By Ross Forman
The latest Top 20 Rankings are out with New Trier Green still sitting at No. 1
A new, exciting three-day high school hockey event comes to the Chicago area – with worldwide impact.
The inaugural High School Prep Invitational is Dec. 9-11 at the Darien Sportsplex, featuring six of Illinois’ top teams, including defending state champion New Trier Green and the Trevians’ arch-rival Loyola Gold, along with perennial powers Providence Catholic, Benet Academy and Glenbrook North, as well as rising Catholic League power Brother Rice.
The event, eight months in the making and produced by 200 x 85 LLC and ProStock Hockey, features six other teams too, including a team from Austria, and domestic clubs from Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota.
There will be 12 games played on Friday and Saturday, with action starting daily at 9:10 a.m. The last games start at 9 p.m. All games will be three, 15-minute stop-time periods.
The championship is Sunday, Dec. 11, starting at 2:20 p.m.
“200×85 runs some amazing hockey experiences for A/AA/AAA players, (including) the CCM World Invite (previously the Bauer World Invite) in Chicago, Detroit, Sarnia and Europe. In addition they run the STX Shootouts at the University of Notre Dame, STX Winterfest in Rosemont and the STX 68 Premier Bantam Major Camp,” said 200×85 president Kevin Mann. “The natural progression for 200×85 was to offer the Elite High School Prep teams an opportunity to experience our events. ProStock Hockey jumped on board as this fits their age demographics and are giving so much support to this inaugural event.”
Mann said organizers faced a natural “learning curve” trying to understand all the intricacies of high school hockey and the rules that pertain to each state. “We believe this event has the capability to become a signature event in future years,” he added.
Eventually, the High School Prep Invitational could expand, possibly even to include a JV tourney too, Mann said.
All teams play at least five games, and the teams battling for bragging rights will play six.
So, how will the Illinois teams do?
“Based on the strength of the Illinois high school hockey the past few years, we would imagine they will do very well,” Mann said. “New Trier recently won (the) second tier of Midget AAA at the Bauer World against similar teams in this event.”
The Trevians are in Division B, along with Loyola and Glenbrook North. New Trier’s first game is at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, against EC Red Bull Salzburg, and Mann noted that the Austrian team has a goaltender who is being considered highly for the 2017 NHL Draft.
The championship team receives a plaque, banner and other goodies from ProStockHockey.com, such as a hoodie and ball cap.
All participating players will receive items from ProStockHockey.com, including a t-shirt, knit hat and more. Coaches will receive items, too.
New Trier was simply dominant over Thanksgiving.
Green once again captured the annual Loyola Tournament, played in Wilmette, defeating Glenbrook North 2-0 in the finals.
Luke Nelson scored in the first period on assists from John Robinson and Nelson Gaechter. Michael Graham tallied the Trevians’ insurance goal on the powerplay in the third, assisted by Tommy Cahill and Kyle Retondo. Scott Foster turned away all 26 shots he faced in goal.
Graham leads the Trevians in scoring with 30 goals, and 22 assists.
Cahill has 26 goals, 30 assists.
Charlie Burton leads the team in points: 22 goals, 38 assists.
New Trier Blue, meanwhile, stopped the Northwest Chargers U18 Team, 5-4, to capture the title in the annual Stevenson Tournament, played in Buffalo Grove. Blue was 5-0-1 in the tourney, including wins over Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley.
Rounding out New Trier’s Thanksgiving joy was the JV, which skated past York in the Stevenson Tournament finals, 3-0.
The Trevians’ JV squad was about as close to perfect as possible in the holiday weekend tourney, winning all five games with three shutouts, and outscoring its opponents 29-2. The team even had a run of 22 unanswered goals over four games.
Goalie Colin Glew was rock solid in the championship game, helping the JV Trevians avenge a 1-0 loss to the Dukes three weeks earlier.
Joey Duris tallied in the first, assisted by Christian Tegtmeier on the power play with less than a minute to play.
Aaron Goldstein made it 2-0 in the second, and he tallied his second goal late, into an empty-net.
The fans’ sea of red for Deerfield was loud, wild and raucous on Wednesday, Nov. 23, in Vernon Hills, as the Warriors faced arch-rival Highland Park.
They turned quiet.
Highland Park jumped out to a 3-0 lead with five minutes to play in the first period en route to a 9-0 rout.
Gabe Schlussel and Ryan Genender each had 2 goals and an assist, while Jack Elbaum had a goal and an assist. HP goalie Evan Robertson only had to make 15 saves, and not even one in the third period.
Highland Park’s JV was just as dominant, beating Deerfield 6-0, with Elbaum scoring the team’s first five goals. Josh Krug also scored, while Sam Shachtman had 3 assists.
Meanwhile, in Glenview, the feud between Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South went to North, yet again. The Spartans won, 7-4.
North built a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game on tallies from Nick Mikhaylov, yet South replied with three consecutive goals. Mikhaylov’s hat trick at 4:11 of the second tied the game and Andrew Slovis gave the Spartans a 4-3 edge after two periods. Slovis, Mikhaylov and Nicholas Charalab scored in the third for the Spartans, who have dominated this series for the past decade.
Mikhaylov has 62 points this season: 33 goals, 29 assists in 34 games.
Charlie Alcorn has 29 goals, 15 assists; and David Rubin has 20 goals, 26 assists.
The GBN JV needed overtime to slip past South, 3-2, and its record stands at 22-9-3.
Top 20 Rankings
Here is the Top 20 ranking of Illinois High School Hockey Teams (as of Dec. 2), as compiled by Ross Forman:
- New Trier Green
- Loyola Gold
- Glenbrook North
- Providence Catholic
- Benet Academy
- Neuqua Valley
- New Trier Blue
- Notre Dame
- St. Ignatius
- St. Rita
- Naperville Central
- Waubonsie Valley
- AWF Renegades
- Maine Township
- Loyola Maroon
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.