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Loyola takes Game 1 of Semifinals vs. GBN

By Angie Wiatrowski - @Angiewiatrowski, 02/13/16, 12:15AM CST


It is said that good things come in threes. For Loyola Gold, it is in the form of Dan O'Grady, Michael Gonzalez and Ryan Hill. All of which scored in a 3-2 win over Glenbrook North in the first game of the SHL Semifinals Friday night. 

"They bended, but they didn't break," said head coach DJ LaVarre, who refers to this trio as the team's glue. "They've been in this position before, they know what to expect, they're playing by example now."

Glenbrook North came out hungry. They were quick and they kept possession for most of the first period but just couldn't find the back of the net. 

"Today, we just got really unlucky," said GBN's Nick Mikhaylov. "We just kept hitting the post. They made some crazy saves at the goal line and we just couldn't bury it."

Before you knew it,  O'Grady came in with a goal with nine minutes left in the first to kick things off for Gold. They held the 1-0 lead and Gonzalez came in with a goal followed shortly by Hill to end the second with a 3-0 lead.

"We were really hyped and knew what we were getting in to," said Gonzalez. "We played a lot faster [than last time the two played], smarter, less turnovers, a lot more shots,  just smarter hockey at the end of the day."

It felt like the blink of an eye once O'Grady scored and like a switch it turned into Loyola's game. Then another blink and Glenbrook North threatened their lead after scoring their second goal with 2:17 left to play. 

"The first and second periods we played well, went all out," said Hill. "I'm proud of the way we played. I think we let back in third period while [Glenbrook North] brought up their intensity and gave us a good name."

Game 2 will be at Heartland Ice Arena Sunday, February 14th at 4:30p. 

Loyola Captain Ryan Hill talks about Gold's performance against GBN

LAG's Michael Gonzalez said they played smarter hockey against GBN

DJ LaVarre said Loyola Gold worked on their power play and tested out some new plays vs GBN