By Pam Flores
It is hard to believe, but the 2018-1029 season is close to winding down. All teams are finalizing their regular season and Girls Illinois State Hockey Championships play-in games and preparing for Metro League Playoffs.
There are still a few games to be played in the second half of the season, but currently Fenwick, New Trier and Loyola are on top of the Scholastic Division, while Lake Forest, Warren and Glenbrook lead the Founders Division. Stay tuned for updates!
2019 AHAI High School All-State Game
Congratulations to all the girls that participated in the 2019 Girls High School All-State game – what a fun and exciting game that ended with the red team beating the white team 5-3! Congrats to Lyndie Lobdell (Naper Valley) on being awarded the annual Terry J. Stasica MVP Award.
The game was played on February 11. Enjoy the photos from the fun evening, and click HERE to watch the game on Game Time Broadcasting.
2019 Blackhawk Alumni High School All-Star Team
Congratulations are in order for the six ladies named to the 2019 Blackhawk Alumni High School All-Star Team. This is truly an honor! The girls include Maddie Babnik (New Trier, Defense), Kate Pohl (Latin, forward), Ella Huber (New Trier, forward), Lyndie Lobdell (Naper Valley, defense), Erin Proctor (Fenwick, forward) and Lena Flores (Fenwick, goalie). The girls attended a media day at the United Center on February 22 where they got to watch a Blackhawk skate and tour the locker room. Check out the fun photos they snapped!
They will also attend the annual Keith Magnuson Scholarship Luncheon on March 5 where they will get to mingle with a number of Blackhawks. Photos to come!
Rebels Make the Upper Bracket in Their Inaugural Year!
Congratulations are in order for the Rebels on making the Scholastic Cup in their inaugural season. This is quite a feat for their first year in the league. The team is made up of girls that attend several schools in the Northwest Suburbs, including Prospect, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Hersey, St. Viator and Fremd.
Many of the girls on the team are double rostered, playing with Chicago Young Americans, Team Illinois, the Milwaukee Junior Admirals, the Warhawks and the Glenview Stars.
“This is a great group of girls that work hard and are committed to putting forth the best team possible,” commented Nicole Witt, Rebels Assistant Coach. “They really want to make a statement and signal that they truly belong in the league.”
No one would argue that they have already accomplished that. The Rebels ended the first half of the season in 6th place and earned a spot to compete in the upper bracket.
Captain Sara Martino is very proud about how the team came together and how well they support each other. “We have girls from a wide variety of programs, and it has been fun to watch them all come together and do their best to trust one another on the ice,” she explained.
She credits the team’s coaches with having the right leadership that has enabled them to succeed. Sara continued, “Jimmy and Nicole really know when to let us have fun and when to pull back and let me and Emmy (Garcia, alternate captain) take leadership of the team.”
The team sent four players to the All-State game in their first season in the Metro League, including Emmy Garcia, Sara Martino, Kaylee Liberty and Kylie Makuh. The girls played on the winning red team.
“It has been a fun experience pulling together girls that play AAA, AA and high school hockey together to form a team,” noted Jimmy Warrick, Rebels Head Coach. “The girls have been terrific to work with, despite their crazy schedules. The freshmen have been outstanding, and our goalie has stood tall in net.”
“Our managers Carolyn and Gina are the unsung heroes in pulling the team together and have done an amazing job helping us make it into the top bracket,” Jimmy added. “Their devotion will go a long way to helping ensure the future success of the team. We have a young team with a number of freshmen and sophomores, and I am looking forward to seeing this team successfully grow in numbers and skill to become a top team in the years to come.”
Warrick runs a variety of off season programs with his company SRM and is currently working on hosting the first annual Hockey Girls Junior Showcase that will be held May 31- June 2, 2019 in Barrington that will help offer local girls’ exposure to colleges ranging from the NCAA D1, NCAA D3, as well as ACHA D1.
“We are thrilled with the progress our team is making and truly it’s due to our depth of the girls on the team across the board,” said Malz. “Our girls play at various levels, but they are well coached and are looking to grow and develop. Our AA girls form our core and our AAA girls take an active role in helping to coach and develop our other players. They encourage all of their teammates and really help make everyone’s experience better.”
“We have become very close in a very short timeframe and I simply love playing with this group of girls,” concluded Martino. Nice job Rebels!
Blackhawks Captains Spotlight
By Sarah Herd, New Trier
The Captain Spotlight dinner was a memorable experience, it offered a unique opportunity to connect with captains from other leagues and schools. It emphasized the Blackhawks organization’s involvement in the community and with high school hockey. Combined with a high scoring 8-7 win against Ottawa, it was an exciting night and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent New Trier and the Metro Girls league!
Lena Flores Commits to Manhattanville College
The Fenwick Girls team is proud to announce that goaltender Lena Flores has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for Coach David Turco at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York next fall! Lena is planning to study physical therapy. She also plays for Team Illinois.
The Warren Township High School team is pleased to announce that Alexis Schultz has committed to play ACHA Division I hockey at Robert Morris University in the fall of 2019.
Maggie Culp to Attend Long Island University-Brooklyn
Naper Valley is proud to announce that Maggie Culp has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Long Island University-Brooklyn in the Fall. Maggie will study psychology. In addition to Naper Valley, Maggie has played with the Mission for the past five years. Congrats ladies!
Celebrating our Seniors
New Trier Girls Hockey celebrated its 2019 Senior Night on Sunday, February 10th at North Shore Ice Arena before a large crowd that gathered to watch an exciting league game between New Trier and Fenwick. Six graduating seniors were honored at a ceremony prior to the game where the girls presented their parents with a rose bouquet and a framed copy of their senior hockey photo.
This year’s Senior Night was particularly special because New Trier Girls Hockey is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the girls program this season. Each of the six seniors has played for New Trier Girls Hockey for all four of their high school years. They have all loved playing the great game of hockey for their high school with lifelong friends.
Three of the girls will continue playing hockey in college. Maddie Babnik will be playing Division I hockey at The Ohio State University in the fall, while Addie Budington will be playing at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Abby Wieczorek will be playing at Connecticut College. Congratulations girls!
Lake Forest High School
Lake Forest High School Girls hockey team honored four graduating seniors on February 10th in a great game against Warren. Seniors Amanda Peter (Libertyville), Gracie Walker (Highland Park), Sarah Newtown (Lake Forest), and Ryan Foreman (Highland Park), were all celebrated during senior night, and they also took time to honor their parents for supporting them in their hockey careers! The evening was a “win” for the entire team as the Scouts beat Warren 7 to 4.
Evanston Township High School
On Jan. 26, Evanston celebrated its “Hockey Days” and senior night in a game vs. LFA. For the past four years, Kelly Kleschen and Ella McGinley have been anchors on the high school team. They have been leaders among the girls, and consistent goal scorers. Both have long been a part of the fabric of the Evanston Youth Hockey Association.
Kelly began playing hockey at age 5, but didn’t join EYHA until her peewee year, when she was inspired by her brother Ryan to join the team. A natural athlete, Kelly plays hockey, club soccer and varsity soccer at ETHS. She is the youngest of four, and as the only girl in her family, with older brothers Justin, Kevin and Ryan, she has earned the distinction of being one of the toughest girls on the ice.
Fellow senior Ella McGinley took a figure skating class at age 6. Quickly bored, she was inspired by classmates Andrew Cousineau and Gabi Rodriguez (seniors on the ETHS varsity team today) who offered her their hand-me-down gear and got her playing hockey.
Ella is committed on and off the ice, leading the ETHS anti-hunger committee and volunteering for Best Buddies, pairing students with developmentally disabled students. She is also an avid soccer and guitar player.
Both girls have been leaders on the team, and they will be missed. Good luck ladies!
Other League Happenings
Ladies that played with the Rattlers over the years met in Oak Lawn for a fun alumni game that was held on December 29, 2018. Even though the team is no longer playing in the Metro League, the alumni game has been an annual tradition for many years. It is so much fun seeing old teammates reunite!
Fenwick alums Aval Gawley (class of 2018) met up with Julia Vara (class of 2016) and current Fenwick and Robert Morris Head Coach Mason Strom when Michigan State faced off against Robert Morris in a two-game ACHA D1 series. The games were held at the Edge in Bensenville on February 8 and 9.
Teammates Face Off
A mini reunion took place during the Lake Forest senior night when they faced off against Warren and a number of former Falcons players came together at the end of the game to snap a quick photo.
Several girls that play together at Team Illinois met after the Fenwick-Rebels game on February 20 to snap a quick photo. Competitors during the game, but friends forever!