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New Trier Green Goes 2-0 in Weekend Play

By Jackie Kadin, 12/02/19, 10:15PM CST

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New Trier Green defeated Glenbrook North and St. Viator in back-to-back weekend games. Thanks to the alumni members of last year’s Green state championship team who came out to cheer Green on to a 2-1 victory in a nail biter against GBN. Green’s offense started off strong in Saturday night’s game against GBN, with Danny Pugliese firing a rocket from the blue line and Trent Kadin and Graeme Paul with great position in front of the net for a rebound chance that never materialized. A point blank shot by John Babnik was saved as was a good shot by Charlie Ware. The defense was strong too, with Colin Kuker showing speed to get back into the Green zone for a great backcheck to break up a GBN chance. A Green turnover in its own zone led to another GBN chance, but Preston Watt made a great save. Kadin delivered a nice backhand pass along the blue line to Danny Budington who was skating into the zone, but Budington’s shot was saved. A Kalev McCarthy blast from the point got through traffic but was saved. A great rebound chance off a Ryan O’Rourke shot was killed when the net was kicked off, but the delay of game penalty put Green on a power play with 4:03 left in the first. Despite some good chances, Green was unable to convert and the first ended in a scoreless tie. Kuker made another strong defensive play early in the second with a poke check to break up a GBN chance. GBN had an odd man rush but a Charlie Acri block broke up the play and Watt was able to make the save. Acri had a nice breakaway chance but his shot hit the post. Back-to-back Green penalties left Green shorthanded for over 3 minutes and despite strong play by the penalty killing units, there was too much pressure by GBN and GBN was able to score with 13 seconds remaining in the second penalty. Green scored less than 2 minutes later with Johnny Hackett rebounding a John Kane rocket from the point, tying the game 1-1 after two periods of play. Early in the third, Babnik delivered a great pass to Simon Chong, but his shot saved. Acri had a nice takeaway and showed great patience with the puck before going top shelf to make it 2-1 early in the third. The defense played tough, with Pugliese making a nice block and Tyler Nolan and Brian Dolby with strong backchecks. Watt made tough saves on a breakaway and a GBN odd man rush. GBN pulled their goalie for an extra attacker in the final minutes. Kadin was called for playing strong defense, giving GBN a 6-on-4 power play for the final 27 seconds. Ware made a great block to preserve Green’s 2-1 win.

Superfans Steve, Grace D., Dylan (aka D. Watt), and Frank Z came out to Mt. Prospect (where the rink featured a great sound system that could probably make even Rodney Watt’s playlist sound good) to support Green in its 5-2 win against a chippy St. Viator team. The first period featured a lot of back-and-forth action on both ends of the ice. A Green turnover at the blue line led to a Viator chance, but Max Lee made the first of his 28 saves. The Viator goalie came out to play the puck and Ryan Gallagher tried to take advantage of the open net, but the play was broken up. At the other end of the ice, Lee made a great save on a Viator breakaway. Mac Zelazny just missed Paul with a nice backhand pass. Babnik had a great keep near the blue line and made some nice moves to the net, but his shot was saved. Viator was called for roughing with 4:30 left in the first, putting Green on its first power. On a pass from Acri, Babnik went forehand-backhand before going top shelf to give Green a 1-0 lead (Spencer Lifvendahl also with an assist). Green was on the penalty kill at the end of the first and beginning of the second and successfully killed the penalty. Lee made back-to-back strong saves, including on a Viator breakaway. Green went back on the penalty kill when Nolan was called for a hold, and Hackett picked off a pass and had a shorthanded chance that was saved. At full strength, a Dolby shot from the point was almost tipped in by O’Rourke. Acri made a beautiful move to the net and got the puck past the Viator goalie, but another Viator player in the paint knocked it down. Green had one more power play in the second following a melee in front of the Green net but was unable to convert, and the second ended with Green holding on to a 1-0 lead. Babnik knocked in a rebound on a shot by Ware making it 2-0 early in the third. Viator got on the board with 12:02 left, cutting Green’s lead to 1. Nolan skated the puck in to the zone and just missed Gallagher in front of the net. Babnik scored again off his backhand (Budington with the assist) for his hat trick and a 3-1 Green lead. A McCarthy shot from the point was redirected by Ware to make it 4-1. Viator scored on a 5-on-3 power play to pull back within 2, but a Zelazny rebound of a Dolby shot sealed the 5-2 victory. The Viator fans gathered near the locker rooms as Green was heading off the ice, but the victorious goalie Lee maintained his air of mystery with a brief “Sorry, no autographs.”