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Top-ranked New Trier’s 7-6 victory over second-ranked Glenbrook North on Sunday night was more than just a ‘W’ in the standings for the boys hockey team.
“Anytime you can beat these guys it feels really good,” New Trier sophomore center Brad Glass said. “We know they’re good. They know we are good. It’s just going to be a battle.”
In the first period, it looked as if Glass would be right. Despite being outshot and having the puck in their zone for a majority of the period, the Spartans (23-11) were able to take a 2-1 lead into the second. Jonathan Gauger scored the first goal of the game at the 9:03 mark of the period. The Trevians tied the game when Daniel Spitz scored on a breakaway with just over a minute remaining in the period. Ryan Slovis, who assisted on Gauger’s goal, gave Glenbrook North the lead again with 3.9 seconds remaining when he knocked in a goal of his own.
But New Trier came out looking like a different team in the second period. Its suffocating defense allowed only four shots.
And all those New Trier shots that were missing in the first period suddenly were finding the back of the net in the second period. Kyle Melton scored a goal a minute and a half into the period. W. Barrett Stephan picked up his first point of the game when he put in a shot that would give the Trevians (23-4) the lead for good with 10:03 remaining.
Douglas Smart picked up his first goal when he knocked in a puck during a fight for the puck at the 5:54 mark.
After New Trier scored two goals to start the third period, giving the visitors a 7-2 lead, it looked like the Trevians had the game in control.
Then the Spartans came alive. Ryan Maksimovic scored to cut the lead to four at the 9:16 mark and Gauger scored his second goal 39 seconds later. Then Nicholas Day scored yet another Glenbrook North goal with 3:38 remaining. Day would score again with 2.5 seconds left.
“It’s inexcusable to give up a 7-2 lead and almost have it be tied,” Glass said. “We have to be aggressive all the time. We just become too comfortable with leads. That can’t happen.”