Nighthawks Lose to Kings Hockey Club Black Team 4-2 Despite Valiant Efforts

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Nighthawks Lose to Kings Hockey Club Black Team 4-2 Despite Valiant Efforts

By Mara Shapiro

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Although the Nighthawks crushed the Kings Hockey Club  Gold Team 10-0 last week, the combination of dirty plays and poor referees made it difficult to repeat against the Kings Hockey Black Team, instead falling to them 4-2 Saturday night.

First Period

The Kings made it a mission to become aggressive early, and repeatedly crowded around Taft freshman goalie Jason Dorsch. Chicagoland Jewish High School sophomore Ethan Herman got the puck out and away from Dorsch allowing senior Eli Sherman to bring the puck towards the Kings’ goal and pass  to Lincoln Park junior Tony Ercoli, who almost scored by shooting at the net while twisting backwards. Ercoli took a penalty not too long after his goal attempt, giving the Kings a power play advantage, which they intensely tried to capitalize on. In trying to protect the goal, senior Nick Clark got knocked down, but was quick in getting back on his feet. Ida Crown junior Elazar Kolom passed  to Niles North sophomore John Kinne to try to make the score board, but were stopped by the Kings’ defense. As both teams were desperate to try to score the first goal of the night, both teams’ defensemen had to really guard their goalies from oncoming pucks. Herman did just that, using his body to shield Dorsch. Many offensive players, like Ercoli, made excellent defensive plays in trying to keep the puck away from the goal, as well.

After the puck was finally taken away from the Nighthawks’ zone, Niles North senior Benji Berg-Einhorn tried to put the puck in the net multiple times, but was either stopped by the Kings’ defense or their goalie. Unfortunately, the Kings were the first one to score in the game, but it didn’t stop the Nighthawks’ momentum. Kinne and Berg-Einhorn kept trying to get past the Kings’ defense while the Nighthawks’ defensemen kept trying to guard Dorsch, including junior Nick Brummitt who made sure to get the puck out amid a heavy presence of Kings around the Nighthawks’ goal. Ercoli and senior Alex Petroulakis  kept trying to put shots on goal, trying to get past the Kings’ tough goalie. A penalty was given against Clark for “misconduct,” giving the Kings another power play advantage. Luckily, the Kings couldn’t capitalize. Sherman worked hard against the Kings’ buzzing  offense and passed to Berg-Einhorn, whose shots on goal were continually blocked. To end the period, Ercoli tried to stick handle his way into the net, but fell over the Kings’ goalie’s stick and couldn’t complete the run, leaving the score 1-0 Kings.

Second Period

The second period started off well for the Nighthawks. Kinne passed to Ercoli to tie up the score. Unfortunately, the Kings retaliated quickly, once again taking the lead at 2-1.  The Kings’ dirty side came out when Brummitt was blindsided by a player, who deservedly took a penalty. Ercoli had repeated attempts at another goal, but couldn’t come through. Back at the Nighthawks’ end, Clark kept staying on Kings’ offensemen, checking and hitting various players to prevent another goal.  The most confusing part of the night occurred halfway through the period. Clark, Sherman, Brummitt, and Herman were all put into the box for various reasons at the same time.  Herman let his frustrations get the better of him, but Clark, Sherman, and Brummitts’ calls were questionable, and the fans let their opinions be known.  Luckily, the Kings’ didn’t score despite the major advantage. A King whiffed on the puck, allowing Ercoli to take the puck away from the Nighthawks’ zone. His scoring attempt hit the post, allowing the Kings to take it back up the ice. Kinne got the puck out, allowing Ida Crown sophomore Seth Greenberg to take a point blank shot on net, but the Kings’ goalie caught it with his glove, ending the period.

Third Period

The beginning of the period involved  both teams trying to score, the Nighthawks trying to shorten the lead, while the Kings wanted to extend the lead as much as possible. Many shots on goal were taken. Kolom kept trying to score, but was always met by a check from the Kings’ defense. An example of how the referees short changed the Nighthawks was the next Kings’ goal. It seemed that the whistle was always blown when a Nighthawks player would try to get the rebound on a goal, stopping the play. Dorsch wasn’t as fortunate. He stopped the puck from going in, but no whistle was blown, allowing a rebound goal to occur. It also seemed that the referees were rather chatty with the Kings when the puck wasn’t in play, but it didn’t seem to bother the Nighthawks too much. There were just confusing  actions taking place on the ice. The Kings goalie left while everyone was in the Nighthawks zone and then skated back a minute later, and then before a face-off a Kings player was delaying the puck from being dropped. After all of this,  Ercoli and a Kings player both took penalties, making it four on four play. Kinne scored, making the score 3-2. Sherman and Petroulakis repeatedly battled against the boards, but were always shut down. Ercoli would get past the defense, but was stopped by the goalie. The Kings took another penalty, and the Nighthawks took a time out. The decision was made to pull Dorsch, allowing six men to be on the ice.  This proved to be fruitless as a Kings player effortlessly scored into the empty net, ending the game with 4-2 Kings.

Sherman feels that the team let the Kings get to them.

“We were rolling around fine and we had a bit of a misstep. The passing wasn’t there. We got frustrated and we let them get under our skin and got us to draw penalties. We played shorthanded for a major portion of the game. No matter who you play, that’s just gonna make it hard to beat any body,” Sherman said.