The road to the United Center appears, once again, to run through New Trier Green. But plenty of other Illinois High School teams are poised to knock the defending state champions off their pedestal. Let’s see, there’s New Trier’s arch-rival, Loyola Gold, of course; or the 2013 state runner-up, Glenbrook North; or the 2013-14 preseason No. 1-ranked Stevenson Patriots; and also perennial power Naperville Central. That’s not to mention such soaring programs as Providence Catholic, Benet Academy and Waubonsie Valley. There also are, naturally, plenty of dark-horse contenders too, each shooting to skate next March for the Illinois State Championship (Red Division), including St. Rita, Highland Park and Fenwick.
*Noah Pinkus (Highland Park) is leading the North-Central Division in scoring with 17 goals and 15 assists in 14 games, including 4 power play and 3 game-winning goals. Teammate David Shapiro leads the league with 5 game-winning goals.
*Hayden Adams has 16 goals, 11 assists in the first 9 Suburban Division games for the AWF Renegades. Teammate Greg Sommesi has 11 goals, 4 assists. Brian Sunbury has been a wall for the Renegades in goal, stopping 105 of the 108 shots he’s faced in 9 league games.
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for nearly 15 years, and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. He can be reached at Rossco814@aol.com.
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