Goal spurt keys Glenbrook North win over Loyola Gold
3/17/13 Bensenville-Glenbrook North celebrates with fans after a victory over Loyola in hockey semi-finals at The Edge. Stacia Timonere/for Sun Times Media
Updated: March 30, 2013 12:07AM
BENSENVILLE — The Glenbrook North boys hockey team used a dominant second period to earn a 6-3 victory over Loyola Gold in the Blackhawk Cup semifinals Sunday at the Edge West.
The No. 1 Spartans (54-15-3) will take on New Trier Green on March 24 at the United Center for the state championship.
“In the second period, we started playing the body more,” Spartans coach Evan Poulakidas said. “We played more physical in that period and it’s usually the opposite when we play them.”
Trailing 2-1 after one period, Glenbrook North went to work immediately in the second. Jonathan Gauger started off a decisive four-goal period for the Spartans by slamming home a cross-slot pass from Christopher Zhang to tie the game 1:38 into the period.
“Once we scored that first goal, we exploded after that,” Glenbrook North forward Nicholas Day said. “We knew the season was on the line.”
Ryan Maksimovic, who played in spite of being sick, scored midway through the period and Day scored two late goals in the period to give the Spartans a commanding 5-2 lead heading into the third period.
“We did what we’ve been doing all season,” Glenbrook North defenseman John McNally said. “We got down early and came back but we usually wait until the third period.”
McNally added a goal and an assist for the Spartans.
Nicholas Schaefer scored both goals for the Ramblers in the first period. His second goal came on a power play to give Loyola (35-25) a 2-1 lead. Jacob Skarzynski scored a short-handed goal for Loyola to cut the lead to 5-3 with 9:51 left to play in the game, but Gauger countered that goal for his second of the game for Glenbrook North.
The Spartans will be returning to the finals for the first time since their second-place finish in 2011. McNally’s brother Patrick was a member of that team.
“(Patrick) holds it over me all the time about getting to the finals,” McNally said. “Hopefully, I will have something to hold over him after next week.”
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper Thursday to read more about the Glenbrook North and Loyola Gold boys hockey teams.