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Navy sinks Army on ice in overtime

Chris Garceau (15) and Jake McCormick (15) gets ready during faceoff at the left circle of the ice at the Army-Navy hockey game at the Kraken Community Iceplex in Seattle Sept. 24. Photo credit: Edzel Butac, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The Navy defeated Army 10-9 in overtime, in an entertaining, back and forth ice hockey game played at the Kraken Community Iceplex in Seattle Sept. 24. The Army team was made up of players from mostly Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Navy team featured players mostly from Naval Station Everett.

"It was a heck of a game," said Sean Joyce, Navy head coach. "The boys really laid it out on both sides of the ice, and everybody gave everything they had."

The game-winning, one-time slap-shot goal was scored by Eric Hewitt after receiving a deft pass from teammate Brad Hawkinson.

"It was a perfect pass from Hawkinson, and he just found me right in the slot and the puck found its way in the net," Hewitt said. "It was back and forth the whole game and going into OT, we just felt we had more momentum. We felt more rested, and we took it in OT."

Despite the loss, the Army still leads the series overall 4-2.

Both teams played at a frenetic pace, and neither team led by no more than one goal in the game as the two teams leapfrogged each other on the scoreboard.

Tyler Moran, a first lieutenant from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, opened the scoring on a rebound after a point shot at the 7:58 mark of the first period.

"It was nice to get the first goal," Moran said. "It's always important to score the first goal of the game and get the team moving, motivated, and it felt good. It was my first time playing contact in a long time, and it was good to get back out there in a really competitive game as I haven't played a quality game like that since college. So it's good to get out there and actually challenge myself."

The arena was packed with mostly Navy fans, but one particular Washingtonian knew where his allegiance belongs.

"As secretary of state of Washington, I root for both teams," said Steve Hobbs. "But as a father of one of the players on the Army side and as an Army National Guard officer, I of course, am rooting for the Army."

Hobbs' son, Winston Hobbs, 19, is a private first class in the Washington Army National Guard and the youngest skater for either team on the ice.

"I thought I did pretty fine," he said. "I just came back from basic training, so I haven't skated for a while. It was fun to come out and get the legs going. Next year I'm looking to be in more hockey-shape, deliver more hits and get bulkier. I learned out there today that I need to get faster also."

While the Army boasted the youngest player on the roster, they also carried the oldest player with 57-year-old former West Point hockey player, Robert Brenner, who tried his best to keep up with the younger players.

"I probably didn't, at all," Brenner said. "But in tight, it's like anything else, you get your hands, you can get the puck and I'm better in tight spaces rather than up and down the ice."

The fans who showed up for the game were not only treated with a quality game, but also some entertainment between periods.

"The Navy mascot is here, the kids are (here), we're giving away beanies, our employees have their hockey jerseys and we're rocking it," said Juliene Jackson, operations assistant for food and beverage at Naval Station Everett. "The game was fantastic, the Navy won by one, and I think this is the most exciting hockey game I've ever seen."

Joyce was encouraged by the support and enthusiasm of the fans of this series and is excited about its future.

"We look forward to hopefully having this game played at Climate Pledge arena and doing more events with the Kraken to grow this series moving forward," he said.

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