By Ross Forman – Sabrina Shvartsman, a senior at New Trier in her fourth season on the Trevians’ girls varsity team, is committed to play Division III hockey starting in the fall at Elmira College. Then she’s planning to go to medical school as she hopes to be a sports medicine doctor.
“I am really looking forward to joining Elmira, being a part of the great school,” said Shvartsman, 18, who lives in Wilmette and sports uniform No. 18 in tribute to Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Savard. But it was her parents who picked that jersey number for her when she was little, “and it just stuck,” she said.
Shvartsman, who formerly played for the Wilmette Braves, also skates for the Chicago Young Americans 19U team – and has skated for CYA for about 7 years. She has been playing defense for the Trevians the past two years, but usually is a wing. She played in the AHAI Girls High School All-State Game last February, joining New Trier teammates Brynn Levinson, Serena Seiple, Callista Chong, Hadley Freedman and Claire VanDamme.
She skated in the 30th annual All-State Game in February 2019, along with New Trier teammates Julia Laden, Addie Budington, Maddie Babnik, Kate McLaughlin and Ella Huber. Shvartsman also skated in the 2018 All-State Game, along with Trevian teammates Maddie Babnik, Maureen McNerney, Mae Olshansky and Hayden Snow.
New Trier, with the No. 1 seed, was a Final Four team in 2020.
The Trevians were the state champions in 2018, skating past Glenbrook, 5-1.
“I am a pass-first player. I always look for an open player to pass the puck to before I shoot,” said Shvartsman, who tagged Chicago Blackhawks standout Patrick Sharp as one of her hockey influences. He was her favorite NHL player. “He was just a hard-working player who also was a great leader, which really motivated me,” she said.
“I bring a lot of energy to the team. I am not a super serious person; I just try to have fun whenever I’m on the ice and try to make sure others are having fun with me. No one likes to not touch the puck at all during scrimmages and games, so I make sure I pass the puck to everyone. Also, if I notice some people aren’t passing, I try to talk to them and encourage them to move the puck a little more.”
Her team-first approach explains her favorite hockey memory: “Any time my team won state. Nothing feels better than counting down the last few seconds, then going wild when the buzzer goes off.”
Shvartsman formerly played on the New Trier badminton team and she also enjoys playing tennis.
“I do my best to work out once or twice a day at my house. I have a schedule that helps me stay on track,” she said.
Slapshots With … New Trier Four-Year player Sabrina Shvartsman
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: “My current favorite player is Dominic Kubalik.”
Favorite Sports-Themed Movie: Like Mike
Favorite Pre-Game Meal: “A Berry Punch smoothie from Smoothie King.”
Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Asher Angel
Best Hockey Tip: “Mind over matter. I have heard this from pretty much any coach I have ever had, but last year in my sports medicine class, we learned about this. We went over a study that showed that if you said, ‘I can do it’ more while doing something hard it will actually help you.”
Teammate Who You Could See As A Hockey Coach: Courtney Schumacher
Hardest Slapshot on New Trier: Emili Haratani
Most Accurate Shot: Callista Chong
Fastest Skater: Natalie Fu
Best High School Uniforms (other than New Trier): Latin School of Chicago
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.