2022.02.21 Ice Hockey: NVHSL Quarterfinal, Langley @ Stone Bridge

Ashburn, VA (February 21, 2022) - During the regular season, NVHSL teams play only within their division so pre-game comparisons are tricky. The Stone Bridge Bulldogs had finished atop the Smythe Division at 7-3 while the Langley Saxons were Adams Division runners-up at 6-3-1. Very similar records, but no common opponents with which to measure.

And so, they would need to do all of their comparisons on the ice in the playoffs.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

The game was clearly going to be more physical, and Langley came out with a wakeup call of hard checks to open the first period. The first game of the doubleheader had been virtually penalty free, but in the third minute dual minors were assessed to calm down the rugged atmosphere. With less than four minutes in the period, the Bulldog goalie stoned a pure Saxon breakaway, but he could not prevent a goal from Mike Kuligowski just moments later, and the Saxons led 1-0 at the first break.

In the second period, Stone Bridge would get goals by Gabe Poland and Brad Burke, the latter a finish of a beautiful stretch pass out of the Bulldogs' defensive zone. Sandwiched in between was a goal from Langley's Alex Oehm, but Stone Bridge won the period and had the momentum heading into the third with the score tied at 2-2.

Kuligowski scored again early in the third, but the Langley lead was short-lived as Logan Perry tied the score at 3-3 with ten minutes remaining. And that's when things got wild. In a span of just 47 seconds, the Saxons got three unanswered goals from Pete Kuligowski, Noah Scheinerman, and a second tally for Oehm. And they were all good goals resulting from fluid passing for layups each time. In a flash, the game was virtually settled and Stone Bridge had nothing left. A late Saxon goal by Kam Khazai finished a dominant period and sent Langley on to the semifinals.

Final Score: Langley 7 - Stone Bridge 3

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