By Ross Forman
New Trier Green is the easy pick, year in and year out, for the No. 1 spot in the Illinois High School Hockey Top 25 Preseason rankings.
The Trevians are certainly the logical choice this season.
Green is the two-time defending state champion, with 16 skaters and two goalies returning. The Trevians’ roster this season has 22 players (19 skaters, three goalies), two more than last year. So only three skaters and one goalie don’t have first-hand experience skating for – and claiming – glory at the United Center.
“Last year, we won because of our goaltender and because of our team defense. It’s no different this season,” said Green head coach Bob Melton. “We didn’t necessarily get any better offensively, other than being a year older. I still say that our defense is way ahead of our offense.”
On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Trevians won on the road, blanking powerhouse Providence Catholic 4-0 – with all four goals coming in the third period.
The Trevians’ biggest weapon, without question, is goalie Jack Junge, who Melton labeled as “phenomenal, an incredible high school goaltender.”
The Trevians’ roster also boasts Brent Segvich, Jack Dolby, Jared Merens, Sam Weinstein and Matt Garcia, among others.
“Our whole thing is, avoiding complacency. It will be a challenge to get the guys focused and excited because, yeah, there will be those nights when some of the kids will think we can just step on the ice and the scoreboard just magically posts goals for Green. But that’s not the case.”
Glenbrook North appears primed for a return to the United Center, while Providence Catholic and Loyola Gold also are logical picks to skate for state come next March.
Naperville Central leads a list of teams that fall into the “potential state champion” category, along with Benet, St. Rita, and others.
Many teams boast a sensational top line, and no doubt some talented defensemen, but depth for many may be an issue.
“There are some stud goaltenders this season,” Melton said.
Nick Bolino of Loyola Gold is one of the top goaltenders in Illinois.
Green’s break-out star this season could be forward Ryan Petterson, who skated for New Trier Blue last season. “He brings a new dimension – speed and hustle,” Melton said.
Player Spotlight: Hunter Roggekamp is a left-handed shooting defenseman for New Trier JV #2, who also is a referee. His favorite NHL team is the Chicago Blackhawks and his favorite player is Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Already This Season: Gavin Proeh has 13 points in 9 games for Highland Park, including a hat trick against the Central Indiana Knights … Anthony Rorres had a hat trick against Notre Dame and then a two-goal game against St. Rita for Oak Park River Forest … Loyola Maroon silenced co-op PREP 4-1 on Sept. 28 … Robert Maxfield had a hat trick in Sandburg’s 6-0 win Sept. 28 over Wheaton West. He also had the Eagles’ lone goal in a 6-1 loss to St. Rita … Gotta like York’s slogan for the 2014-15 season: Our Goal, Deny Yours.
For A Good Cause: The Libertyville/Vernon Hills co-op Icecats will face rival PREP on Saturday, Oct. 18, in the Pink-Out games: Hockey Fights Cancer Fundraiser doubleheader. The varsity game is first, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills. The JV teams will follow at 8:10 p.m.
There will be an Icecats’ pink jersey raffle, Chuck-A-Pink Duck, and more.
Proceeds will be donated to Advocate Condell Woman’s Center in Libertyville.
Here’s a look at Ross Forman’s Preseason Top 25 Rankings of Illinois High School Hockey Teams:
- New Trier Green
- Glenbrook North
- Providence Catholic
- Loyola Gold
- Naperville Central
- Benet Academy
- St. Rita
- Neuqua Valley
- Waubonsie Valley
- New Trier Blue
- Highland Park
- Glenbrook South
- Brother Rice
- St. Ignatius
- St. Viator
- Maine Township
- Crystal Lake South
Ross Forman has written about Illinois High School hockey for more than 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. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.