Boys hockey captures state title

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NT Hockey

The boys club hockey team won the Illinois State Championship against Glenbrook North on Sunday, March 24. Like two years ago, the boys skated to victory at the United Center and won the club’s eleventh State championship.
With a hat trick from the team’s leading scorer, Brain Enriquez, and the leadership of Coach Bob Melton, the team came together and achieved another state win.
Bob Melton has been coaching for sixteen years and this win marked his ninth title. Although the team was strong throughout the year, the boys did not win a single tournament before state. But this win made the past losses disappear and brought the team joy and success.
“The team this year had great chemistry. We had 13 seniors that seemed to get along very well and they really bonded and pulled together as a team,” said Melton. “We were an explosive offensive team and our opponents had trouble keeping up with us.”
With a line that includes Kyle Melton, Brain Enriquez, and Drew Koch, who all had over 100 points on the season, the team entered the United Center with confidence and high hopes of victory.
“It felt right for me to be playing at the United Center,” said Enriquez. “It was more exciting being able to play in front of all my friends, families and classmates.”
The first period ended with no scoring from either team. New Trier did not let in any goals thanks to sophomore goalie Jack Junge and defenseman Chris Dubin, who, with five minutes left in the period, blocked a pass during a 2-on-1 GBN rush.
“That was one of the best moments of the game for me,” said Dubin. “Looking up at the student section after making a play like that, it gets you fired up.”
With a slow start to the game, the second period proved to be exhilarating. Enriquez scored the first goal of the game, but a goal from GBN’s Ryan Slovis quickly followed. Then, within 45 seconds Glenbrook North scored again with a goal from Ryan Maksimovic. The Green Team came back only 13 seconds later and scored a goal by Enriquez to tie the game up. Another goal was scored only 24 seconds later for New Trier by Drew Koch, giving New Trier the lead of 3-2.
By the end of the second period, Glenbrook North received a penalty giving the Trevians a power play. With 3:10 left, senior Danny Spitz, who recovered from a shoulder injury early this year, scored the club a 4-2 lead.
The third period started slow but ended with a thrilling final three minutes. With 2:32 left, Glenbrook North scored on the power play, making it a 4-3 game. Glenbrook North coach Evan Poulakidas pulled his goalie in the final minutes and with just 2.5 seconds left, Enrquiez scored his third goal, ending the game 5-3 in favor of New Trier.
“There were many emotions going through my mind as the clock hit zero. There was such a sense of satisfaction and relief,” said Coach Melton. “I was very happy for our seniors and in particular my son Kyle, who I knew I had just coached his last game.”
Enriquez and Melton, who are both seniors and captains, put everything into their last game and worked hard to achieve the results they wanted.
“It definitely will be one thing for every senior on the team to remember the rest of their life,” said Enriquez.