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White edges BGHW 2-1

By FLIP GAGERMAN, 02/07/19, 1:30PM CST

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Playoff atmosphere

New Trier White opened up their conference playoffs with a 2-1 victory over BGHW last night.  White should have been the home team but "mother nature" would not cooperate on Wednesday evening as the game was cancelled.  This best of 3 format now heavily favors White as it plays again on home ice this evening in hopes of closing out BGHW at Wilmette Ice Arena.

BGHW started fast, and I mean fast as it scored 15 seconds into the game on a beautiful deflection by Dom Wachal.  Goalie Shenton had no chance.  Having not played in over a week, White seemed sluggish. Our boys gained momentum throughout the period as the ice was definitely tilted in White's favor after the 8 minute mark.  As could be expected, tight checking prevailed on both sides although White clearly had the better chances.  White finally gained the man advantage with just over 2 minutes remaining in the period.  Opening the power play gave White 3 glorious chances as Buddington, Acri and Gagerman all had point blank shots denied.  However, with 17 seconds remaining on the man advantage, Gagerman's nifty no look pass to Acri resulted in a goal, tying the game at 1 after the first intermission.  

The second period was truly "playoff" hockey as both teams did not allow many chances.  White killed of a man advantage with their wonderful "trap" as they frustrated BGHW time and time again.  White almost scored on their 2nd power play, but BGHW's goalie stoned Hackett and Buddington on the same sequence.  Finally, with just 9 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, Buddington scored on a glorious feed from Acri.  Hackett also got the assist as Gagerman did well to keep the puck in the zone who deftly passed to Hackett.  This goal was a true "back breaker" for the home squad.  White 2, BGHW 1 after 2 periods.

With just over 10 minutes to play, White thought they had scored but the referee's determined the puck was put in the net unfairly.  With White clearly dominating play, White was given a penalty shot at the 7 minute mark of the 3rd period.  Unfortunately, goalie Wazbackher made a terrific save to keep his team within striking distance.  At this juncture, it was clear White would not give up any odd man breaks and was content to simply dump and chase with 1 forward always high in the offensive zone.  Things got a bit dicey when BGHW pulled their goalie with just over 1 minute to play in regulation.  BGHW hit not one but two goal posts in the final 30 seconds as White was dealing with BGHW'S extra attacker.  John Shenton stood tall as White won by a whisker, 2-1.

Next up:  Tonight at Wilmette 9:15p

Game notes:  All "hands" were on deck with the exception of Bess.