Wednesday Night, the Ford Ice Center in Bellevue and the Nashville Predators organization played host to a showdown between two local high school hockey teams. The Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red, 11-0 on the season and coached by former Predator J-P Dumont, took on the Father Ryan High School Irish. The Irish, coached by Steven Henry, son of Predators President Sean Henry, and assisted by former Predator Cody Hodgson, claimed a record of 4-4 coming into the matchup. The Nashville Predators organization put on a Bridgestone-quality presentation with Pete Weber and Hal Gill calling the game on the radio; Chris Mason, Lyndsay Rowley, and Willy Daunic livestreaming coverage; and Predators PA Announcer Paul McCann announcing the game. The entire set up was the professional experience that every student-athlete dreams about.
Both teams entered the ice, introduced by “Thanks” Paul McCann to the cheers and jeers of the COVID-limited crowd, evident of the rivalry between these two teams.
Once the starting lineups were announced, Keesha Rainey sang an incredible rendition of the National Anthem to the cheers of the crowd.
The opening faceoff got the action started and Father Ryan took control of the puck. After a brief challenge in the front of the MBA net, the Big Red took over, spending some time in the offensive zone. Although they created several chances, nothing got past Father Ryan’s goalie, Nicky Bojczuk. However, it wasn’t long before MBA’s Ty Harden found the back of the net, putting MBA up 1-0. The goal was assisted by Lee Guy III.
Harden goal. 1-0. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/Yj5vyHysmO— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
Soon after, Luke Haley, assisted by Tyler Laub and Will Morrison, put MBA up 2-0 with a top-shelf snipe from below the left circle.
With around 5 minutes remaining in the first, Luke Haley scored an unassisted goal, increasing MBA’s lead to 3-0.
In the waning seconds of the first, Otis Ditenhafer, assisted by Cameron Kinser, popped the puck past Bojczuk once more to put MBA up 4-0 before both teams headed to the locker room.
Ditenhafer goal. 4-0. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/IneapbO10O— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
The second period started with some fireworks as MBA was called for high-sticking, giving Father Ryan a chance on the power play. Unfortunately, Father Ryan was unable to take advantage of the opportunity and ultimately allowed MBA’s Ty Harden to collect his second goal of the night while his team was on short-handed. This put MBA up 5-0 and eventually, the penalty expired.
Harden goal. 5-0. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/sY3HvXd0wz— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
After this, things went back and forth for quite awhile and Father Ryan saw some good chances in front of MBA goalie Matthew Thayer. Despite the chances, the next goal was scored by MBA’s Sebastian Cigarran, unassisted.
Cigarran goal. 6-0. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/91qoMYg71P— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
With a score of 6-0, things got a bit dicey as MBA was called for slashing and sent to the penalty box. Soon after this, Father Ryan made a change in goal by pulling Bojczuk, who had seen a full game’s work in 21 minutes, and sending Luke Anderson into the fray.
Emboldened by the change in goal, Father Ryan’s Matt Chandler found twine for the first time and put his team on the board. Now facing only a five-goal deficit, Father Ryan would attempt to mount a comeback. However, with around 30 seconds remaining, Otis Ditenhafer, assisted by Cigarran, fired another blast past Luke Anderson to put MBA up 7-1 and the teams headed to the locker room for the final intermission soon after.
Ditenhafer goal. 7-1. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/peCSEPGT9R— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
The third period started with a solid save by Father Ryan’s Luke Anderson. Soon after, Father Ryan’s Daniel Albanese was called for slashing, sending MBA to the power play. Father Ryan’s penalty kill proved effective as the penalty expired without incident.
As the time dwindled away, MBA’s Edward Herlitzka, assisted by Ty Harden and Cooper Greene, found the back of the net, extending MBA’s lead to 8-1.
Hertzlika goal. 8-1. BIG RED! pic.twitter.com/rSfGWrSbMm— Big Red Hockey (@MBAHockey1) December 3, 2020
Soon after, Tyler Laub, assisted by Cooper Greene, scored his first of the night and added another goal to the lead, making it 9-1 for MBA.
Time expired on the game with a final score of 9-1 as Montgomery Bell Academy extended its win streak to 12 and remains undefeated in league play this season. Father Ryan falls to 4-5 on the season.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd Star - Father Ryan’s Nicky Bojczuk. This kid played the first half of the game and did the best he could to stand on his head. The majority of the action he saw was from the top lines. Lots of heart and solid performance on the ice, even if the scoreboard didn’t match.
2nd Star - MBA’s Ty Harden. withtwo goals and one assist, his three points on the night shone as he was involved in producing offense almost every time he was on the ice. Quite an impressive showing from a guy who was 8th in points coming into tonight’s game.
1st Star - MBA’s Matthew Thayer. I know this is almost the first time this name has been mentioned, but MBA’s goaltender stopped nearly EVERYTHING that came his way. No, a lot of the shots he faced weren’t high-danger shots, but he was an incredible netminder and was carrying a .71 GAA and a save percentage of .940 coming into the game. Absolute lights-out performance from this young man.
Here’s a taste, but Bryan will have a full breakdown tomorrow afternoon.
Final Shot Metrics - Entire Game (All Strengths)— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) December 3, 2020
Shot Attempts: MBA - 96, Father Ryan - 19
Unblocked Shot Attempts: MBA - 68, Father Ryan - 14
Shots on goal: MBA - 47, Father Ryan - 11
High-Danger Shot Attempts: MBA - 43, Father Ryan - 7