By Ross Forman
The night-before-Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights in the Illinois High School Hockey Season – this season and every season. Glenbrook South plays host to Glenbrook North in Glenview on that Wednesday, and Highland Park battles Deerfield in Vernon Hills. Two of the biggest rivalries in the state are showcased with raucous, standing-room-only crowds.
The Spartans have dominated the North-South battle for a decade-plus, and North is on a roll – 10 wins in their last 11 games, with the only loss being a 4-3 setback to No. 1-ranked New Trier Green. And eight of those 10 wins have been shutouts.
The doors in Glenview open at 5 p.m., and the pre-game ceremonies will start at 5:40. The North-South varsity game starts at 6 p.m., followed by the JV game at 8 p.m.
Proceeds from the North-South game benefit the Northfield Food Pantry.
Meanwhile, the Highland Park-Deerfield game, a quest for the District 113 Cup, is just as wild, with an overflow crowd, a sea of blue on one side, red faithful on the other.
HP and Deerfield played Oct. 28 in Highland Park and the host Giants came from behind to win, 5-3. However, the Giants have been struggling, losing four of their past five games. Still, HP has three talented players that the Warriors must find a way to stop: Jack Elbaum (18 goals, 13 assists), George Giese (16, 10) and Sam Shactman (9, 12).
The HP/Deerfield JV game is at 6 p.m, followed by the varsity game at 7:30 p.m.
- Casey Miller will score twice, including the game-winner, as North defeats South, 6-1.
- George Giese will score the game-winning goal with less than 2 minutes remaining in regulation-time as Highland Park slips past Deerfield, 5-4.
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.