Girls – 11:30 a.m.
Freshman forward Alicia Kim had 7 goals, 4 assists in 13 Metro Girls games for co-op Glenbrook South, which finished the regular-season with a 7-2-3 record.
Can the youngster shine under the ultra-bright United Center spotlight?
After all, GBS is looking to repeat as state champions, despite only earning the No. 3 seed in the 8-team girls state tournament.
New Trier, meanwhile, has been nearly untouchable this season, carrying a 20-5-1 record and has outscored its opponents 124-43.
Kim already has 2 game-winning goals this season, and I think she’s going to grab one more – at the United Center, helping Glenbrook South shock No. 1-seed New Trier, 4-3.
Red Division – 3 p.m.
Will Loyola Gold finally END THE DRAUGHT, as is emblazed on sweatshirts that many at Loyola, including players, are wearing these days?
The Ramblers won the state championship in 1995 and 1996, but is 0-7 in state championship games since that last title, most recently losing to St. Rita in the 2010 finals.
Stevenson, meanwhile, is skating in the team’s first-ever state championship game. Heck, the semifinal win over GBS was the school’s first-ever semifinal appearance.
The game features two of the best goalies in the state: Hugh Brady for the Ramblers and Elias Sandholm for Stevenson. So, I think it will be a low-scoring, one-goal game. And when Jackson Leptich scores upper-corner, it will be the game-winner.
Stevenson wins, 3-2.
Combined Division – 5 p.m.
Wagner will be on the bench for the final time, so the emotional edge certainly leans to BG. But Waubonsie has been surprising teams all season. Heck, they jumped out to a 4-1 semifinal lead over the No. 1-ranked team in the state, Glenbard.
Waubonsie features studs in Kenyon and Pearce, plus other standouts such as Jack Flood, Michael Alberts and Nate Kozari, among others.
Waubonsie last won state in 2014.
But I think Buckley will shine again, and again score two, helping BG/H/W win, 4-1.
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.
The Chicago Blackhawks will host the 2018 Illinois State High School Hockey Championships, presented by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers, at the United Center on Saturday, March 24. For the eighth consecutive year, the Boys’ State Championship tilt will be broadcast in high-definition on NBC Sports Chicago and streamed live on NBCSportsChicago.com
Illinois H.S. State Championships Schedule
11:30 a.m. – Girls’ Division
3:00 p.m. – Boys’ Red Division
(Broadcast live on NBC Sports Chicago)
5:00 p.m. – Boys’ Combined Division
General admission tickets for the event are on sale now! You can purchase a ticket for $5 online at chicagoblackhawks.com, in person at the United Center Box Office or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Parking is FREE in all official United Center parking lots. For more information, including group offers, please contact the Chicago Blackhawks Ticket Office by calling 312-455-7000.