Gainesville’s New Ice Hockey Team Joins the NVSHL

Ice hockey, photo courtesy Chris Liverani via

Connor Gilbert , Journalist

Gainesville has recently made a deal with the nearby Patriot High School to create a new joint ice hockey team within the Northern Virginia School Hockey League (NVSHL). The school has become part of the Varsity level in the Patrick division, with the Varsity level hosting 22 teams.  

The NVSHL has been in operation since 2001, with Stone Bridge High School by far having won the Crown the most with 8 victories, with North Stafford, Bishop O’Connell, Woodbridge, Osbourn Park, Briar Woods, Riverside, and Langley High school also taking the crown. Since the inaugural season, the NVSHL has nearly doubled in size from 12 varsity teams to 22 teams, along with 5 provisional Varsity teams and 9 junior Varsity, along with a middle school division. 

The Gainesville-Patriot team has a total of 19 skaters and three goaltenders, with a greater majority of Patriot players to Gainesville players. Highlights of the team include Ben Barret, Jacob Wolfrey, Brendan Robinson, and Thomas Cory. The team also has 3 seniors and multiple juniors, meaning that the team has a large amount of preexisting talent, while still maintaining room for up-and-coming underclassmen. 

The NVSHL Varsity season consists of ten games in regular season and single-game elimination playoffs, giving players an opportunity to play a total of up to 14 games. Playoff slots are determined by points, with the first seated team getting a bye in the playoffs. Non-Varsity teams cannot play in the playoffs; however, provisional Varsity teams are able to play against Varsity teams in the regular season, leading to controversy about non-Varsity teams spoiling Varsity teams’ playoff chances. 

The Gainesville-Patriot team has so far gone 1-1 in the season, losing to the Loudoun Valley/Woodgrove team 11-13 in the debut game, and defeating the Bishop O’Connell V team 10-0 with a mercy rule, gaining them 2 points and placing them in the third slot in the Patrick division. With such a crushing victory against Bishop O’Connell, hopes are high that the new team has the potential to win the NVSHL Crown for the first time, dethroning the Langley Saxons. 

The NVSHL season is still young, and the future of the new Gainesville-Patriot team is still quite unclear, but seeing the runaway success and close loss of the season so far, it’s hard not to have a level of anticipation for the season to come. With luck, Gainesville and Patriot could earn the crown this year and set themselves up for further victories in the seasons to come. Only time will tell.