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NTJV Advances to Second Round of SHL Playoffs After Strong Series vs Rival Loyola

By PBB, 02/13/14, 5:15PM CST



After a winning regular season (24-21-3) marked by great high points, some tough losses and a lot of lessons learned, NTJV fittingly began the SHL postseason tourney against archrival Loyola JV last Wednesday night on home ice in Winnteka.  From the opening puck drop, both teams fought hard in an atmosphere charged with high playoff intensity.   After two physical and scoreless periods of hockey – marked by stellar goaltending on both sides,  Kyle Olson drew first blood in the third, and Ben Armour followed with another to give the Trevians a two-goal lead they would never relinquish.  Goaltender Scott Foster earned a well-deserved shutout in the 2-0 victory and the boys rolled into Heartland on Friday for game two with high hopes.

The second game of the three-game series was just as hard-fought as the first.  In another physical and intense contest, Loyola scored twice to take a fragile lead into the third, when Bennett Elsman brought the Trevians to within one.  The JV squad had several strong opportunities to tie it up after pulling goalie Tucker Balch and bringing on a sixth skater late in the third, but ultimately gave up an empty-netter and fell by a score of 3-1. 

The two teams came back together at North Shore Ice Arena for the third and final “rubber game” on Sunday.  With a trip to round 2 hanging in the balance, the NTJV squad stepped up aggressively against the Ramblers, with a two-goal night by Max Williams and strong performances across all lines.  Loyola would not go away easily, however, and eventually tied the game 2-2 late in the third.  With only 40 seconds remaining and overtime looming, Max MacRitchie hammered home a goal to put the Trevians up by one.  Kyle Griffin would add an empty netter for good measure, earning the squad round 2 spot against another tough division, rival, Glenbrook North.  The first game of that series will take place on Saturday at 7:20 in Northbrook and by all accounts, NTJV is pumped and ready!