Boys Hockey: Benet tops St. Viator at Soldier Field
BY DAN RUANE For Sun-Times Media February 8, 2013 9:56PM
Benet's Evan Langer (15) beats St. Viator goaltender Joseph Herrmann (35) on a backhand shot in the third period. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
Evan Langer was the momentum changer for Benet. The speedy center changed the course of the game for the Redwings twice and that led to a 5-2 Benet victory over St. Viator.
The event was the final game of the evening Friday at Soldier Field as part of the Hockey City Winter Festival.
“I got a really nice pass from (Joe) Condon,’’ Langer said. “I only had to beat one defenseman and it was there for me.”
Just 21 seconds into the game, Condon threw the puck down the right side catching Langer right in stride. He put a nifty forehand-backhand-forehand move on goalie Ryan Jamieson to give the Redwings a quick 1-0 lead. That goal set the tone for the first period and most of the second.
“Evan had two big momentum changes for us,’’ Benet coach Jon Grzbek said. “He is one of the leading scorers in the Catholic League.’’
Benet held the momentum and took a 3-0 lead late into the second period. Patrick Hodgman scored an unassisted goal late in the first period as the No. 10 Redwings (23-12-5) outshot the Lions (17-39-2) 15-5 in that period.
Joseph Van Eekeren added an unassisted goal midway through the second period and the game looked like it might get out of hand when Benet had a two-man advantage with less than a minute left in the second period.
Instead St. Viator got a short-handed goal from Samuel Deihs with just seconds remaining in the second period and kept that momentum going into the third period.
“I was worried that I was going to blow the game,’’ Benet goalie Jake Barnhart said. “I knew it was time to step it up.’’
With all the momentum on its side, Viator cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by David Kellner with 8:13 left to play. But Barnhart came up with some big saves to maintain the one-goal lead.
Benet iced the game when Condon’s shot came off Joseph Herrmann’s pads low and Langer slapped the rebound home for a 4-2 lead.
“We were talking on the bench,’’ Condon said. “We were saying we have to make a difference right here. This game isn’t over.’’
The players noted that the ice was somewhat slower than normal ice but were relishing playing in Soldier field.
“This is the greatest experience of my life,’’ Barnhart said. “I will never forget this.’’
“We were treated like kings,’’ Grzbek said. “This is first-class all the way.’’