McLean Ice Hockey trounces Madison in triumphant win

McLean’s offense shines as the Highlanders blow past the Warhawks

Highlanders win, 7-2

On Feb. 3, McLean Varsity Ice Hockey traveled to the Reston Olympic Rink to take on the Madison Warhawks in a pivotal late-season bout.

It was an electric opening minutes into the game, as junior McLean winger Connor O’Sullivan scored the first goal of the game merely two minutes into the first period with an assist from senior defender and captain Charlie Samburg. Looking to take control of the game, McLean would now need to hold the lead, something they have struggled with throughout the year.

Madison remained undeterred as they quickly rebounded from the opening goal. Keeping continual pressure on junior McLean goalkeeper Daniel Dille, the Warhawks eventually slipped the puck past Dille in a chaotic play that occurred minutes before the end of the first period, equalizing the score at 1-1.

Like the first period, McLean would start the second period strong thanks to a close-range strike by freshman Calvin Wood with an assist from O’Sullivan, putting the Highlanders back in the lead, 2-1. The scoring wouldn’t stop there, though, as just two minutes later O’Sullivan would score his second goal of the game after sneaking the puck behind Madison’s goalkeeper, expanding the lead to 3-1.

Determined to keep fighting, Madison would answer with a strike past Dille’s right-hand side, bringing the score to 3-2. Despite jeers erupting from the Madison student section, Dille would keep his composure and finish off the period strong with a handful of saves to preserve the lead.

The beginning of the third period was a slow, grinding affair. Each side jockeyed for possesion, with missed scoring opportunities plentiful. Dille shined in the third period, protecting the Highlander lead with multiple acrobatic saves, leaving the Warhawks’ offense stumped.

Embodying the fighting words that he had preached to the team, it would be Samburg who scored on a two to one breakaway goal to put McLean up 4-2. The Highlander bench erupted, and the spark that Samburg had earlier lit now erupted into an inferno.

Mere minutes later, the Highlander lead would expand to 5-2 as Wood found the net again for his second goal of the night, blasting the puck past the Warhawks’ goalkeeper as the McLean student section exploded.

The onslaught would only continue for McLean, as with 45 seconds left O’Sullivan would score yet again, completing his hat-trick for the night. O’Sullivan wasn’t done, though, and with less than 30 seconds left, he would score his fourth goal of the night, working the puck past Madison’s now distraught goalkeeper.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Highlander bench triumphantly took the ice and shared a team hug before shaking hands with their opponents.

“We [were able] to finish off and show our skill and teamwork,” Samburg said.

Riding the elation of their win, McLean eagerly awaits their senior night bout versus archrival Langley this Friday.

“We’re hyped up, I’ll tell you that,” Samburg said. “Everyone in the locker room [has] got steam blowing out of their ears.”

For Samburg, the match will carry another rivalry, one between brothers.

“My little brother [plays] for Langley, [and] I’m going to knock him out, ” Samburg said. “[Langley is] a big rival, so we’re excited for that, [and] we’re hoping for a huge crowd [and] a lot of fans”

McLean will play Langley at 6:10 PM this Friday at SkateQuest Olympic rink.