Hockey teammates lead Lions to the playoffs

Sophie Bates and Kevin Zorbach


Junior center Jacob Pliner swings the puck around the net, as junior wingman Liam Snow glides across the ice into the circle, ready to score. Snow hits the puck, shoots and scores a goal during the Arundel game Jan. 13.

During the season Snow racked up a total of nine goals and two assists, while Pliner amassed seven goals and seven assists.

But these scores and records don’t come without a price. Both boys have been playing the game since age seven, and Pliner notes that hockey isn’t just a pick-up-a-stick-and-go kind of sport.

“Hockey’s one of those sports you can’t just pick up, so by the age of 14 skating has to be engrained in your mind like walking,” Pliner said.

The team gained its confidence to win 7-1 against Arundel Feb. 6, after their initial 5-2 win against Arundel Jan. 13. Pliner managed one assist in the Feb.6 game, while Snow scored one goal and one assist. The win gave the Lions an opportunity to go further in the playoffs, and will continue to the state playoffs dated after Feb. 16.

Outside of school, both Pliner and Snow play hockey on club teams. Pliner plays for the Team Maryland Youth Hockey League, which hosts practice two to three

times a week, while Snow has been named in the All Star Eastern Conference 2nd team, which is the first time a player from here has had the honor.

Assistant coach Andy Gray notes that Snow’s ethic and demeanor as a player and person led him to be the pick for the team.

“Liam always tried hard to do whatever his coaches asked of him. His strong skill set, hard work and cheerful demeanor made him an easy pick for the All-Conference Team,” Gray said.

While it takes up a majority of their time, the juniors both have talents outside of ice hockey. For Snow, that passion lies in the form of a piano.

Snow started learning to play piano at the age of six when a private tutor would come to his house once a week, and since then he’s learned to play a range of music.

“I have fun playing songs like “Careless Whisper,” Snow said. “I fell in love with the song ever since I saw the movie ‘Deadpool’ and have been overplaying it ever since.”

Junior Sepehr Akhtarkhavari has noted Snow on his passion as more than just playing the piano.

“I have seen him play on numerous occasions and it’s honestly beautiful,” Akhtarkhavari said “He can just go and keep playing, sitting there with no sheet music, no nothing, it’s amazing.”

Snow has continued to take lessons, which has built his aptitude to play the most difficult piece on his repertoire, “Sonata Facile,” by Mozart.

On the other hand, in Advanced Placement E

nglish 1, seatmate Kirsten Roys labeled Pliner’s bilingualism as a superpower. Pliner wrote a narrative essay composed for the PTSA’s Reflections Contest this year regarding his first struggles of being bilingual in elementary school.

On the ice, Pliner notes himself as a “natural communicator,” but relies more on hand signals, not Russi

an. These are especially helpful when doing a penalty kill while a player might not have clear sight of the lines, according to Pliner.

Still, on his club team, he and a Russian friend enjoy talking to each other in Russian, he said, and he has noticed that it affects opponents.

“They’re intimidated, and at the same time they’re confused,” he said.