||Seattle Prep Notes:
Redmond 1-1-1-1 4
Seattle Prep 1-2-1-3 7
Bernstein, FR, Int'l Community School, 2g, 0a, 2pts
Burke, SR, Redmond HS, 1g, 0a, 1pt
McDonough, FR, Bear Creek School, 1g, 0a, 1pt
Valentine, SO, Redmond HS, 0g, 1a, 1pts
Olin, SR, Redmond HS: 19s, 12s
This was a battle of two of the strongest DII teams for a chance to play in Saturday's championship game. Seattle Prep, Metro Conference champs at 10-0 and touting 6 members of the All-Central Team (2 each at attack, middie and defense), look to take the day with their high-powered attack. Redmond, Cascade Conference champs with 5 players named to the All-Northeast Team (1 attack, 1 middie, 2 defense and DII-leading goalie John Olin), will rely on their defense to carry the day.
The intensity of the game was apparent from the outset. Prep put their opening shot on goal within the first minute, contested by Redmond's defense and stopped by Olin. Redmond's office was unable to get off a clean shot, and Prep followed with a point-blank shot, diverted wide by Olin. Prep controls the rebound and works the ball around for another shot, but Olin is there and now Redmond is on the attack. John Burke's shot is blocked by goalie Dom Angelo for Prep, and Prep's transition shot is unsuccessful. Redmond clears, works the offense, but Nolan Dahl's shot from the GLE traverses the goal mouth. Prep fires up the transition offense, and again it's a Redmond stop and clear. With an EMO on a Prep interference penalty, Redmond works the ball around the outside until middie Jake Bernstein sees an opening and rips one into the Prep net with less than a minute remaining in the quarter. Following a slash penalty on Redmond, Prep calls a timeout with 20 seconds remaining. Back in play with the emo, Prep quickly works the ball around and David Schoettler finds Ryen Bartlett alone in front of the goal as Redmond's slide is a half-step too late. At the end of the first, it's a 1-1 tie.
Early in the 2nd period, Redmond's Burke tries to come from behind the net for a wraparound, but Prep's swarming defenders deny him access and knock him to the ground. It's up and down the field for both teams. Five minutes into the period Burke puts Redmond up by a goal when he spins on his defender and bounces in a shot. Prep controls the ensuing face off and it's a one-on-one battle behind Redmond's net, with Sean Shewey denying Peter Christiansen a pathway to the goal. Then a quick pass to a cutting Arthur Stacey, and he stuffs it over Olin for a goal to tie the game. Ten seconds and 3 passes later, Christiansen fires and Prep is up by a goal. Prep is beginning to control the ball, and is now sending a continual stream of cutters across the goal mouth. But the Redmond defense refuses to give the Prep shooters an uncontested shot, and combined with outstanding goalie play by Olin, Prep is kept off the scoreboard for the rest of the quarter. At the half, it's a 3-2 Prep lead. Ground balls are relatively even, but Prep outshot Redmond 13-7. It's clear that Redmond is missing its leading scorer Tyler Dougherty, out of the playoffs with a season-ending injury.
Less than three minutes into the third quarter, Nick Mecham elevates over the defense and finds the net for a 4-2 Prep lead. For the remainder of the period, Prep's offense continued their attack on the goal for a total of 9 shots in the period, but the Redmond defense refused to yield and held them scoreless. Stacey unleashed many shots at the Redmond goal, but the continued harassment from defender Logan Pinotti and Olin's goaltending prevented any additional goals from Prep's leading scorer. Redmond's ball control offense worked the ball around the perimeter looking for an opening, and with 5 minutes left in the quarter, Harrison Valentine feeds an open Barry McDonough, who bounces one past the goalie.
It's a 4-3 game at the start of the final quarter. Redmond almost ties it up on a rebound, but Angelo snares the ball inches from the line. Prep turns the ball over when on offense, and Bernstein takes it to the goal for Redmond, scoring unassisted despite taking a bit hit from the Prep defense. It's 4-4 with less than 10 minutes remaining, and this game could go either way. Redmond gets an EMO on a Prep penalty a minute later, but is unable to convert. Prep goes on offense, and Schoettler sets up just inside the box, and the cutters are swarming. With less than 5 minutes remaining and unable to find an open cutter, he fires a great shot from the top of the box and finds the back of the net. Prep takes the faceoff, and a minute later Prep picks up a ground ball and passes to Bartlett to beat Olin one-on-one, and suddenly Prep is up by two. In the final minutes, Redmond is able to get off a couple unsuccessful shots before Prep scores their final goal with less than 15 seconds.
Final score: Seattle Prep 7, Redmond 4. It was a highly competitive game, with both teams giving maximum effort. Redmond's defense was every bit as good as their reputation, forcing Prep to use their entire offense (6 players scoring 7 goals, with 5 players providing 1 assist each). Prep's opponent on Saturday will face a team that is clearly deserving of their undefeated record as they enter the DII championship game.