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New Trier Green Wins SHL Opener Against OPRF - Also Beats St. Ignatius in Weekend Play

By Jackie Kadin, 09/24/19, 9:15AM CDT

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After defeating St. Ignatius in a nailbiter at Fifth Third Arena on Saturday night, New Trier Green went on to beat SHL newcomer Oak Park River Forest on Sunday in its first league game. Charlie Acri got Green on the board first against St. Ignatius on a goal off a Budington faceoff win at 12:56 in the first. John Kane and Ryan O’Rourke had a good chance on the other end, and Johnny Hackett dished a great pass to John Babnik who missed just wide. Strong backchecking by O’Rourke took away a St. Ignatius chance. Acri from behind the net got the puck to Budington, but the St. Ignatius goalie made a great save. Simon Chong made a good defensive play near the end of the first to keep it 1-0 after 1 period of play. Acri again from behind the net this time found O’Rourke, who buried the puck to make it 2-0 at 14:40 in the second. St. Ignatius would score 2 quick goals to tie the game less than 3 minutes later. Babnik found the back of the net with a rebound off the boards to put Green back up by 1 halfway through the second period. Ryan Gallagher was called for a cross-check and St. Ignatius seemed to have tied the game with the extra attacker on the delayed penalty, but the goal was immediately waved off for goalie interference. Green successfully killed 2 penalties with its strong penalty killing unit backing up Max Lee in goal, keeping it 3-2 after the second. A St. Ignatius breakaway early in the third tied the game, and the game would remain deadlocked for most of the third. With the clock ticking down and a faceoff in the St. Ignatius zone, St. Ignatius called a timeout to try and defend against a quick goal off the faceoff, but Budington again found Acri off the faceoff, who buried the puck to give Green a 4-3 win.

In front of a boisterous Oak Park River Forest student section, Green beat OPRF 5-2 to win its SHL opener. Green found itself on an early power play but despite several good chances, was unable to convert. Green was called for back-to-back penalties but was able to successfully kill both, and the first ended in a scoreless tie. OPRF got on the board first at the start of the second with a rebound after Lee made the initial stop. A series of penalties gave both teams power play chances early in the second. As an OPRF power play was winding down, Trent Kadin collided with an OPRF player at the blue line, breaking his stick and costing him a major penalty (and his lunch money for the rest of the year to buy a replacement stick). Lifvendahl scored shorthanded to tie the game, and Tyler Nolan would score the go-ahead goal during 4-on-4 play after an OPRF penalty. Magnus Sivertson delivered a beautiful stretch pass to Babnik, who went top shelf to give Green a 3-1 lead. A goal by Budington from Acri made it 4-1. Green started the third on a penalty kill, and Gallagher and Sivertson had a good shorthanded chance. OPRF cut the lead to 2 at 9:50 left in the game, but Green pulled ahead 5-2 on a power play on a goal by Gallagher (Budington and Hackett with the assists). Green killed 3 more penalties at the end of the third, including a 5-on-3 chance, and would go on to win with a final score of 5-2.