Mount St. Joseph's Adam Levine is easy to spot off the ice because of his fiery red hair. He's also easy to spot on the ice because of his dominance.
Yesterday afternoon, Levine registered eight points (five goals and three assists) to lead the undefeated Gaels past St. Mary's, 10-0, in a Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Tier I semifinal at Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
Mount St. Joseph, which improved to 20-0, will play for its second MSHL Tier I title in the past three years and fifth overall when it faces defending champion DeMatha of Prince George's County at 7 p.m. Monday at Gardens Ice House. The Stags (21-9-1), winners of three of the past four titles and seven overall, edged Landon of Montgomery County in the second semifinal in a shootout after a 2-2 tie.
In the first meeting between the schools this season, Mount St. Joseph routed DeMatha, 7-1, on Dec. 30, in the DeMatha Holiday Classic tournament.
"That doesn't matter," said Mount St. Joseph coach Erv Terwilliger. "That was just a tournament game, and this is totally different. Every one of these games has been [decided by] one goal, decided by a power play or somebody making a mistake."
Levine scored twice and had one assist as the Gaels took a 4-0 lead after one period. He scored three times in the third, including the 10th and final goal to end the game with 5:24 remaining. In the MSHL, a game is stopped short when a team takes a 10-goal lead.
"Everyone was clicking, and we had a couple good bounces," said Levine, who leads Mount St. Joseph this season with 67 points (29 goals, 38 assists). "I knew it was an important game, so I prepared mentally a couple days in advance. This is when you've got to come up big."
Aside from Levine, four other Gaels had multiple-point games. Senior forward Mike Marley had three goals and an assist, sophomore forward Phil Axtell had a goal and five assists, senior defenseman Eric Pratt added a goal and an assist and senior defenseman Josh Merson had two assists. Anthony DiNoto, Matt Nedzel and Jimmy Doherty also had assists.
St. Mary's finished the season 18-5 with four losses coming against Mount St. Joseph, including a 7-3 defeat in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game.
"They've got a lot of depth, they're fast and their forechecking is fabulous," said St. Mary's coach Tom Judge.