Kyle Laughlin and Ryan Lewis have been the heart and soul of the Severn hockey team since its beginning four years ago.
Yesterday, they showed why.
Laughlin scored four goals and Lewis added three, as the Admirals captured the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title at Piney Orchard Ice Arena with an 8-3 victory over St. Paul's.
"I meet Kyle when I was 4," said Lewis. "We went our separate ways for awhile. Then we ended up at the same high school, and now this happens."
The pair said winning the school's first ever hockey championship was the goal from the beginning of the season.
"We started off the season a little rocky," said Laughlin, the son of former Washington Capital Craig Lauglin. "But we realized we might not make it here in the middle of the year. Then we decided it was time to turn it on."
The Admirals (9-5-2) wasted little time doing just that. Lewis took a rebound of a shot from the point and converted just 15 seconds into the game.
But the Crusaders (5-6-2) came back just 3:06 later when freshman Charlie Daniel beat goalie Kip Turner to tie it at 1.
St. Paul's took the lead 2:16 after that when Peter Hussey, who finished with two goals, scored on a power play. At that point, St. Paul's began to play more physical, especially on Laughlin and Lewis.
"They had us reeling for about five minutes," said Admirals coach John Turner.
Then, Lauglin began to assert himself. He tied the game at 2 on a power play with 1:46 left, then skated past two St. Paul's defensemen a mere 38 seconds later for a 3-2 Admirals lead.
Severn dominated the second period, as Lewis and Laughlin each scored twice to put the game away.
Ten Admirals who played in the team's first game four years ago will graduate this year.
"It's been incredible," John Turner said. "To build something and see all the hard work pay off with this, that's really exciting."
In the A Conference, Mount St. Joseph used two goals by Phil Agtell to defeat St. Mary's, 7-3, and win its fourth consecutive title.
The Gaels had a 4-0 lead in the second period, but the Saints registered two power-play goals. Then the Gaels regained control on goals from Anthony DiNote, Adam Mecchi and Agtell.
Mount St. Joseph defeated the Saints twice during the regular season, each time by 10-0.
"The playoffs are a different story," said Mount St. Joseph coach Gary Cremin. "Just because we beat them, 10-0, last time, we can't expect to automatically do it again. I think some of our guys expected that tonight."
Last night was the first time this year the Gaels had allowed three goals in a game; they had given up just six all season.