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Jordan Reizen was proving to be a tough nut to crack. The Loyola Gold goalie had kept Glenbrook North off the board for about two and a half periods Tuesday in Northbrook.
Ryan Maksimovic changed all that for the Spartans by scoring on a wrist shot from the slot to Reizen’s blocker side. That goal changed all the momentum and spurred Glenbrook on to a 3-1 victory in the opening game of a best-of-three semifinal series in the Scholastic Hockey League playoffs.
“I knew if we could get that first one that there was more coming,’’ Maksimovic said. ``Their plan was just to keep tossing it out of their zone but we knew it was coming.’’
The No. 5 Ramblers (31-21) were nursing a one goal lead that was scored by Joey Schaefer on a re-direct of Paul Tzanetopoulos’s slap shot with under five minutes remaining in the second period. Loyola started the third by attempting to shoot everything out of its own zone instead of taking the attack to No. 2 Glenbrook North (47-13-3).
That strategy backfired when Nicholas Day knocked down a clearing attempt with his glove deflecting the puck to Nathan Berger who found Maksimovic alone in the slot for the tying goal.
“We had so many chances but didn’t score,’’ Glenbrook coach Evan Poulakidas said. ``When that happens, you get a bad feeling but Ryan has been scoring big goals for us all year.’’
The momentum change became official when Parker Roth scored just 13 seconds later on a back-hander from the slot that was setup by John McNally.
Maksimovic scored the insurance goal with 55 seconds remaining as he beat Reizen over his left shoulder on a bullet of a wrist shot after he stole the puck.
“I think Ryan is the best winger in the state,’’ Poulakidas said. ``He makes people look bad. He has a ton of speed and a great shot. Junior teams are looking at him very closely.’’
Matthew Memolo turned away 23 Loyola shots including one from Nick Schaefer who walked in alone with just minutes remaining.
“Matt made a couple of big saves for us,’’ Maksimovic said. ``He was a big part of the win tonight.’’