NORTHBROOK -- When he looked up, Glenbrook South’s Carter Erickson saw a sight that always turns adrenaline into rocket fuel.
“I saw me and the goalie,” Erickson said. “I tried keeping my head up best I could out there and one-on-one I was just looking for where the spaces were on the net. It just ripped off my stick and I found a hole.”
Erickson’s short-handed, 2-on-1, third-period goal on a rush up the right side ultimately stood up as the game-winner in South’s eventual 3-1 win at Glenbrook North on Sunday. Jackson Hill struck for South’s first goal in the second period and Jason Ban added an empty-netter with 12 seconds left in the game.
Glenbrook South (10-13-0 in SHL play) also beat Glenbrook North (11-11-0) by the same score of 3-1 on Nov. 26 in their annual Thanksgiving game.
“We came in off a tough loss the other day to Loyola and we come in today and had a nice performance,” South goalie Luke Winger said. “It’s important not to have back-to-back losses so a game like this was good for us.”
With the regular season winding down, South coach Jim Philbin pointed to lessons learned that will likely dictate team performances league-wide, with the SHL playoffs right around the corner.
"You just want to be as prepared as possible, relax, and have fun,” Philbin said. “Stay on that even keel. We need to shut down teams, figure out their weaknesses, and it’s January now so we have a better idea on how to do those things.
“The kids played hard and they played a good game. If you don’t move your feet it doesn’t matter what your plan is, but if you move your feet you’re mentally in it and if your heart’s there, and that makes all the difference.”
If Sunday’s game could be distilled down to one spell, for Glenbrook South it would likely be what the Titans did roughly mid-way through the second period of a fairly evenly-played game to that point.
Right around the 8-minute mark of the second period, the ice suddenly seemed tilted down to South’s offensive zone.
“We stepped it up,” Philbin said. “We call it the wave and we felt that wave coming, and the shifts, and we were starting to shut them down and controlling play.”
Shots were tied 12-12 on the scoreboard up until the final eight minutes of the second period, and when it was over South held a 20-14 edge in shots.
South’s wave paid off when Hill scored from the point on assists from Finn Boland and Zach Freimuth with 6:41 left in the period. Winger happily watched that wave from the opposite end of the ice.
“I saw it and when I saw it happen, I knew we were going to win. We were all over them in that second period,” Winger said. “I’m really proud of us.”