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Waubonsie Valley survived a furious last second rally by Naperville North to hold on for a 4-3 victory at All Seasons Ice Arena in Naperville on Saturday.
The Warriors (25-10-8) forced a game three in the semifinals of the IHSHL West Scholastic Cup playoffs. The series deciding game will take place Monday evening at All Seasons.
‘’It was wide-open and wild towards the end,’’ Waubonsie coach Jimmy Frasco said. ‘’We gave them two soft goals in the third and almost a fourth.’’
Fourth-ranked Naperville (38-12-6) pulled goalie Mario Ritchie for an extra attacker in the final minute. The Huskies peppered goalie Jake Rubenstein with several shots and one of them got through but it happened right after the buzzer sounded.
‘‘It’s always pretty crazy when we play them,’’ Waubonsie forward Thomas Stobart said. “It felt good doing what I could do for my team.’’
Stobart, who is his team’s leading scorer, scored a pair of goals including the eventual game-winner. His first goal came on a wrist shot from the slot after Benjamin Vietri picked up the rebound of his own shot and made a nice feed to Stobart for an early 1-0 lead.
‘‘Thomas has great wheels and a great shot,’’ Frasco said. ‘‘He gets targeted a lot by teams who try to get him to retaliate so he will go to the (penalty) box and get him off the ice.’’
Stobart’s game-winner came on a rebound midway through the third period and came in the middle of a string of Naperville goals in that period.
Nicholas Berry, Paul Mascitti and Sean McDonnell all scored goals for the Huskies in the third period. McDonnell’s wrap-around goal came on a power-play with just over a minute left to play and allowed the Huskies to pull the goalie and try for the tie.
Thomas Morin and John Hill scored second period goals for the Warriors to give Waubonsie a 3-0 lead. Hill’s goal was especially painful for Naperville as it came off a rebound with only seven seconds left to play in that period.
‘‘We’ve been working on rebounds a lot lately,’’ Frasco said. ‘‘That goal at the end of the second period was a huge goal for us.’’