Boys hockey headed to United Center

Watt, scoring depth lead Trevians to state finals matchup with Loyola

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Boys hockey headed to United Center

Jack Norehead (91) celebrates against York in quarterfinal game

Jack Norehead (91) celebrates against York in quarterfinal game

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Jack Norehead (91) celebrates against York in quarterfinal game

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Jack Norehead (91) celebrates against York in quarterfinal game

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NTG hockey team beat St. Viator in the semifinal game and advanced to the state championship on March 22.

“Going into the playoffs as the first seed put a target on our backs. Our team came out ready to play knowing how big of a game this was,” Junior Danny Pugliese said. “This match would determine who would play Loyola Gold at the United Center.”

In the first period, goalie Preston Watt made some strong saves, and Mac Zelazny beat two St. Viator defenders to score a shorthanded goal, giving New Trier the lead.

Brian Dolby opened the second with a great defensive play to break up a St. Viator 2-on-1 chance.

Later in the period, Henry Freedman’s shot hit the post, but Mark Ashmore was able to score off the rebound to make it 2-0 (Tyler Baird also with the assist).

Bobby Soudan made a great move to the net and went short side putting New Trier up 3-0 (Ashmore with the assist).

Trent Kadin delivered a big hit in front of the New Trier bench and student section,drawing cheers from the fired up crowd.

St. Viator started to turn the pressure up, but Watt made some big saves.

Keeping the momentum going, Tommy Kempf scored off a rebound from Soudan’s shot making it 4-0.

Kadin was cross-checked, putting New Trier back on the power play, and Baird made a strong defensive play to take away a St. Viator shorthanded chance.

A New Trier penalty led to 4-on-4 play for 40 seconds. In the 4-on-4, Jack Norehad beat the St. Viator defenders in front of the New Trier net to get the puck to John Kane, whose shot went wide. Watt continued to make strong saves on the other end of the ice and the penalty was killed.

However, another penalty led to a St. Viator goal and a 4-1 score with 8:45 left in the game.

New Trier was able to counter the St. Viator goal. St. Viator drew a roughing penalty with 2:17 left, giving New Trier a power play. The power play delivered with Ryan Gallagher skating in behind Soudan and scoring a goal to make it 5-1.

“Our captains have stressed all year how important it is to be positive on the bench and how to overcome adversity. Everyone is out to beat or knock off New Trier Green because we have that reputation,” said Pugliese.

St. Viator showed some frustration with a late slashing penalty and punches thrown near

the end of the game, but New Trier wasn’t fazed and they finished with the  win and a trip to he United Center for the State Championship Game.

According to Pugliese, “We also did a good job of puck possession in their defensive zone. This caused them to have under 10 shots on net. We have to keep up the intensity from this game and carry it over to the United Center.”

New Trier will play Loyola on March 22 at 7:30.

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