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There was no snow, the mild January temperatures barely freezing for Monday night’s outdoor hockey game between Lake Forest and Loyola Maroon.
But the ice was firm and slick, the Lake Forest student body loud and feisty. And thanks to four third period goals, the Scouts defeated the Ramblers 5-2 at the Winter Club in Lake Forest.
“The ice was a little softer with the 50 degree weather,” Scouts forward Charlie Sullivan said. “They’ve (crowd) been coming out all season, really supporting us.”
Most of the scoring took place in the final period. Loyola went ahead 2-1 when Danny O’Grady got a shot past Lake Forest Ellie Small just 1:44 into the third period.
Later in the period, the floodgates opened for the Scouts. With 3:43 remaing in the game, Sullivan broke free on a breakaway, beating Rambler goalie Nicholas Bolino with a shot that tied the game at 2. Then 37 seconds later, Luke Bartuch netted the go-ahead goal, beating Bolino with a top shelf strike. With 2:34 left, Sean Ewert put the game away, scoring on an assist from John Kazarian and Keith Davis. Connor Knop added an empty-netter with 16 seconds left in the game.
It was the last regular season game for both teams, as the Illinois Amateur Hockey Association playoffs begin next week. For Lake Forest, it was the perfect finish to a memorable night.
“We are playing our best hockey now. We knew we were going to have a game like this,” Bartuch said. “You don’t get to many opportunities like this, to play outside.”
Christopher Nolan scored the other goal for Loyola Maroon.