Calvert Hall needed at least a tie yesterday at Ice World in Edgewood to reach the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference hockey playoffs. That's exactly what the Cardinals got.
The Cardinals used a goal by Mike Schmitt with eight minutes left to tie Spalding, 3-3, after trailing 2-0 and 3-2, and advance to today's MIAA A Conference semifinal game against St. Mary's at Piney Orchard at 2:30 p.m. The winner gets top-seeded Mount St. Joseph in the conference title game Friday at Piney Orchard at 7 p.m.
Both Spalding and Calvert Hall were alive for the MIAA's third seed and final playoff berth, but the Cardinals needed only a win or a tie to advance.
The playoff berth put an exclamation point on a fine season for the Cardinals, who were 3-15-1 last year. Calvert Hall is 11-6-5 this season.
"This is great for the school, the programs and the kids," said Cardinals coach Mike Shramek. "Some of these kids have suffered through a lot of losing to get to this point. It's great to see their hard work pay off."
After falling behind 2-0, the Cardinals used goals by David Bonnett and Nick Volk to tie the game at 2. Spalding went ahead late in the second period on a goal by Joe Schindler.
The Cardinals, knowing that they only needed a tie to advance, began to press the offense. The strategy paid off with 8:00 left, when Schmitt poked a rebound under the pad of Spalding goalie Darren DeLullo for the tie.
"We had a lot of opportunities, and we finally cashed in," said Shramek.
Vince LaPorte and Justin Sexton had the first two goals for the Cavaliers.
Calvert Hall and St. Mary's split their two games this season, with St. Mary's winning, 3-0, at Ice World just before the holidays, and the Cardinals winning, 3-1, in late January.
Battle for the bye
Boys' Latin took the top spot in the MIAA B Conference yesterday, when it tied St. Paul's, 2-2, at Patterson Park Ice Rink. The Lakers needed only to lose by no more than one goal to claim the No. 1 seed in the conference over the Crusaders.
"We played the way we were trying to," said St. Paul's coach Gene Ubriaco. "Since we had the [one-goal] cushion, we tried to limit the opportunities their forwards would get."
Boys' Latin's Dan Goode scored with 9:26 left in the third period to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead. The Crusaders' Grady Goldberg answered exactly a minute later.
The Crusaders are the second seed in the B Conference playoffs, and now must face third-seeded Gilman today at Ice World at 3:45 p.m. in the conference semifinal.
"We played well today," said St. Paul's coach Eric Nordstrom. "Our kids have a great attitude, and I know they'll bounce back well [today]."
Boys' Latin will advance to the conference championship Friday at Piney Orchard at 5 p.m. against the winner of today's game.
"I hope we get the chance to see them again," said Nordstrom. "Both teams played a great game, and that one could be even better."
Craig Andrzejski had the other St. Paul's goal, and Henry Lubke also scored for the Lakers.
Games to watch
Today: MIAA A Conference playoffs: St. Mary's vs. Calvert Hall at Ice World (Edgewood), 2:30 p.m.
Today: MIAA B Conference playoffs: St. Paul's vs. Gilman at Ice World (Edgewood), 3:45 p.m.
Friday: MIAA B Conference championship: St. Paul's-Gilman winner vs. Boys' Latin at Piney Orchard, 5 p.m.
Friday: MIAA A Conference championship: St. Mary's-Calvert Hall winner vs. Mount St. Joseph at Piney Orchard, 7 p.m.
Monday: MSHL Eastern Conference semifinal: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed at Talbot Com. Center (Easton), 6:30 p.m.
Monday: MSHL Tier II Private semifinal: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed at Gardens Ice House (Laurel), 4:55 p.m.
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