Calvert Hall's ice hockey team played well againt Gonzaga, of Washington D.C., during the regular season -- tying once and losing twice by a goal -- so it wasn't suprising that the Cardinals put immense pressure on Gonzaga Friday night in the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League championship game.
The Cardinals outshot the Eagles, 42-23, but couldn't keep Gonzaga from winning its second straight title and third in five years, 3-1, at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel. Gonzaga finished with a 26-0-1 record.
Gonzaga senior goalie Nick Platais, a four-year starter, made 41 saves to beat Calvert Hall for the second consecutive year in the final.
"The type of goaltender we had doesn't come around too often," Gonzaga coach Nate Jackson said. "He was the best goalie in the league, and this was his best performance of the season."
Calvert Hall finished 20-3-2, and the Cardinals' only losses were to Gonzaga.
"I was worried about this game," Jackson said. "It's hard to beat a team three times in a season. We just had their number. We were the only team they lost to all year. That's amazing."
Gonzaga scored twice in the second period.
Gonzaga scored on its lone shot off a power play, when Joey Downey passed from behind the goal and found Barlow Sanders open right in front of Calvert Hall goalie Jake Sabourin (20 saves). Sanders beat Sabourin low to stick side with 7:18 remaining.
Seventy-five seconds later, Dominik Pettey scored to give the Eagles a 2-0 advantage.
But those goals didn't deflate Calvert Hall.
The Cardinals kept up their intensity and had four shots on goal before junior defenseman Jack Finn's slapshot on a power play from the right point got past Platais. Daniel Flock and Curtin Matthew were credited with assists.
Gonzaga's Jack Sanborn capped the scoring with a power play goal midway through the final period.
"We thought our team worked as hard as they have all year," said Calvert Hall coach Mike Shramek, whose team beat Archbishop Spalding a week earlier to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship. "We had our chances. That's hockey. You can play great, do everything right and have a guy in Nick step up."