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Ice Hockey: Germantown Academy Ready for Independence Hockey League Playoffs

FORT WASHINGTON -- After a two-game losing streak during at the beginning of January, Germantown Academy's ice hockey team has reeled off 6 straight wins to close out the regular season. With the Independence Hockey League playoffs set to begin next week, everything seems to be peaking at the right time for the Patriots. Head Coach Matt Rominger said that he has seen a difference in the group since that down week in the middle of the season. 

"It’s been interesting to see the response of the group since that week where we dropped consecutive games," Rominger said. "I heard that the ‘team chat’ was filled with mentions of doubling efforts and renewed focus and this has definitely played out at games and practices. The seniors, as expected, have stepped up to lead the group and ensure they are doing all they can to deliver a consistent and strong effort in all phases of our game."

That effort has shown up in the box scores as the Patriots have outscored their opponents 39-19 over the six-game stretch. With an overall record of 9-3-1 and a 7-2-1 mark against IHL opponents, GA goes into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and is slated to square off against No. 3-seeded Episcopal Academy on Feb. 7 at 4pm. 

GA split the regular season series with the Churchmen, 1-1, dropping the first contest 4-2 before claiming an 8-3 victory on Jan. 30. As if playing each other twice a year was not enough to develop a rivalry, the Patriots knocked EA out of the playoffs a season ago on their way to their fourth-straight league title. 

"The previous experience definitely helps, and we will lean on that in terms of our preparation and what to expect in certain situations," Rominger said. "We must, however, focus on the task in front of us and take it one step, one shift and one decision at a time."

One way that the team will do that is by keeping the messaging the same. Rominger added that while the stakes are higher, he feels that he has team with enough experience, talent, and togetherness that can make the difference.

A win over Episcopal would set the Patriots up against the victor of the Haverford School-Pennington School matchup. It would also mean a shot at a fifth IHL title for Patriots, something that has become the norm for GA. 

"Our players are hungry for it and as a team, it is just fun to watch them be and feel successful in this way as it relates to a league title," Rominger said. "No matter what the results are over the next week, we will send our seniors off with great memories of their hockey experience at GA for them and their families."