Broadneck forward Seth Culmore had to give Severna Park goaltender Ethan Meyer a dap.
Culmore’s breakaway look at goal was a screaming slap shot destined for the top corner of the net, but Meyer, like a hawk spearing its prey, snared it cleanly in out of mid-air, protecting Severna Park’s 1-0 lead in the second period and eliciting a respectful glove-to-glove pound from Culmore — nice save, man.
Meyer and the Severna Park defense frustrated Broadneck several more times before game’s end, including throughout a close third period, to lift the Falcons to a 2-1 win over the Bruins in rivalry-on-ice action at Navy’s McMullen Hockey Arena on January 4.
The victory was Severna Park’s first over Broadneck since 2012 and moved the Falcons to 5-1-1 in Maryland Student Hockey League play.
Goals by Falcon freshmen Josh Testerman and John Clements helped make a winner of Severna Park and Meyer, who made 13 saves and anchored a stout defensive game for the Falcons.
Severna Park senior captain Alex Garcia-Phelan has taken his lumps from Broadneck and was hungry for a Falcon win in the rivalry.
“We’re breaking the curse right here,” said Garcia-Phelan. “[Broadneck] has been consistently good. They have, every year. So it really says something to pull through this year and take the win.”
With the stands packed full of students from both schools — more on that later — Severna Park got off to a propitious start against the rival they hadn’t beaten since the seniors were 12. Just four minutes into the game, Testerman intercepted a Broadneck pass near his own blue line, blazed down the ice and fired a wicked wrister over the stick shoulder of Broadneck goalie Chris Lowe. Top-shelf snipe. 1-0.
“I just started skating, realized I had an opening and took the shot,” said Testerman. “I wasn’t expecting it go in, just wanted to get a shot off to get it started.”
He got it started. From there, the teams battled fairly evenly for the remainder of the period and into the second. The defenses allowed limited chances, and Meyer and Lowe traded dazzling saves. Lowe made 5 saves in the first period, once sprinting way out of the crease and diving to blow up a breakaway chance for Severna Park’s Aidan Byrd, and 7 more in the second, including a pair of nice glove saves and an excellent deflection stick save. Lowe finished with 14 saves.
After Meyer’s robbery on Culmore, he repeated the feat moments later, gloving another breakaway slapshot by Broadneck’s Colin Bright. Severna Park’s fans were cheering in delight as the Falcons closed the second period up 1-0.
Just 30 seconds into the third period, Clements made a spectacular play for another Severna Park goal. A shot by the Falcons’ Henry Testerman was sent in front of net, where it deflected and popped straight into the air. Clements leaped off the ice, gloved the puck over his head, plopped it down on the ice and slapped it into the net for a 2-0 Severna Park lead. Chants of, “‘He’s a FRESHman,’ clap clap, clap-clap-clap” rained down from the Falcon student section.
Under heavy Broadneck pressure, the Falcons preserved their lead with a pair of great defensive plays in the third period. Marcus Good was dispossessed of his stick in his defensive third, but he still disrupted the Bruins’ attack enough to soccer the puck out of the zone. Moments later, a Bruin shot trickled underneath Meyer, but Stephen Oxley dived to clear the puck off the goal line with his stick, the play of the game to keep Severna Park ahead 2-0.
The Bruins made it interesting in the closing minutes. Graham Cohen scored for the Bruins off a pass from Robert Roth to ruin the shutout and put the heat on the Falcons. Broadneck pulled Lowe for the final 100 seconds, but their all-out assault didn’t result in an equalizing goal as Severna Park’s defense held.
“I think our team overall played really well, a whole lot of chemistry with our offense and defense,” said Meyer. “In the last minute when it was really intense, the team really came through in the clutch.”
Broadneck has dominated the rivalry in recent years. Severna Park last defeated Broadneck in 2012, and the teams tied 5-5 in 2013, the season the Falcons went on to win the 1A state championship. Broadneck has taken every matchup since, until this year.
“It was a typical Severna Park-Broadneck game,” said Bruins coach Brendan Curley. “It was very intense and physical on both sides, good physical game, and I thought the difference was, their goaltender played amazing … They played well defensively, and I thought we did as well. We had our chances at the end to tie it, and he closed the door. … Hopefully we can see them again [in the playoffs]. We always enjoy playing them. We played them pretty solid, and they’re a good, physical team.”
At 4-4-1, the Bruins still sit in third place in the 11-team MSHL Eastern Conference, still with hopes for the playoffs and with many of their players having standout seasons. Roth (9 points), Bright (9), Culmore (7), Nathan Lime (5), James Terry (5), Brittney Collette (4), Ian McManus (3), Cohen (3), Caitlyn Dahut, Michael Bondsignore, Stephanie Collette, Jack Costello and Matthew Bonsignore have all contributed offensively.
But this year’s matchup — and the season thus far — have Severna Park’s prints all over them. The Falcons’ win pushed them to the top of the conference, and a mix of upperclassmen leaders and talented underclassmen has the Falcons poised for a playoff run.
Henry Testerman leads the team with 12 points on 5 goals and 7 assists, and Josh Testerman is right behind with 9 points on 4 goals and 5 assists. Byrd (7 points), Ben Hunt (6), Durham Butcher (6), Clements (4), Thomas Kondracki (3), Daniel Seeman (2), Logan VanMetre (2), Garcia-Phelan, Oxley, Connor McGrath, Good, Leah St. Lawrence and Michael Wiley have all registered offensive contributions. Nic Howland has alternated goaltending duties with Meyer and excelled.
Assistant coach Joe Meyer was happy with the Falcons’ performance against Broadneck.
“They played as a team, and that’s why they won the game,” said coach Meyer. “Playing smart hockey, passing the puck and getting shots on net. … Everybody played great, and it’s a great win for us. It’s been a long time coming [beating Broadneck].”
Hunt, a junior captain, appreciated the support of the Severna Park students, who arrived in full carloads and outnumbered the Bruins in the stands, making for a great atmosphere and giving the Falcons an advantage.
“That was awesome,” said Hunt. “We got the publicity we wanted, we got everyone to come in, we were spreading the word.”
He said the personnel pieces fit well on the ice this year, an improvement over previous seasons.
“This is the first time in a while we’ve got a team that can play really well as a team,” said Hunt. “The past couple years we’ve been picking up better players each year. This year our freshmen our very good, and it’s nice to have good prospects and more depth.”
Garcia-Phelan said the program is in good shape this year and beyond.
“The team is going to keep building as the years go on,” he said. “Having those good freshmen as a solid base is going to keep moving it forward, and they’re going to keep being good.”
With playoffs approaching, Josh Testerman, one of those talented freshmen, said this year’s team feels great about how they’re playing.
“We’ve got good chemistry,” Testerman said. “We’re here, we’re kind of a brotherhood if you think about it, we’re all showing up to practice and working hard, and we’re getting it done. We’re passing it and moving the puck amazingly, and it works out for us.”