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Varsity hockey tops Deerfield 5-3, moves into first place of IHSHL North Central Gold Division

Lane receives $2,500 donation for large turnout at the game on Dec. 2

Lane+players+celebrate+a+goal+by+forward+John+Williams+during+the+third+period%2C+tying+the+game+3-3.
Lane players celebrate a goal by forward John Williams during the third period, tying the game 3-3.

Lane players celebrate a goal by forward John Williams during the third period, tying the game 3-3.

Photo by Eunice Alpasan

Photo by Eunice Alpasan

Lane players celebrate a goal by forward John Williams during the third period, tying the game 3-3.

By Eunice Alpasan, Managing Editor

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Varsity hockey won in a home game against Deerfield 5-3 at McFetridge Sports Center on Dec. 2. The fifth straight win put the team in first place in the IHSHL (Illinois High School Hockey League) North Central Gold Division.

This is their first win against Deerfield after losing to them twice so far this season, Sept. 26 and Nov. 9.

Photo by Eunice Alpasan
Forwards Joey Lagattuta and Brendan O’Brien watch the game from the players bench during the first period.

“Every time we played them, we knew we could be beat them but stuff didn’t really work out in those other games,” said John White, Div. 856. “Now we’re in first place, and beating them by a margin of more than one goal was awesome.”

Lane gained momentum within the first five minutes of the game when forward Brendan O’Brien, Div. 863, scored the opening goal. O’Brien finished the game with two goals and an assist after also scoring the fifth goal with two and a half minutes left of the third period, securing the team’s win.

The first period ended with Lane leading 2-0 with DePaul Prep’s James Johnston scoring a wraparound goal after a one-on-one scramble at the far end of Deerfield’s zone.

Lane’s varsity hockey team includes some players from other schools such as Taft and DePaul Prep and is the only high school hockey team throughout all of CPS.

Many Lane families and students attended the game, cheering on the team — some fans even occasionally taunting Deerfield’s goalie.

Friends of Lane received an opportunity to raise money during this event with a donor pledging $2,500 if 250 Lane students went to the game. Days following the game, president of Friends of Lane, Lisa Borelli, confirmed that Lane did receive the donation.

“Since we don’t normally play with a huge audience, having so many people from our school come is a huge morale boost,” White said. “Everyone feels like they gotta do something to get the crowd going.”

Thirty-five seconds into the second period, Deerfield scored a goal, setting the tone for the rest of period.

Photo by Eunice Alpasan
Forward Max Leslie talking to Athletico athletic trainer Vanessa Richardson after a collision with a Deerfield player during the second period.

Lane was able to force power plays throughout the game, but especially during this period.

“I was messing with some people, always chirping back and forth, trying to get them riled up, draw some penalties,” White said.

However, Lane missed many opportunities to score on two separate power plays after two penalty calls on Deerfield. Lane found themselves spending most of their power play time in the defensive zone with only a few notable good chances, such as one by forward Rex Lapka, Div. 860, coming in from the neutral zone in a one-on-one play.

During the first half of the period, Taft’s Max Leslie had a collision in the neutral zone with a Deerfield player which caused him to immediately drop hard on the ice. This put him out of the game for the rest of second period to eventually come back to play during the third.

Leslie was able to skate off the ice and talk to Athletico athletic trainer Vanessa Richardson, who comes to various high school and college hockey games to ensure the safety of players in instances like collisions or other hard hits.

When talking to Leslie for a few minutes, Richardson said Leslie felt “OK”, but there was more information that she was unable to share for privacy reasons.

A few minutes later, with about five minutes left of the second period, a shot on goal by Taft’s John Williams led to a scramble in front of the net after forward Kevin Jack, Div. 879, attempted to go in for the rebound. In the process, Jack crashed into the net, which digressed into a clash between the players. The crowd roared and people watching along the sides of the rink banged on the glass.

There was a significant stoppage of play while players conversed with the referees.

“The other team had a penalty being called on them, but one of our players ran into their goalie so there was a little scuffle in front of the net,” O’Brien said after the game. “The refs were trying to decide if they wanted to give us a power play or if they just wanted to keep it even strength because of the fight that happened.”

Initially, Jack and a Deerfield player were both sitting in the penalty box, but the Deerfield player ultimately got ejected from the game, and as Jack served an offsetting penalty, Lane was given their second power play opportunity of the period on the delayed Deerfield penalty.

While Lane was on the power play, Deerfield had many good opportunities, with one shot sliding in between goalie Eric Wamboldt’s legs, barely missing the net by a few inches. Deerfield maintained their momentum, leading to a goal despite being short-handed.

Although Lane was able to get some good chances in the last minute of the period, the buzzer went off and Lane was still tied 2-2.

Photo by Eunice Alpasan
Players wrangle in front of the net after a save by Deerfield goalie during the second period. A Deerfield player was later ejected from the game and forward Kevin Jack served an offsetting penalty as Lane received a power play on a delayed Deerfield penalty.

Early into the third period, Deerfield was on the power play, resulting in many outstanding saves by Taft’s Wamboldt as Deerfield attempted to act on rebounds, leading to traffic in front of the net.

Despite these efforts by Wamboldt, Deerfield got the puck in the back of the net, putting Lane at a 3-2 deficit.

Following the Deerfield goal, Lane responded a minute later with a goal by Taft’s John Williams, tying the game.

Lane found themselves short-handed again seconds later with a penalty call on Williams. However, Wamboldt was able to step up in order to maintain the tie.

“Our goalie stood on his head,” White said. “We thought we were down and out and [that] they were gonna score but he just pulled through, so he really helped us get through the rest of the game.”

Within the last five minutes of the game, Lane scored twice, with goals by Johnston and O’Brien, respectively. Like O’Brien, Johnston was able to come off the ice with two goals during the game.

The final buzzer sounded with a score of 5-3 on the board. Lane and Deerfield players went into their handshake lines as Lane fans cheered from the stands.

Varsity’s next game is back at McFetridge Sports Center on Dec. 9 against D155 Predators High School at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Eunice Alpasan
Lane and Deerfield players in their handshake lines after Lane wins 5-3 at McFetridge Sports Center on Dec. 2.

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Varsity hockey tops Deerfield 5-3, moves into first place of IHSHL North Central Gold Division