Oscar Woloson knew he had a chance to pressure the goalie.
With 7 minutes, 14 seconds left in Thursday’s MIAA B Conference hockey championship game, the Gilman senior applied that pressure.
St. Paul’s goalie Zach Johnson had the puck in his glove. Woloson hit his blocker, jarring the puck loose.
He tucked the puck into the net. As he slid into his celebration against the boards, his legacy within the Greyhound hockey program was almost cemented.
It would be locked in place in the dying seconds of the game, as Woloson put in an empty-net goal to close out Gilman’s 6-4 title win over the Crusaders at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel on Thursday night.
“It means a lot,” Woloson said. “This program, it’s so fun to be a part of.”
It’s the third title since 2019 for the Roland Park school (12-2 overall), which went back-to-back in 2020 and 2019. Their latest charge started fast Thursday.
Luke Woodworth scored in the opening quarter for the Greyhounds as a St. Paul’s defender missed the puck in his own zone, and Woodworth took it and found the back of the net.
St. Paul’s (9-2-2), the defending champs, responded quickly. Casey Burkom found the back of the net to even the score. Mason Kaplan gave the Crusaders the lead two minutes later.
It seemed that Gilman could easily respond to its early deficit with St. Paul’s committing a five-minute major boarding penalty. The Greyhounds, however, weren’t able to take advantage of the extra-man opportunity.
Killing the penalty gave the Crusaders confidence going into the first intermission. Just 19 seconds into the second quarter,. Burkom scored to extend the lead, 3-1.
“That’s a tough position to be in early in a game,” St. Paul’s coach Sean Baker said. “Having killed that penalty, our team and fans fed off of it. We were able to get a goal off of that.”
The Gilman special teams unit responded with a vigor. Thomas Lee scored a breakaway shorthanded goal to bring the Greyhounds within 3-2, then freshman Brady Walter scored a power play goal.
Oliver Webster closed the period with another man-advantage goal, giving Gilman a 4-3 advantage heading into the final period.
“Whether power play or penalty kill, we’re pretty comfortable all year,” Gilman coach Trevor Shattuck said. “We’ve got great players who know how to talk to each other, know how to work together. They can put it together.”
Kaplan regained order for St. Paul’s with his second goal of the game. But after Woloson’s go-ahead goal, the Greyhounds hunkered down in front of goalie Simeon Schlagger, who kept the Crusaders at bay.
As Woloson deposited the game-sealing goal, the tension left Schlagger and the entire Greyhound bench. Gilman split with St. Paul’s during the regular season.
The Greyhounds got the one that mattered Thursday.
“It felt great,” Schlagger said. “It’s just fun to enjoy this with my teammates, with guys that have been with me all year.”