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H-F hockey team wins Hayes Cup

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School hockey team won both games with 3-2 scores to defeat Lake Central High in Indiana and walk away with top honors and the Hayes Cup on March 10.

  The H-F Vikings won the Hayes Cup hockey 
  tourney on March 10.
(Provided photo)

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School hockey team won both games with 3-2 scores to defeat Lake Central High in Indiana and walk away with top honors and the Hayes Cup on March 10.

Coach Wayne Perry said both games were hard fought, but he credited his team with strong discipline in play in the finals and throughout the 30-plus game season. The team’s 28-4 record placed it in first seed for the 2018 Illinois High School Hockey League’s Hayes Cup competition.
The opening game March 9 had H-F hosting at the H-F Ice Arena with senior Andrew Sline in goalie position. 
“His leadership and confidence going into this and playing at home was something that I felt he’d be able to handle,” Perry said. “The game was pretty intense and got a little physical. He kept his composure and kept these guys going. He was great.”
Sophomore forward Eric Gerecke was the first to get H-F on the scoreboard, and a shot from junior defenseman Bob Garrity tied the game. 
Freshman forward Carter Andersen was checked twice, one time from behind by a Lake Central player who was issued a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct penalty that threw him out of Game 2.
H-F took advantage of the power play. With 30 seconds left in the third period, Garrity took a shot from the point. It was deflected and put into the net by junior forward Michael Grupp.
“Our team’s play was spectacular,” the coach said. “Everybody knew their assignments. Everybody was responsible in the defensive zone, which really led to our offense contributing. We outshot them 2-1, so the majority of play was in the offensive zone, but when they did come into our end we were real aggressive in getting that puck out to go on the attack.”
With a win under their belts, the H-F Vikings moved to Lake Central’s ice for game two of the best of three games series. In regular rotation, H-F would have a day of rest, but the schedule dictated that “we wake up and do it again,” Perry said.
He put freshman goalie Patrick Hutton in knowing he was rested and the team had momentum from its win. Hutton and Sline switched off the position during the season.
“Patrick really played great for us throughout the year and he really deserved the chance to play,” Perry said.
Working with assistant coaches Kevin Galich and Mike Larson, Perry changed up for good forecheck. The H-F team was “a bit more aggressive and it just kind of carried over, keeping the pressure on their defense and we had quite a few turnovers and a lot of shots on net.”
H-F’s Gerecke put in the first goal. Sophomore defenseman Miguel Mancha scored second when he “picked up a pass in the middle and made a move on a defenseman and had a mini breakaway to go top shelf to tie the game,” Perry said.
In the second period, the Vikings got their third goal from Garrity who took a slap shot at the point that was deflected and put in the net by Hardison.
With the Vikings up, the coaches reminded their team “to play smart hockey. Stay focused and keep out of the penalty box. We wanted them to stay positive.”
As the clock ran down, the Vikings kept up their strong defensive positions to keep the puck out of their end.
The victory is especially sweet since it was the third year the Vikings made it to the finals.
“The seniors deserved (the win). They put in a lot of hard work,” the coach said.
The team’s roster includes freshmen through seniors: Carter Andersen, Dylan Aver, Jack Calomino, Bobby Garrity, Erick Gerecke, Michael Grupp, Robb Hallam, Nick Hardison, Patrick Hutton, Christian Lively, Miguel Mancha, Max Nicolazzi, Andrew Sline, Nick Sline and Jake Spencer.

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