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New Trier Green Falls in Semifinals at Motown Classic

By Jackie Kadin , 10/20/19, 11:00PM CDT

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New Trier Green had a good run at the Motown Classic, losing 2-1 in the semifinals to a tough U18 Junior Gaels team. After falling behind 2-0, Green pulled to within 1 with a goal by Brian Dolby (Spencer Lifvendahl with the assist) during a 5-on-3 power play. But shutdown defense and strong goaltending by both teams kept the game scoreless for the second half of the game and Green would end the tournament 2-2-1.

Game 1 was a triumph of the land of true bacon over the nation that tries to pass off ham as “bacon” (sorry Neil), as New Trier Green defeated Okanagan Hockey Academy 7-1. Green got off to a quick 2-0 lead with a power play goal at 13:20 by Spencer Lifvendahl (Trent Kadin and John Kane with the assists), and another score by Kadin less than 2 minutes later (Magnus Sivertson with the assist). Green piled it on in the remainder of the period, with tallies by Gallagher (Danny Pugliese with the assist), Danny Budington (Charlie Acri and Dolby with the assists), and John Babnik (Budington with the assist), giving Green a 5-0 lead after 1 period of play. An Acri score midway through the second (Budington with the assist) gave Green a 6-0 lead. The game got chippy, with the Okanagan team sorely testing the reputation of polite Canadians; that along with the lopsided score led to some speculation as to whether they might be fake Canadians. Okanagan got on the board late in the second, before a Tyler Nolan goal in the third capped off Green’s 7-1 win. 

Green took a 2-0 lead against U18 Michigan Hockey Advancement in game 2 with scores by Mac Zelazny in the first (Colin Kuker with the assist) and Babnik in the second with a great move to the net (Charlie Ware with the assist). Strong goaltending by Max Lee kept Michigan off the board until the third when 2 quick goals tied the game. A Budington goal (Dolby with the assist) gave Green a 3-2 lead with 7:51 left in the game, but Michigan pulled their goalie and tied the game with an extra attacker with 1:37 left, and the game would end in a 3-3 deadlock. Penalties hurt Green in game 3 against the Amherst Knights as Green spent nearly half the game shorthanded, and Amherst took advantage, going on to a 2-0 victory.

Green would have a chance at redemption, facing Amherst again in the quarterfinals. Amherst came out strong, but good defense by Green - including several key clears by Kalev McCarthy and a big hit by Nolan - kept them off the board. Graeme Paul drew a tripping penalty that put Green on the power play at the end of the first, but Green was unable to convert. Green had opportunities in the second period with numerous shots on goal. Johnny Hackett made a great move to the net, but was denied by the Amherst goalie, and the game remained tied 0-0 after 2 periods of play. Ware got Green on the board early in the third with a power play goal off a nice pass by Simon Chong. Hackett was taken down on a breakaway drawing a penalty, and a bench penalty against the unhappy Amherst fans gave Green a 5-on-3 power play chance. Green took advantage, with O’Rourke tipping in a Dolby shot to give Green a 2-0 lead. Ware scored again later in the third (assists by Gallagher and Pugliese) and scored an empty netter for his hat trick to seal Green’s 4-1 win and trip to the semifinals.