WHO wants to play ice hockey


Wilde Lake/Hammond/Oakland Mills ice hockey Brian Krista, Patuxent Publishing

The Wilde Lake/Hammond/Oakland Mills combined ice hockey team huddle up on the bench between periods in a game against Centennial at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Md., on Friday, February 3, 2012.

The Wilde Lake/Hammond/Oakland Mills combined ice hockey team huddle up on the bench between periods in a game against Centennial at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Md., on Friday, February 3, 2012. (Brian Krista, Patuxent Publishing)

Update: Cheap Jerseys free shipping http://www.cheapnfljerseyschina.cc In its final game of the season on Feb. 10, the WHO ice hockey team defeated Reservoir, 15 4. Andrew and Michael Amick combined for eight goals and nine assists, and Kat Mackey added three goals and two assists. Alexa Kanakry made 21 saves. Nalani Gallaher and Zach Johnson scored two goals each, and Rachel Linder finished with four assists. Reservoir, which had only six skaters, was led by Trent Teodori, who had a hat trick.

Paul Amick didn’t have to draw up a complicated series of line changes for his team’s game against Centennial Feb. 3 at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel.

The coach of the combined Wilde Lake, Hammond and Oakland Mills ice hockey team affectionately known as WHO had seven players at his disposal, or one substitute, so his strategy was simple.

“I’ve got to pull who I think is tired at the time, I’ve got to roll them,” said Amick, whose sons Andrew, a senior, and Michael, a freshman, both play on the team. “The big thing is keeping your sticks on the ice and keeping your feet moving.”

The team started the season with 10 players, but has lost a couple of players along the way. Two players, Andrew Amick and freshman goalie Alexa Kanakry, never come off of the ice.

“It’s a lot of ice time, which is hard,” said Andrew Amick, who has scored 29 goals this season, the most in Howard County and fifth in the state. “I have to play defense but then I also have to do offense . it was definitely tougher at the beginning. Now I’m a little bit more conditioned, but I’ve also learned how to take breathers and ice the puck some.”

On Friday, WHO was missing one of its best players, Kat Mackey, who was on a trip to Calgary, Alberta with her travel team, the Washington Pride.

“She’s really good. She’s tall and physical. She’s laid some of the bigger checks and hits that I’ve seen this season,” said Paul Amick of his senior defenseman, who has scored six points this season and plans to play for Colby (Maine) College next season.

Mackey and Andrew Amick, who plays for the Metro Maple Leafs club team, would have plenty of opportunities to play ice hockey without the WHO team. But almost everyone else on the team would not.

“We pulled this team together because there were players in three schools that wanted to play so bad,” Paul Amick said. “It would have been easy to pull up stakes when we got short handed and said we’re done, but nobody wanted to do that.”

Hammond junior Nalani Gallaher is her school’s lone representative and wears a Wilde Lake jersey on the ice because Hammond does not have jerseys. She has played in all nine games this season and assisted on four goals. Kanakry and Rachel Linder represent Oakland Mills and have also been there for all nine games.

Kanakry has been peppered by more than 300 shots on goal this season, allowing 84 goals and standing between the pipes for every minute of every game, but she isn’t discouraged by her team’s 1 8 record.

“When you’re getting shot on you’re needed, and I actually play best in the third period . I’m in the game by then,” said Kanakry, who played ice hockey for the first time as an eighth grader. “It’s a ton of fun. It’s something I look forward to every day, getting more experience.”

Five members of the team are from Wilde Lake the Amick brothers, Mackey and seniors Zach Johnson (five points) and Tim Bryson (three points) but in the locker room, there are no cliques.

“It was kind of interesting at first because it was a little bit quiet in the locker room, but then people started talking and now it’s not as awkward anymore,” said Andrew Amick, who was a freshman on the Wilde Lake team that played for the Howard County championship in 2009

Kanakry said that as the season has gone along, the constant ice time has helped the team bond.

“It was pretty unfamiliar for awhile because we only had one practice before games started up, but we started getting to know each other and we like playing together,” she said. “(Mackey) is really enthusiastic about everything, so she really really brings us all together. We have an extra good time when she’s here.

“I have a lot of confidence knowing that if I give up rebounds, 99 percent of the time (Andrew Amick) is going to have them, and I know that I’m not going to face many breakaways, so he brings a lot of confidence to me and the team,” she added.

WHO’s season highlights include a 9 8 win over Reservoir in the first game of the season, taking a lead against Howard late into the third period and playing regular season county champion Marriotts Ridge to a 5 3 loss.

But for WHO this season, it hasn’t been so much about the number of wins that they’ve tallied, but that they’ve come together as a team and played 45 minutes of ice hockey every time they show up at the rink.

“The heart that they show, the endurance, there’s no back down. They’ve been outmanned, but they don’t care. They go out every shift and nobody has ever told me no . they’re ready to go out,” said Paul Amick, who plans on coaching the team at least until Michael Amick graduates in 2015. “Hopefully we can get some more players out. I don’t need hockey players. I need people who want to play the game. I can teach them ice hockey.”

Andrew Amick, who has committed just one two minute penalty all season, would like to see Wilde Lake return to the success it had four years ago, but if Hammond and Oakland Mills are along for the ride, that’s fine too.

“Hockey is growing in this area. There are a lot of new players,” he said. “People that haven’t played that want to play, it’s really not that hard to pick up and once you do, it’s a lot of fun.”