New Trier Green rallied from a 2-0 third period deficit Tuesday night before a full house at Wilmette's Centennial Ice Arena to claim the 2011-12 High School Invitational Tournament championship with a 3-2 overtime victory over Stevenson. Charlie Sprayregen won it for Green with 1:34 remaining in overtime, lifting the puck from a goalmouth scramble into the top of the net to end it.
The first period featured few scoring chances for either team before Stevenson took a 1-0 lead late in the period with a slapshot from the slot. The score remained 1-0 late into the second period until Stevenson's Tom Schroeder scored his second of the night off the dreaded "long change" to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead going into intermission.
Green came out of the locker room to start the third period with renewed urgency and Tanner Koch soon cut the margin to 2-1, depositing a nice feed from Bobby Acri behind the Stevenson goaltender. New Trier had several good scoring chances for the next 12 minutes but couldn't find the tying goal until a Stevenson penalty put Green on the power play in the final minutes. New Trier finally capitalized on the man advantage as Daniel Superina tied the score with 1:47 remaining, one-timing a pass from Kyle Melton into the corner of the net. The rest of the period was scoreless and the teams headed into a 5:00 overtime period to decide the HIT championship.
Each team had a couple of good chances in overtime but were denied by some clutch goaltending until with 1:34 remaining, Sprayregen lifted a shot from in close to the top of the net to give Green the championship. Congratulations to both teams on an exceptional game.
Joe Talbot was the winning goalie for New Trier, turning aside 20 Stevenson shots that included a number of key saves during a scoreless third period and overtime.
The championship game victory caps a successful run for New Trier in the season-long tournament featuring Illinois' top high school teams, as Green also earned the regular-season title with a 9-2 record. Green earlier defeated Sandburg and Barrington in the playoffs to reach the championship game, while Stevenson earned its spot with playoff victories over St. Rita and Loyola Gold.