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Playing at Soldier Field, no matter what sport, could be daunting. Sometimes it just takes a little bit for a team to get acclimated to its surroundings.
St. Ignatius fell into an early hole, but rallied to pull out a 5-2 win over Latin in the first game of the Hockey City Classic Winter Festival at Soldier Field on Friday.
“We were a little intimidated, yeah,’’ St. Ignatius' Patrick Connelly said. “Once we got used to out surroundings and the ice, we calmed down and were able to get back to what we do best.’’
In an odd occurrence, the clock operators put 17 minutes on the clock for every period, instead of the normal 15 minutes.
Despite not having possession of the puck for most of the first period, Latin (16-15-1) got a pair of quick goals, taking a 2-0 lead. But the Romans struggled to find any rhythm after that.
After being stopped on its first seven shots, St. Ignatius (10-19-4) got on the board when Keenan Casey knocked in a shot with 3:17 remaining in the period. Connelly added his first of two goals a minute later.
The Wolfpack broke the 2-2 tie and took the lead for good when Will Yorke scored with 14:45 remaining. A rash of St. Ignatius attacks soon followed, capped by Connelly’s second goal 1:45 after York converted.
Meanwhile, Latin was unable to get any sort of rhythm and could only muster three shots in the period.
“We’ve played each other a lot already,’’ Connelly said. “Nothing they do surprised us.’’
Ryan Bell finished the scoring when he knocked in a goal with 6:03 remaining in the contest.
The game became chippy in the final period, as the two teams were penalized a combined five times for roughing.
“It’s a rivalry,’’ Connelly said. “What do you expect?’’