By Ross Forman
Many of the top Illinois teams will challenge for the title in the 24th Annual Chicago Blackhawks Charities High School Hockey Classic, presented by the Chicago Blackhawks Charities. The four-day, 20-team tournament will be played Dec. 26-29 at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.
In addition, Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School from St. Louis will participate once again and has, for years, been a title-contender.
But it certainly won’t be easy for CBC, as they open against New Trier Green, and also have to face Fenwick and co-op Glenbard in pool-play.
Glenbrook North has pool play games against Barrington, Benet Academy and New Trier Blue. Stevenson has pool play games against Naperville Central, Notre Dame and Providence Catholic.
Also participating in the tournament: St. Viator, Waubonsie Valley, Brother Rice, Lane Tech, Warren and others.
Based on the brackets, my predicted elite eight will be GBN, St. Viator, Stevenson, New Trier Green, CBC, Brother Rice, Benet and Providence.
Looks like GBN will slip past Green 4-3 in OT of the first semifinal – with Spartan captain David Rubin continuing his offensive dominance, with 2 goals and 1 assist against the Trevians. Meanwhile, Ryan Kaup will collect 2 assists for Providence, but it won’t be enough as CBC will win their semifinal, 5-2.
In the championship game, Jacob Crane will score the game-winning goal, to bring the championship trophy to Northbrook. There will be joy at GBN to end 2017.
The championship game will be played Friday, Dec. 29, starting at 12 noon, at The Edge. Click HERE for tournament brackets and schedule.
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.