Boys Hockey: Naperville North gets past Waubonsie Valley
BY DAN RUANE For Sun-Times Media February 26, 2013 4:30PM
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:23AM
Naperville North got off to another slow start. This time the Huskies came charging back to capture its Metro West semifinal series against Waubonsie Valley with a 6-3 victory on Monday at the All Seasons Ice Arena in Naperville.
The No. 4 Huskies (39-12-6) will next face Sandburg in the Scholastic Hockey Cup finals.
“Every game in this series we played from behind,’’ Huskies coach Brian Noonan said. “But we had a good second period and all those penalties took the steam out of them.’’
Naperville North found itself down 2-0 for the third time in the three game series before it rallied, but not without help from the Warriors (25-11-8). Waubonsie started a string of eight straight penalties that had the Huskies on the power play for long stretches of the first and second periods.
Naperville North’s comeback started when Sean McDonnell scored the first of his three goals on the game. He flicked a wrist shot from the left circle that finally beat goalie Jake Rubinstein through the pads. McDonnell proved to be a key player on the power plays by winning nearly all of the face-off draws allowing his team to keep possession of the puck.
“I’ve been working on my face-offs all year,’’ McDonnell said. “It’s big to get your team the possession so they can’t ice it on the power play.”
McDonnell tied the game up in the second by converting a five-on-three power play with just over a minute left in the period. Naperville North then took the lead for good when Ryan O’Connor converted a slap shot from the point with :36 remaining in the second period for a 3-2 lead.
“We were kind of in shock at first,’’ McDonnell said. “We settled down between the first and second period.’’
Waubonsie got another strong effort from Thomas Stobart. The junior forward scored all three of the Warriors goals after scoring two goals in the previous game.
McDonnell finished his hat trick by winging the puck nearly the entire length of the ice for an empty net goal that put the game out of reach.
Braden Klaisle and Zachary Abrams also scored for Naperville North. The Huskies outshot Waubonsie 40-15.