Varsity hockey ties with Fox Valley 2-2 after two late comeback goals


Eunice Alpasan

Defenseman Daniel Jorgensen handling the puck in the attacking zone during the third period.

By Eunice Alpasan, Managing Editor

Lane entered the last 10 minutes of their game against Fox Valley on Jan. 13 at McFetridge Sports Center with full momentum as Lane players were in a desperate attempt to come back from a 2-0 deficit.

Having already lost to Fox Valley on Dec. 14 at Carol Stream Ice Rink, Lane was looking to return the favor and get their first win against them this season.

However, despite two late comeback goals and many outstanding saves by Lane goalie Eric Wamboldt, their last-ditch efforts were only enough to end the game with a 2-2 tie.   

“We were playing around the perimeter the first two periods,” said Daryl Dee, assistant coach. “We could have gotten the puck deep in a bit more, get better quality shots.”

Lane opened with a slow start to the first period as players were unable to get control of the puck and connect passes in front of the net.

At about the halfway mark of the period, there were a few notable chances, one by defenseman Aleksandar Rick with a shot that hit the goalpost, and one by forward Max Leslie who entered the offensive zone and crashed into a Fox Valley player in front of the net.

The last two minutes of the period were mostly spent in the defensive zone, but forward Will Booker was able to struggle out of the defensive zone with a shot on goal during the last minute.

“I thought we started off a little sluggish, but as the game progressed, the chemistry picked up and we started playing better as a team,” said defenseman Dylan Perpich, Div. 968.

Lane had more control of the puck during the second period, and had many rushes to the net; however, these plays would be broken up by Fox Valley defense and their goalie.

With around eight minutes left in the second period, the Fox Valley goalie made two strong saves on shots by defenseman Jacob Wolf. A few minutes later, the opponents also had a rush to the net after getting control of the puck in their defensive zone, but Wamboldt was able to step up to make the save.

Both teams increased their aggressiveness on the ice in the final minutes of the period. After getting into a minor scuffle in the offensive zone, forward Rex Lapka, Div. 860, and a Fox Valley player received offsetting minors with 4:25 left in the period.

“Our emotions started to get the best of us, so the kids started playing a little bit harder, a little more physical,” Dee said. “I think that [those] were the ingredients to coming back in the third period.”

In the final two minutes of the second period, Fox Valley went on the power play after a scramble which put Leslie, Merkel and a Fox Valley player into the penalty box.    

The period ended 1-0 after Fox Valley was able to score on the power play with 13.5 seconds left in the period.

Lane received their second power play opportunity early into the third period after an altercation behind Fox Valley’s net. There was a good scoring opportunity by James Johnston with 20 seconds left on the power play, but Fox Valley was ultimately able to kill the penalty.

In a rush to the net by Fox Valley early into the third period, Wamboldt made outstanding back-to-back saves that caused chaos in the stands. Johnston received a penalty among all the traffic in front of Lane’s net.

“When our goalie made those probably three straight saves on the breakaway, it was a turning point,” said forward John Williams.

During the power play, Fox Valley scored, extending their lead to 2-0. Wamboldt fell short in an attempt to make a leaping save which left him far outside the goal crease.

Lane responded about 30 seconds later with a goal by Lapka from in front of the net that caused him to fall onto Fox Valley’s goalie.

“I didn’t even know I scored at first,” Lapka said. “I rammed the goalie, I got up and I asked the goalie if he was OK and then Sockol came over and told me I scored.”

Lane continued to increase their speed and aggressiveness, which led them to many scoring chances within the second half of the third period.

Despite not scoring on their third power play opportunity, Lane continued its momentum and physicality. Rick tied the game 2-2 with a shot from the point with five minutes left.

Tensions remained high in the last minutes, but Lane was unable to get the game-winning goal.

“It was good to get the tie, but getting the win would’ve been a lot better,” Lapka said.

Varsity is currently in second place of the Illinois High School Hockey League North Central Gold Division. The team will be playing against New Trier White at North Shore Ice Arena on Jan. 18.