Cole was the warrior of North-Central netminders, playing 28 seconds more than Asael Orozco, the goalie for St. Patrick, who surrendered 81 goals in his 19 games.
Antonio Sciarrotta of the Latin School of Chicago is the only other North-Central goalie to have played in all 19 regular-season. He surrendered 68 goals while facing a league-high 612.
Cole isn’t just one of the best goalies in the North-Central, he is one of the best in Illinois – and one of the main reasons the Stampede could again be skating at the United Center for the state championship.
That doesn’t mean BG/H/W will even win the North-Central playoff, though.
There are plenty of other challengers for bragging rights to the North-Central crown.
Highland Park, for instance, was the regular-season champion, finishing with a 15-1-3 record, including a league-best 23 goals-against. Maine Township, meanwhile, finished 15-3-1, and with its 31 points finished tied for second with the Stampede.
And I wouldn’t be shocked if either New Trier team, Blue or White, makes a run deep into the North-Central playoffs.
Another league title that should be interesting to watch is out West, where it’s a four-team race, in my opinion, with York, Glenbard and Neuqua Valley ranking among the darkhorse candidates. But the real battle will be, who can oust Naperville Central from the top spot? Perhaps it’ll be Waubonsie Valley. Or Lincoln Way. Or Sandburg.