Entering Monday’s game against Brentwood Academy/Lipscomb Academy, the Hendersonville/Station Camp Commandos were in a deadlock with Montgomery Bell Academy for second place in the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey standings.
The Commandos left no doubt where they belong, dominating Brentwood Academy/Lipscomb Academy 12-4, grabbing sole possession of second place with 19 points – only three behind league-leading Brentwood.
“We got a lot of people into the game tonight,” Hendersonville/Station Camp coach Tim Rathert said. “Everybody that was on the bench got into the game. We just kept playing hard the whole game.”
Alexander Yarger scored four times and added an assist, while leading scorer Owen Garner also tallied a hat trick. Both players scored twice in a six-goal first period, while Jaxon Rathert and Ryan Bartlett tallied the other two.
In the second period, Rathert, Garner and Cross Carruth extended Hendersonville/Station Camp’s lead to 9-3. Yarger added two shorthanded goals in the third period, and Carruth added another to seal the 12-4 win.
Blake Fuqua and Tyler Kimbro each had two assists, while Bartlett, Clayton Stickel, Gavin Damewood, Eric Hall, Brodie Ruffing and Samuel Mali added an assist. Starting goalie Brandon Shaw stopped all 12 shots he faced before giving way to Sean Gonzalez in relief.
With the convincing win, Hendersonville/Station Camp showcased why it is a threat moving forward the rest of the season, heading into the tournament.
“I feel like we’ve got a really good group,” Rathert said. “They just love to go out and play. They play hard. There will be times when it will be super competitive come tournament time, and I think we’ve got a good group that can play with (the top teams). They just enjoy coming out to play.”
Following the loss, Brentwood Academy/Lipscomb Academy coach Ethan Burau sounded off on the perceived competitive imbalance between some clubs in the league, and the hopes the issue can be fixed moving forward.
“You hope to build character,” Burau said. “We have top-end talent, but unfortunately, some things haven’t fallen our way.”
Brentwood Academy/Lipscomb Academy will have another tough test at hand Jan. 29 when it takes on first-place Brentwood at Centennial Sportsplex. Hendersonville/Station Camp will play again Jan. 31 against Ensworth/Oakland, also at Centennial Sportsplex.