New Trier Green kicked off the season right where they left off last March at the United Center: with an on-ice celebration. The Trevians slipped past Glenbrook North 1-0 on Sunday, Sept. 10, to win the 2023 Preseason Invitational, hosted by Wheaton West at Center Ice of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
The 20-team tournament also featured Glenbrook South, Lake Forest and Stevenson – all of whom advanced to the quarterfinals.
“We’re thrilled to get the results we had,” said Green head coach Adam Cheris. “We challenged them after the second period (of the finals). We said, ‘It’s time to define who we are, what your legacy will be.’ They got fired up and played a very good third period.
“I really liked the response from the team in the third.”
It wasn’t until 4:35 remaining to play that the Trevians broke GBN goalie Michael Reyderman. New Trier’s Jack Olson, a lefty, was on the right side of the ice and seemed to chip the puck toward the net. “Perhaps it tricked Reyderman (and slid into the net),” Cheris said. “I don’t think he meant to do that, but it worked out well.”
GBN head coach Evan Poulakidas tagged the game-winner as “kind of a freaky goal, a strange bounce.”
Olson netted two key goals in the tournament for the Trevians, with a quarterfinal tally in the 3-0 win over Providence Catholic. “Olson had two enormous goals,” Cheris said. “He doesn’t care what role he’s given; he just goes out there and gives 120 percent.”
Hans Huber also had an exceptional six games, which included opening round Trevian wins over Carmel, Highland Park and Edwardsville. “He goes a million miles-per-hour, is a relentless forechecker, a physical player who creates opportunities every time he’s out there with his speed and physicality,” Cheris said.
The Trevians advanced to the finals with a 3-1 semi-final win over Glenbrook South.
The Spartans downed Waubonsie Valley 5-0 in the other semi-final.
“This was an exceptional hockey game, especially for this early in the season. It really was a heavyweight fight. The play of the game was exceptional. It really was a high-level game that either team could have won,” Poulakidas said of the finals. “We had numerous (scoring) chances, but their goalie made some great saves, including (on) breakaways.”
Poulakidas praised the play of Reyderman, his team defense and the defensemen overall.
The Spartans are now 7-1 while the Trevians are a perfect 7-0.
“I was very pleased with the results, but I know we can still improve. I like where we’re at for this part of the season,” Cheris said. “This is the event we all look at to see where we may slot in. This year, we have a very different kind of team than last year, but one that we’re excited about. What we really were looking to see was, who was going to put the puck in the net – and we had a bunch of guys who stepped up, showed that they can score goals, that they can control pucks in the offensive zone. I saw a lot that we really liked.”
Senior second-year defenseman Shane Randle stood out in the tournament. “He was a monster all weekend, playing tons of minutes, matching up against top lines. He did everything and really relished the role as our top defenseman,” Cheris said.
The Trevian line of Brendan Heneghan, Luke Chiu, and Ashton Freel was solid thoroughout. Goalie Drew Durdov also shined. “If Drew doesn’t have the game he had, they win that (final),” Cheris said.
“Overall, we’re very happy. The team is building its legacy, and they want to win everything.”