This season, it was the Yorktown Patriots’ turn to win the all-Arlington ice hockey showdown and claim the Battle of Arlington trophy.
Yorktown won the club high-school match, 5-1, over the Washington-Liberty Generals, who had captured the past two meetings, at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“Our players, like Washington-Liberty’s, always look forward to this, and our players wanted this and were out for revenge,” Yorktown coach Jeremy Ferrara said. “It’s a fun match. Our players embraced the team mentality and did what we needed to win. We played very disciplined.”
Washington-Liberty coach Matt Seny credited Yorktown.
“It was an emotional game and we got rattled by that and didn’t respond like we needed. Yorktown kept plugging away,” Seny said.
The neighborhood rivalry is often an intense and physical game, with some penalties. Ferrara said that was the case again.
There were few spectators this season because of the pandemic. The Iceplex is usually packed for the match, with large student sections. Ferrara said the lack of fans did not dampen the intensity. Cardboard cutouts of fans were added to make the crowd appear bigger.
Leading the scoring for Yorktown was Simon Kluber with two goals and one assist. Jason Myers, Ethan Bennett and Jacob Kirshner scored the other goals. Other assists went to Sam Sheldon and Dillon Segal.
Goalies Jake Levy and Rowan Foose made 12 and nine saves, respectively.
Yorktown scored three third-period goals to take control and finished with a 10-4 overall high-school record.
For W-L, which outshot Yorktown 22-15, Ethan Boyagian, Oliver Black and Jackson Nowinski did the scoring and goalie Anders Nelson made 10 saves.
Ferrara thought Yorktown executed its game plan well, moving the puck and keeping it out of its end.
Washington-Liberty finished the club high-school season with a 10-4 record and won the Capital Scholastic Hockey League tournament with a 3-0 mark. The loss to Yorktown snapped a four-match winning streak this season.
“They knocked us off our pedestal a little bit,” Seny said. “That only fuels and adds to the rivalry. The big takeaway is we got to play that big rivalry match.”
Yorktown plays in the rival Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League, where the Patriots lost in the tournament semifinals this season.
Ferrara said that the quality of play in the annual all-Arlington showdown continues to improve because the level of play in Arlington for hockey gets better all the time.
“When we play Washington-Liberty, I see it as a celebration of hockey in Arlington and how far the sport has come and improved here,” Ferrara said. “Yorktown started as a junior varsity team with about 13 players. Now we have 30 to 40 players with a varsity and junior varsity.”
The W-L program also has grown vastly since its meager beginnings. The team won only one game in Seny’s first season as head coach in the 2009-10 campaign. Prior to that, Washington-Liberty and T.C. Williams partnered to form a team, with W-L contributing only five players.
“Our program has been building the last 10 years, and we have been adding to the foundation,” Seny said.
Ferrara took over as Yorktown’s head coach in 2012.
Washington-Liberty is a perennial contender in its league, winning two of the past three championships. Yorktown has yet to win a league crown, but has lost in the playoff semifinals twice in recent seasons.
Other key players for Yorktown this season were Blair Barta, Shane Spadetti, Max Whittington, Ethan Drake, Taylor Price, Quinn Castelli, Dean Jones, Robbie Spadetti, Travis Sugusti, Sam Obitts, Noah Robinson, Josh Litterst and Will Lowell.