Kameron Khazai’s overtime game-winner puts Langley atop the NVSHL again


In Langley’s practices throughout the year, Coach Patrick Keough always tells his team if they have an unchallenged possession in the neutral zone, a lane to the net should open up.

Amid the pressure of a sudden-death overtime that would determine the Northern Virginia School Hockey League champion, senior Kameron Khazai was deep in the Briar Woods zone when he looked up and saw that very opportunity. So he took a shot.

The next thing he heard was the packed arena erupting in cheers and the sea of white-clad Langley students behind the goal banging on the glass in excitement.

“I didn’t know it went in; I thought I was dreaming,” said Khazai, who also recorded a hat trick in Langley’s semifinal win over Yorktown on Wednesday night.

His game-winner Friday slipped past the glove side of Briar Woods’s goaltender and found the back of the net 2 minutes 45 seconds into overtime, capping the Saxons’ undefeated season with a 3-2 win over Briar Woods and a second consecutive NVSHL title.

The senior captain’s goal was assisted by Noah Scheinerman, a reversal of roles for the pair; in last year’s title game, Khazai assisted on Scheinerman’s game-winner over the Falcons.

In addition to his overtime goal, Khazai also struck first for Langley (13-0-0) off another assist from Scheinerman give the Saxons the lead after the first period.

“We’ve been working together for about three years, so all of these high school practices and high school games we’ve built chemistry, and it paid off,” Khazai said. “We’ve been assisting each other all year.”

The Falcons (10-2-1) kicked off a busy second period with a goal off a faceoff by Derek Yamatani to tie the score at 1-1.

Aidan Jacques answered for the Saxons, scoring off a long shot that rang off the right post. Two minutes later, Grant Leeds netted an equalizer for Briar Woods off another long shot to take the game to overtime.

It was a rare time sophomore goaltender Harrison Smith got beat.

“Where Kameron’s goal is why we won, it’s Harry’s goaltending is why we didn’t lose,” Keough said of Smith, who saved 47 of 49 shots.

Briar Woods also got strong goalkeeping, from Brady Knode, throughout the tournament. The Falcons finished atop the Smythe Division and advanced to the NVSHL final with an overtime win against Stone Bridge in the quarterfinals and a comeback win over Independence in the semifinals.

But the final was familiar — the same matchup and outcome not only of last year but of 2019, as well.

“I was really nervous coming in,” Khazai said, “and I’m just glad that our streak can continue.”

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