Positivity was the name of the game as Stevenson faced Loyola Gold in the SHL Game of The Week. The Patriots wanted to make sure they played as a team and had each other’s backs as they took a 6-3 victory Thursday night in Crystal Lake.
“Our goal was just to be positive on the bench,” added Ethan O’Gradney. “Just make sure we pick each other up.”
Pick themselves up is exactly what Stevenson did. Loyola dominated early, with goals by Ryan Boersma and Jack Gustafson in the first. The Patriots kicked off the second with goals by Brody Trokes and Spencer Harman to tie the game but Loyola got the final say in that period when Nicholis Mlaniuk took the lead back for the Ramblers.
After the intermission, the energy on the ice shifted and Stevenson came to life.
“We knew we were with them the whole game,” said Brandon Schultz. “During intermission we came together as a group and we knew if we just took it to them we could win this game.”
O’Gradney came in and tied the game at three with 12:20 left to play and with four minutes left Schultz knocked in the game-winner.
“We never gave up on each other,” said Schultz. “We kept bouncing back, always forechecking, always doing the extra little thing.”
Dylan Jette sored an open-netter and Andrew Lermer scored the sixth and final goal with 30 seonds left in the game.
“We were really togehter,” added O’Gradney. “It wasn’t just one person working for themselves, we worked as a team, we all played for the person next to us so everyone was playing for everyone else.”