LAUREL, Md. —Washington County’s quest for a third straight MSHL Class 1A state championship ended in heartbreak Monday at The Gardens Ice House, as Severna Park skated away with the title in overtime, 5-4.
Sophomore forward Nick Bondra — the son of Washington Capitals legend Peter Bondra — scored the game-winning goal for the Falcons (13-2-1) 5:08 into the first overtime period. The goal gave Bondra a hat trick, the first in a 1A final since Zach Kimmel did it for the Northstars in 2011.
“We beat an incredible team tonight,” said Severna Park coach Patrick Weaton. “Washington County is a tough opponent. We played our hearts out, but when you play Washington County, it is an incredible chore. When you beat the Northstars, you know you’ve done something extraordinary.”
Monday marked the first overtime MSHL championship game since DeMatha and Mount St. Joe went into extra time in 1999 — and it was the effort of the Northstars that got them there.
The Northstars (13-4-1) came into the third period facing a 4-1 deficit with 15 minutes to play. But as Washington County has done many times before, it stepped up in the face of adversity.
Travis Biggs scored his second goal on a power play with 11:06 left, cutting the Northstars’ deficit to two.
The Northstars then got a 5-on-3 power play opportunity three minutes later, as Severna Park’s Johnathan Seidel and Jake Seidel committed back-to-back penalties. Northstars captain Sean Kreps scored on an assist by Josh Barron, and Barron scored 47 seconds later with a 5-on-4 advantage to tie the game.
“We gave up some goals early, but we showed a lot of heart. By coming back, we showed that we belonged in the championship game. I’m so proud of this team,” said Northstars coach Jamie Blackwood. “This hurts, it does, but there’s always a winner and there’s always a loser. You just have to learn from it.”
“I’m proud of the guys. We had 15 minutes to score in the third period and we did it,” said Kreps, a senior and three-year veteran for the Northstars. “Even in OT, we were in their zone I’d venture to say about three-quarters of the time. They just got a lucky break.”
“Their transition game was phenomenal. When we turned the puck over in the neutral zone, they were gone with it.”
Washington County and Severna Park entered the second period tied 1-1 when the Falcons went off. Bondra scored with 7:33 left in the period on an assist by Finley Code. Code and Bondra traded roles three minutes later, as Bondra fed Code for his only goal of the game. James McKinney also scored for Severna Park on an assist by Eric Manning.
Bondra’s first goal came three minutes into the first period. Biggs tied the game for the Northstars on an assist by senior Arizona Zervas.
Barron finished with two assists for the Northstars.