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MORE: Broad Run tops Stone Bridge to stay perfect on ice

Broad Run’s Ethan Privman rejoices after scoring one of his three first-period goals versus Stone Bridge.—Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
It was after midnight and still they had decided nothing. Two hockey clubs who knew each other extremely well were tangled up in a deadlocked duel that befitted a rivalry with its own nickname.

The Battle of the ‘Burn took to the ice for the only time this Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League season Feb. 9 (into Feb. 10), pitting the league’s three-time defending champion Stone Bridge Bulldogs (6-3-1) against this year’s most dominant team, the high-scoring and unbeaten Broad Run Spartans (9-0).

The familiar combatants had seesawed to 5-5 after the Spartans’ Ethan Privman - on a rebound, a long wrister and a solo breakaway - tallied three straight goals for a game-opening natural hat trick within the first 10 minutes and 11 seconds.

The Bulldogs roared back. Cam Myers found space to wrist the puck through the five-hole of Broad Run goaltender Kevin Hennessey before the end of the first, igniting a five-goal run punctuated by Myers’ goal three minutes into the third.

Trailing in the final period for the first time in their nine games, the Spartans league-leading offense found answers. Within 30 seconds of each other, Max Carollo and Mitch Rebholz scored unassisted goals, weaving deftly around the defense.

“I think this says we don’t give up easy,” said Rebholz after the game. “I think it shows we’re willing to give everything to win.”

Despite the depth of the night - or perhaps because of it - the respective throngs of the Bulldogs’ and Spartans’ fans, each numbering well into the hundreds, were raucous from the moment the previous game ended. The Battle of the ‘Burn’s atmosphere was as boisterous as the action on the ice was tense.

Finally, some 10 minutes into Saturday and with six minutes left in the game, Broad Run’s Matt Price had his stick blade down on the ice when Carollo’s hard slapshot rebounded off Stone Bridge goalie Sam Kukulich. The puck came to Price and he shoved it back ahead of Kukulich’s lunge, across the goal line and into the net for a 6-5 Spartan lead.

Broad Run held Stone Bridge to just one shot on goal over the remaining four minutes, ended when celebrating Spartans’ fans loudly counted down the final seconds.

“Stone Bridge is always a big game,” Broad Run senior Corey Berry said. “We always give it our all and so do they. We just gave a little more tonight.”

His fellow upperclassman Billy Murray said the Spartans gave themselves a pep talk prior to the third period.

“We talked about how we knew we were the better team and we just had to go out and prove it, so that’s what we did,” Murray said.

Another Broad Run senior, Matt Pignetti, endured several losses to the Bulldogs in his early high school days. He got in a dig at his school’s chief rivals.

“We got whipped by them for the first few years. Now it’s our turn to whip them,” he declared. “It feels awesome.”

Broad Run head coach Greg Folts commended the fortitude his team showed in coming back on the Bulldogs, dominating the shots-on-goal ledger 41-17.

“Those boys in that locker room are pumped up,” Folts said. “They gave effort the entire game. All 16 guys on the team, they didn’t quit.”

Stone Bridge head coach John Lynch, one of the deans of the NVSHL coaching ranks, had similar words for his squad after the hockey edition of the Battle of the ‘Burn.

“It was a great effort,” Lynch said. “Hopefully we’ll see them again in the playoffs.”

Playoffs?

The evening served as Senior Night for the Bulldogs. Eight Stone Bridge players and one manager were recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

The rivalry showdown concluded the Bulldogs’ regular season. With 13 points, they are tied for sixth with Chantilly and Battlefield. Exact playoff seeding will be decided after games of Feb. 14.

Broad Run is assured of a bye into the quarterfinal round. The Spartans are scheduled to face Dominion/Potomac Falls Feb. 14 in search of a perfect regular season. A win would tie them with Bishop O’Connell for the league’s best record.

Briar Woods (9-0-1), with 19 points, was also given a bye. Riverside (5-4-1) earned 11 points to claim a playoff berth.

The NVSHL playoff structure is a week-long tournament ending in the Capitals Cup championship game Feb. 23 in Arlington. Check http://www.NVHSL.org for playoff schedules and results.

Broad Run 6, Stone Bridge 5

First period
BR: Privman (Rebholz, Singh), 8:19
BR: Privman, 6:38
BR: Privman (Marasco), 4:49
SB: Myers (Hughes), 1:38

Second period
SB: Mi. Esposito, 11:39
SB: T. Judson, 2:51
SB: T. Ryerse (McDonald), :07

Third period
SB: Myers (Jacobson, Gustafson), 12:04
BR: Carollo, 8:04
BR: Rebholz, 7:37
BR: Matt Price (Carollo, Privman), 6:04

Goalies - BR: Hennessey (12 saves); SB: Kukulich (35 saves)

-Photos by Rick Wasser
















































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