that’s how we need to play going into states.” says Braeiwa, “We needed those six points to put us even closer to first seed for states, and it feels great to get them.”
The Panthers will face Hall away at the Veterans Memorial Ice Rink, Monday at 7:20.