Boys Hockey: Benet wins its first Kennedy Cup title
BY DAN RUANE For Sun-Times Media March 20, 2013 11:48AM
Updated: March 21, 2013 8:44PM
Benet scored back-to-back goals with less than a minute left in the second period and that ultimately was the difference as the Redwings came away with a 4-2 victory over Fenwick and the Kennedy Cup Championship on Tuesday before an overflowing crowd at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.
The 50th Kennedy Cup, the oldest hockey championship in Illinois, was the first for Benet (30-13-3), who won the first two games of the three-game series.
“This is an unbelievable feeling,’’ Benet captain Michael Gullott said. “It started last year when we lost (to St. Rita) in the championship and the team worked hard all summer and fall to get back here and win this.’’
After a scoreless first period, Benet struck first when Kevin Sunyog took a nice centering pass from Joe Condon and put home a power-play goal with just over 10 minutes remaining in the period.
That duo would strike again when Sunyog fed Condon, who flicked one in from the left circle for a 2-0 lead with just under a minute left in the second period.
“It was huge to get those goals,’’ Condon said. “Our coaches always tell us that back-to-back goals are killers. We had two goals in one shift and that was the difference.’’
The second goal of that shift came just 31 seconds later when Tommy Feldman scored off a feed from Condon to make the score 3-0 entering the third period.
“That was the game for us right there,’’ Benet coach Jon Grzbek said. “I think their (defense) was tired and we took advantage of it.’’
Fenwick (39-15-5) had several scoring chances in the second period but Kevin O’Hara was up to the challenge with some spectacular saves that denied great scoring chances for Joe Scorpio and Ben Kohen. Of the six periods in the series, O’Hara shut Fenwick out for five of them.
That changed in the third period when Fenwick finally broke through. Sam Gomolinsky stuffed a power-play goal in from short range midway through the period to cut the lead to 3-1. Ian Murdoch took a Scorpio pass and narrowed the gap to 3-2 with 6:02 left to play.
“We put the puck on net and we had our chances,’’ Fenwick coach Kurt Kabat said. “We ran into some good goaltending. It’s not like we didn’t have opportunities.’’
Benet iced the championship when Evan Langer intercepted a pass in his own zone and fed Feldman for his second goal and the final score of the game with 30 seconds remaining.
“This was our goal all along,’’ Gullott said. “To win the Catholic League is personal for us.’’