By John Sherlock
McLean High School ice hockey has made it into the playoffs.
The team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Northern Virginia High School playoffs by beating Oakton 9 to 7. Oakton dominated the opening period of play, jumping out to a 3-1 lead. The second period, though, was all Highlanders.
Junior forward Grady Paine scored his first of two on a power play to get McLean started. Senior defender Remi Paine tallied next to tie the match at 3 with 51 seconds left in the period.
But the Highlanders weren't quite done. Freshman center Chris Cardwell scored with just six seconds remaining for a 4-3 lead. Oakton responded quickly to begin the third period, scoring only 34 seconds after play resumed.
McLean reclaimed the lead and then some on goals by Remi Paine, freshman winger Tommy Meloy and Grady Paine. Oakton's Luke Votaw completed a hat-trick to narrow the margin to 7 to 5. Cardwell scored again for McLean to restore the Highlanders' three-goal lead.
Senior defender Corey Kennedy scored his second goal of the night into an empty net to secure the win for McLean. Next up for McLean are the Langley Saxons. McLean plays Langley in the quarterfinals: 8 p.m. Monday at Skatequest in Reston.