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Seattle Prep vs. Blanchet - Game Recap

The Seattle Prep Panthers (4-3) surge passed their conference rival, the Blanchet Braves (0-7), to a dominating 18-8 game despite only having a two goal lead after the first half on Monday night at Bishop Blanchet High School.

The competition was prevalent in the first half with a Brave’s three-goal run in the second to tie the game and key saves from a talented freshman goalie. The efforts were impressive but not enough to keep pace with this Panther offense that had 39 shots on goal to Blanchet’s 19 in their inevitable 18-8 defeat.

The Panthers have a deadly attacking trio between junior attackman Brennan Holmes, junior attackman Sergei Jacobs and rising star freshman attackman Lucas Wathen. What are unique about this group are the two upperclassmen accounting for 11 assists while their newest attackman led their team in goals with five.

“We’ve been working those three attackman together [Jacobs, Holmes and Wathen] as a unit all season long and they just feed off each other all the time.” Panthers’ head coach Rich Stearns said. “We just practice and practice and practice them, we find teams that will focus on one or two of them but they can’t stop all three.”

Blanchet went through a goalie change midway into the season replacing former goalie Jabrey Hupf-Doyle with freshman goalie Alex Oxmana at the beginning of April. He’s had his hands full this year by dealing with 121 total shots on goal in the four games he has played but managing to keep his save percentage over 50%.

Oxmana played a key role in his team’s efforts to keep it a close game in the first half with nine saves on 14 shots holding a 64% save percentage. Although it is difficult to maintain a high save percentage with a team that is allowing an average of 28 shots a game.

Wathen secured the game’s first two goals in the last two minutes of the first quarter after both sides traded missed shots for 10 minutes. Once the second quarter started, Holmes fed Wathen another ball near the crease as he snagged his hat-trick with a light bounce shot underneath Oxmana for a 3-0 lead.

Blanchet found some fire in the next four minutes as soon as their lead scoring player senior attackman Scott Doquilo capitalized on a rebound and shooting midair to get his team on the board. Shortly after, they turned the ball back over and with a fast-break to the cage, pounded in another. Momentum building, sophomore attackman Forrest Snorsky feeds a ball to senior attackman Matt Higgins to quickly tie up the game 3-3 with five minutes left in the half.

The lead was short lived once Holmes claimed a goal off an extra man play and Wathen capitalized on a rebound to end the half 5-3. Blanchet was getting comfortable as the Panthers were growing uncomfortable staring at an unexpected tight lead for them.

The second half didn’t start off well for Blanchet immediately losing possession on an easily avoided offside call due to some miscommunication on a substitution. Seattle Prep took full advantage by blasting through their defense throughout the next 12 minutes outscoring their opponent 7-2 in the third quarter.

Staring at 12-5 game going into the fourth, the Panthers took their time picking apart the wounded Braves team to an eventual 18-8 final score.

“Thursday’s going to be the real test.” Comments Stearns. “We play O’Dea and we lost by a goal the first time we played them. We beat them by more than one, that’s going to put us solidly in second place and show that we can go deep into May.”

Stearns is looking to return the favor this Thursday to their conference rivals the O’Dea Fighting Irish (4-3) who delivered their first loss of year with a tight 10-9 final score in their third game of the season. With a new championship bracket system under much scrutiny by Private School teams, Stearns is still focused on a deep play-off run regardless of the circumstance.

“To us, the whole season is coming down to that game on Thursday.”

The Braves will look for their first conference win of the year when they host Lakeside (1-5) on Thursday night. Seattle Prep will prepare for their biggest game of the year when they host O’Dea (4-3) Thursday night at Woodland Park.

Story by Michael Thornbloom