By Ross Forman
Yes, New Trier Green is human. They were finally brought back to ice in early-December, when arch-rival Loyola Gold handed the Trevians their first loss of the season, 2-0 in Wilmette. The setback, though, came after Green had won its first 30 games of the season.
The Ramblers led 1-0 after the first period, then scored an insurance tally in the third, as Gold rolled into the Christmas break with wins in 9 of their past 10 games, including W’s over York (twice), Green, Saint Viator, Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South during that stretch.
The Trevians stand at 13-1 in Scholastic League play, 37-2-1 overall – and remain the No. 1-ranked team in Illinois.
No. 2-ranked Loyola Gold is 11-2 in league play, with 10 consecutive wins, including 4 shutouts during that stretch.
The stage is now set for another Green-Gold battle on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 6:35 p.m., in Winnetka.
Eamon O’Brien and Aiden Finegan remain the Ramblers’ go-to offensive weapons, as both have 12 league goals, with 12 and 7 assists, respectively. Nick Liebers is one of Gold’s top playmakers with 8 assists in 13 league games.
Ryan Gallagher is the Trevians’ top scorer in Scholastic League play: 10 goals, 2 assists. Robert Soudan and Mark Ashmore lead the Trevians with 13 points apiece in league play.
No. 3-ranked Glenbrook North skated into the 25th-annual High School Hockey Classic, presented by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, with 7 wins in their last 8 league games, including 2 wins during that stretch over arch-rival Glenbrook South and 2 wins also over York.
GBN will participate in the Denis Savard Division of the 16-team High School Hockey Classic, which will be held at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville. The tournament kicks off on Wednesday morning, Dec. 26, and culminates on Dec. 29.
Also participating in the annual tradition: Glenbard, Providence Catholic, Wheaton West, New Trier Green, and Stevenson, among others.
Matt Dahlke has a team-high 29 goals, 17 assists for the Spartans, while David Wilcox has chipped in 19 goals, 22 assists. Mikey Day has 18 goals, 20 assists.
Here is the Illinois High School Hockey Top 20 Rankings (as of Dec. 25), as compiled by Ross Forman:
1. New Trier Green
2. Loyola Gold
3. Glenbrook North
4. Saint Viator
5. St. Ignatius
6. Providence Catholic
9. Benet Academy
10. Carmel Catholic
11. Glenbrook South
13. New Trier White
14. St. Rita
15. Waubonsie Valley
16. Wheaton West
17. Maine Township
19. Loyola Maroon
20. Lake Forest
Others to watch: Hinsdale Central, D155, Barrington, AWF
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.