Nighthawks Defeat Maine South 2-1

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Nighthawks Defeat Maine South 2-1

By Mara Shapiro

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Facing  a tough conference opponent, the Maine South Hawks, who were going into the game with a 14-1 track record, the Nighthawks knew they had to elevate their game Saturday night.  They accomplished their goal by beating the Hawks 2-1.

First Period

To start off the first period, Ida Crown junior Elazar Kolom took the puck up the left side, trying for an early lead. However, the  Hawks’ defense and goalie prevented this from occurring. The Hawks took the puck down the ice towards the Nighthawks goal and goalie, Taft freshman Jason Dorsch.Senior defenseman Eli Sherman and Dorsch blocked the attempt at a goal. Later on, Kolom passed to Lincoln Park junior Tony Ercoli to try to score, but they were unsuccessful. Niles North sophomore Stefan Vlad also tried passing to Ercoli for a goal, but Ercoli lost the puck. The first penalty of the night was taken by Ercoli, giving the Hawks the power play. Vlad went for a breakaway, but came up empty. The Hawks brought the puck to the Nighthawks’ zone, but junior Nick Brummitt got it out. The Hawks tried to score again, but senior Nick Clark took the puck away. Kolom had another goal attempt, dodging Hawks defensemen, but couldn’t score. The Hawks brought up the puck again, but Sherman pushed the Hawks player to the side, successfully defending Dorsch. Nearing the end of the period, Vlad scored from the left side, making it into the top right of the net, making it 1-0 Nighthawks. Brummitt assisted. Ida Crown sophomore Seth Greenberg wound up his stick for a slap shot but couldn’t come up with the goal.

Second Period

After the first face-off of the period, Ercoli tried passing it back to his teammates, but the puck was stolen. Ercoli then was taken down as he tried to pass to Kolom. Maine South tried to tie the game up, but Dorsch blocked the attempt. Not too long after, the Hawks were called for having too many men on the ice. Ercoli then tried for a breakaway, but was blocked by Hawks defense. Niles North senior Benji Berg-Einhorn fended off Hawks defensemen in his attempt to score, but couldn’t extend the lead. Brummitt was very close to stuffing the puck into the Hawks’ goal, but their goalie saved the puck from going in. The amount of men on the ice became four on four when both a Maine South player and Sherman took penalties. Dorsch defended his goal multiple times, but unfortunately the Hawks tied it up, making it 1-1. Not too long after, Greenberg scored the winning goal of the night, aiming for the top of the net, making it 2-1 Nighthawks. Kolom and Ercoli both tried for goals but couldn’t score.

Third Period

The Hawks amped up their game in the last period, desperately trying to push for overtime. The Nighthawks wanted to extend their lead as well as keep the Hawks from scoring. Kolom tried for a goal, but it was saved by the Hawks’ goalie.  Niles North senior Jack Burke took a tripping penalty, leaving the Hawks with a power play. The Hawks crowded around Dorsch, but thanks to him and his defensemen, the puck was kept out of the Nighthawks’ net. Maine South took another penalty, giving the Nighthawks the advantage. However, they couldn’t capitalize. The Hawks were still trying to tie up the scoreboard, but Sherman and Chicagoland Jewish High School sophomore Ethan Herman prevented them from doing so. Later, Brummitt brought the puck towards the Hawks’ goalie, but the goalie made the save. The Hawks retaliated by bring up the puck themselves, but Ida Crown freshman Josh Daniels kept the puck away from Dorsch. Head Coach Steve Glickman was very vocal to his players, telling them to “wake up” near the end of the period. The end of the period was chaos. The Hawks pulled their goalie, leaving their net wide open and putting six players on the ice.  Dorsch had multiple saves, Vlad, Ercoli, Berg-Einhorn, and Brummitt all tried to score, and Sherman and Clark kept pushing the puck out of the Nighthawks’ zone, with Clark checking many Hawks players along the way. When the final buzzer sounded, the score remained 2-1 Nighthawks.

Assistant Coach Kevin Kruszynski feels that the team was focused on their goal to win.

“The game against the number one team was not an easy win…in fact, it was a hard fought battle in which the  team that worked harder prevailed.. We had discipline on Saturday night.. and when a team is disciplined to stay out of the penalty box, stay in position, and fight for the loose puck battles, it makes the game tough to lose… Fortunately we had an outstanding performance from our goalie with help from our defense,” Kruszysnki said via email.

However, Kruszysnki does feel that the Nighthawks could have put more offensive pressure.

“Some things the Nighthawks need to keep in mind while out on the ice are to finish the check when on the defensive side of the puck, hustle back to help on defense, and to shoot the puck when on offense… I always reminds the team that good things happen when you put the puck on net!”