After a moment of silence in observation of September 11 led by game announcer Frank Zawrazky, New Trier Green hit the ice in its home opener against Providence Catholic in a non-league game. The fogged-up glass of the rink did not dampen the enthusiasm of the New Trier student section as they cheered NTG on to a 6-3 victory. Parent alumni Matt Eggemeyer and Craig Izenstark also lent their support, while Doug Freedman and Steve and Jeannie Ashmore were with the team in spirit as they sheltered in place during the tornado warning. Ryan Gallagher was called for roughing early in the first, and Graeme Paul and Mac Zelazny had a good shorthanded chance on the ensuing penalty kill. Danny Pugliese got NTG on the board first after the expiration of the penalty when he showed off his geometry skills by banking the puck into the net off of 2 skates (Ryan O’Rourke and Charlie Acri with the assists). John Babnik went to the box, putting NTG back on the penalty kill. An NTG turnover at its blue line as the penalty expired led to a Providence breakaway, but Max Lee made a great save to keep it a 1-0 game. Providence tied it up at 6:56 left in the first, but Danny Budington gave NTG the lead back 30 seconds later on a pass from Acri. Simon Chong made a nice pass to Gallagher, who just missed on his backhand, and a Providence goal on the other end tied the game at 2 apiece with 4:11 left in the first. A Providence penalty gave NTG its first power play opportunity of the game, and Budington converted with a goal on a rebound of a Brian Dolby shot, giving NTG a 3-2 lead after one period of play. Both teams came out hard in the second period, with Lee making a strong save after an NTG turnover and Dolby with back-to-back backchecks. Trent Kadin won a battle on the boards and drew a 2-and-10 for a hit from behind, putting NTG back on the PP. The game got chippy, with both teams collectively accumulating 28 penalty minutes in the second period. Lee made good saves, and strong penalty killing by NTG (including a big hit by Kadin at the blue line and nice moves by Charlie Ware against the entire Providence power play unit) kept it a 3-2 game after the second. NTG continued its strong defensive play in the third period, killing two 5-on-3 Providence opportunities. Babnik had a takeaway and scored unassisted to give NTG a 4-2 lead, but Providence pulled back within 1 less than 2 minutes later. Dolby and Babnik scored in the final minutes of the game to make it a 6-3 win for NTG.
Tag(s): Green Varsity