The stands were at capacity, tension in the air and the roars from the crowd could shake walls. Sounds and feels like a playoff game but all of that energy goes into a typical matchup between Loyola Gold and New Trier Green.
“This game is probably the most emotional regular-season game,” said New Trier head coach Bob Melton after the Trevians came out with a 3-2 win Saturday night in Lincolnwood. “You just have to keep telling your boys they have to try and play our systems and our games but the game’s emotional and it is fun. Some things you can’t control as a coach but you just want to settle them down and stay within our systems”
The first period brought speed and a bit of penalties, eight to be exact, but the two teams remained scoreless. New Trier Green’s JT Travis got things started at the 2:22 mark in the second. Gold came back at 5:14 and you could cut the tension in the rink with a knife. Right out of the gate Gold broke the tie in the third but goals from Travis and Tommy Kempf sealed the win for Green.
“It’s definitely the biggest game I’ve played in my life so far,” said Kempf. “Any time you get a. Loyola-Green game there’s a lot of fans, a lot of emotion.”
The Trevians plan to continue their winning ways this season and although the season is still young, Melton sees a bright future for his Trevians.
“It’s very early in the season, but this team is undefeated,” he said. “I would say the attitude on this team has been unbelievable. The work ethic in practice, it’s a hungry team, it’s a fun team and I think it’s only going to get better and it’s just looking really bright right now.”
Melton also stressed the importance of the depth his team has. “I’m not afraid to use any of our players in any situation," he said. " We don’t rely on a line, we’re rolling and everyone knows that they’re contributing in a positive way.”
Kempf agrees adding, “You know it’s 1-12. We just have so much depth. I think we’ve got the best depth in the state and when we’re on our game I don’t think there’s a team that can compete with us. Loyola came out but I just think the better team won.”