Nighthawks Shut Out Deerfield 7-0

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Nighthawks Shut Out Deerfield 7-0

By Mara Shapiro

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Assistant Nighthawks coach Kevin Kruzsynski named Deerfield as one of the teams to beat in the season preview, but the Nighthawks didn’t just beat the Warriors last Saturday night, they annihilated them in a 7-0 shut out, with four of the goals coming from Lincoln Park junior Tony Ercoli. To top the win off, the team only had 11 players to work with.

After the first face-off of the night, the Deerfield Warriors were quick on the offensive. Immediately, the Warriors pushed the Nighthawks back, creating a crowd of confusion around Nighthawks goalie, Whitney Young junior Eric Ziegler. The Nighthawks’ primary objective was to get the puck away from Ziegler, and they made several strong attempts to do so. Ercoli tried for a goal, and a pass from junior Nick Brummitt to Niles North sophomore John Kinne was unsuccessful. The Nighthawks then used the same tactic as the Warriors, getting a majority of the team on the Warriors’ side of the ice. The Warriors had a brick wall of a goalie, and while many shots were put on goal, the goalie fended off the pucks with his glove and more than a few split saves. The Warriors then retaliated with a few shots on goal of their own, but were met by senior defenseman Eli Sherman’s stick, which he would break in two later on in the night. Halfway through the period Niles North sophomore Stefan Vlad assisted Ercoli with his first goal of the night. Both Ziegler and the Warriors’ goalie were put to the test, but at the end of the period, the score remained at 1-0 Nighthawks.

At the start of the second period, senior captain and defenseman Nick Clark’s shot was caught by the Warrior goalie’s glove. Clark later tripped a Warrior and was put in the penalty box for 2 minutes. Luckily, the Warriors didn’t capitalize on the power play, but a breakaway looked threatening until the puck died once it reached Ziegler. Ercoli tried for his second goal of the night, weaving around Deerfield’s defense, but the puck was blocked. Ercoli sped down the ice again with Deerfield hot on his trail, but once again failed to score. The second goal was a wraparound on the left side by Vlad, with the assist by Ercoli, making the score 2-0 Nighthawks. With more shots on the Warriors’ goal, including a few off the post, Vlad scored his second goal of the night, assisted by Clark, continuing the Nighthawks’ lead with a score of 3-0. Ercoli was determined to put another goal in the Warriors’ net, and he did just that in the final minutes of the period, ending the half with a score of 4-0 Nighthawks.

At the start of the third period, it was apparent that the Warriors’ goalie was running out of steam, mentally and physically. He left the net wide open, allowing Kinne to put away the fifth goal of the night. Ercoli wound up his stick for an attempted slap shot, but was unsuccessful; however, a few minutes later he scored his third goal of the night (with assistance from Sherman), making it a hat trick for himself and resulting in a score of 6-0 Nighthawks. The duo of Ercoli and Sherman struck again, with Ercoli scoring and Sherman assisting, respectively, making it four  goals for Ercoli, and leaving the Nighthawks with the final score of 7-0 over Deerfield.

Clark believes the Nighthawks’ win was due to an increase in teamwork and discipline.

“We were successful because we shut down their [Deerfield’s] top scorer, along with better discipline and teamwork, which has been the key to our success so far this season,” Clark said.