Final game of the season: Boys’ hockey loses to Allen Eagles

Maddie Patton, Sports Columnist

The season came to an end on Thursday Feb. 28. The boys played Allen at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter McKinney at Craig Ranch. Supporters of the boys filled the stands holding everything from vuvuzelas to megaphones; it was the rowdiest game of the year.

Plano’s starting players were seniors Luke Wodka, Michael Sax and Andrew Meza and juniors Philip Traxler, Garrett Finn, Graham Hinkle and goalie Ryan O’Dell. The puck was dropped and Sax took off with it, faking out the opponent’s defensemen, who were guarding the goal. The moment they stepped on the ice the boys’ energy was on point. Minutes later, new players jumped onto the ice, including junior Christian Berteau. His puck handling and speed gave the team much-needed strength, something he provides each game. Berteau passed the puck to Hinkle down in Allen territory, who shot the puck into the goal. However, the goaltender, a six-foot-three-inch senior, caught the puck in mid-air. While the team backed into defensive positions, Berteau charged after an opposing forward, pushing the puck toward Plano’s goal. His effort was halted when the puck slid between O’Dell’s skates and into the net. After the first goal, the boys became more and more aggressive, and finally junior Zach Van Compernolle scored a short-handed goal, a goal scored by a team with fewer players on the ice.

Allen won the faceoff at the start of the second period and took the puck down the ice, passing back and forth between players. Both teams were tripping and slipping, but Allen’s defensemen got their feet underneath themselves and scored. The players were forced into their corner, but Van Compernolle broke free from the pack with the puck and had a clear shot to score. The goalie was blind-sided, as he was standing nonchalantly against the post when Van Compernolle approached the crease. The opponent won the faceoff again, but their momentum was halted after one of their players left the ice injured. Plano’s defensemen were doing anything to keep from being scored on. Finn went as far as throwing himself in front of the goal to stop the puck. The score for the second period was 3-2 with Allen in the lead.

The last period was the most dramatic of the game.  The crowd jumped to its feet after someone’s stick hit junior Parker Meade in the knee and injuring him. However, none of the referees called a penalty, but instead gave Meade a penalty for sportsmanship. His teammates and supporters were in shock as Meade hobbled off the ice. The game got back underway with another faceoff. Sax passed the puck to Finn, who then scored on Allen. The goal was Plano’s first power play of the game. A power play is similar to a short-hand goal but instead of the scoring team having fewer players, it has a numerical advantage on the defending team. When Finn scored, Allen had two players in the penalty box. The third period ended in a 3-3 tie.

Overtime began with the players relentlessly fighting over possession of the puck, but the three minutes quickly ran out with no change on the scoreboard. Van Cleve was given two penalties for slashing and roughing, so he was unable to play during any round of overtime. After the overtime period ended, four players were selected for a shootout. Sax and sophomore Ricky Sobieski were Plano’s choices for shooting. Sobieski would shoot first, but his attempt was deflected. Sax’s attempt was also unsuccessful. Unfortunately, one of Allen’s players scored, so the game ended with a score of 4-3. The team’s season will end with 13 wins and nine losses.