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It was intense, hard-hitting and low scoring.
In other words, Saturday night’s 2-1 victory by visiting New Trier Green against Loyola Gold at American Heartland Ice Arena was just a typical rivalry game between the Trevians and Ramblers.
“I’m very happy and proud of our team,” New Trier Green coach Bob Melton said, after watching the Trevians get up 2-0 early in the second and hang on down the stretch. “We’re 18-0-1 in the (Scholastic League) and if you think about it we haven’t lost in our league for three and a half months. That’s pretty remarkable.”
Also noteworthy is a decision Melton made recently to break up one of the top lines in the state. He moved his leading goal scorer, Brian Enriquez (50 goals), back to the blue line to shore up the defense. Jesse Arnold then moved to the top line to help replace Enriquez’s offense.
So far, it’s working out. The Trevians have won five straight games.
Against Loyola, top-line center Kyle Melton had a hand in both New Trier goals – first assisting on Drew Koch’s marker with just 18.9 seconds left in the first that made it 1-0 and then scoring off his own rebound on a power play to make it 2-0 early in the second.
“It was a very emotional game, because I know a bunch of the guys on their team and they know me pretty well,” Kyle Melton said. “We were just trying to get pucks to the net through traffic. We were feeling confident after that second goal, but we knew the game wasn’t over.”
Loyola regrouped and scored a power-play goal of its own in the latter half of the second, after a post-whistle skirmish behind the net changed momentum. Zev Glass was called for a double minor during the incident and Loyola’s Cal Callahan made the Trevians pay by cutting the lead to just 2-1 on a point blast with 5:51 left in the period.
In the third, the Ramblers had their chances but couldn’t get a puck past Jack Junge – who turned away 19 of 20 shots in the game and got some strong help from his defense, led by Enriquez.