The opening game of round robin play for the Illinois West Cup is here. The Warriors hockey club are defending champs, facing Naperville North. The Huskies fished in the top four of the Illinois West for the first time since 2013.
Opening miuntes of the game, WV wins the faceoff, Shivum Aery with a shot towards the net that gets deflected, but North goalie Sean Denker makes the save out of the air.
A couple minutes later, Nolan Cummings sends a pass ahead to Zach Pearce who beats the Huskie defense down the ice for the wrap around shot past Denker to put the Warriors up 1-0.
Later in the first, North on the attack, Jake Bajusz (Bay-us) passes to Tyler Zuspann who beats Justin Howard with the quick shot, we’re all tied up at one.
Near the end of the opening period, Tony Campise centers one for CJ Cirko who slides one into the net to put the Warriors back on top 2-1 heading to the 2nd period. 14 goals on the season for Cirko.
North looking for another equalizer, Gavin Driscoll over to Gavin Klaisle who gets a good look, but Justin Howard shuts it down and holds the puck.
Huskies gets a great opportunity as Connor Deturris flips a pass to a streaking Ithan Delorenzo, who goes stick side with his shot, Howard gets a piece of it and the puck actually lands on top of the net and sits there. Still 2-1 WV.
Just over 6 minutes left in period number two, Connor Ryan sends one in and then tries to win the race to the puck, Howard comes out to clear it but the puck takes an odd bounce and rolls into the net for a goal. Each team with a friendly bounce and we’re tied up at two.
Near the end of the 2nd, Warriors win the puck behind the net, CJ Cirko finds Tony Campise who uses the five hole to put the Warriors back up 3-2. Campise with 39 points on the season, 2nd best on the team.
Early in the 3rd, loose puck finds the stick of Campise who passes to a wide open Zach Pearce. There isn’t a more frightening sight in Illinois high school hockey than number 40 on a breakaway, he makes it count with the backhand despite a good effort from Denker. Warriors up 4-2 on Pearce’s 23rd goal of the year.
North not giving up, Connor Deturris with a well placed centering pass to Ithan Delorenzo. Great set up by the freshman as Delorenzo brings the Huskies within one after his team high 16th goal.
North looking to tie the game for a third time, Connor Ryan gets a good look, but Howard shuts the door and sends it away to maintain the slim lead.
About five minutes to go in the game, Zach Pearce skates towards the middle and snipes a shot past the glove of Denker to complete the hat trick and put his team back up by two. The senior would add his fourth goal of the game with an empty netter a few minutes later as the Warriors begin round robin play with a hard fought 6-3 win over Naperville North.
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