The OPRF hockey club dropped two Metro West games over the weekend, losing on the road to Naperville North, 7-4, on Friday and at home to Neuqua Valley, 5-1, on Sunday. The two losses bring the Huskies' record to 1-2 in the Metro West and 4-4 overall.
Dean Rogers got things rolling for the Huskies against Naperville North. Rogers put the Huskies in front with a power play goal early in the first period, with Jack Brofman and Kenny Javor picking up assists. However, Naperville North answered with three goals of their own to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the period, and upped the lead to 4-1 with a power play goal early in the second period.
Just 10 seconds later, Brofman won the face-off to Jim Minaghan, took a return pass, and slipped the puck under the goalie's pads to cut the lead to 4-2. The Huskies would not score again until midway through the third period after three more Naperville North goals had pushed the score to 7-2. Minaghan, with an unassisted backhander, and Mike Slovak, off a pass from Rogers, accounted for the last two Huskie goals.
Bob Grayson was in goal for the Huskies and stopped 56 of 63 shots, 19 of which came in the first period.
In Sunday's game, the Huskies went up against the fourth-ranked Neuqua Valley Wildcats. OPRF received outstanding goaltending from sophomore Tanner Houston (43 saves in 48 shots) along with several heads-up defensive plays by Jonah Rice and Javor. The Huskies were able to keep the Wildcats off the scoreboard until the 10-minute mark of the second period. Brofman quickly evened things out with unassisted goal. Skating down the left side of the ice, Brofman slipped through two Wildcat defenders, held the puck until the goalie went down, and buried a wrist shot.
With the crowd hoping for an upset, Neuqua Valley dug in, scoring late in the second period and adding a power play goal off the opening face-off of the third period to take a 3-1 lead. With about 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Wildcats were whistled for two quick penalties, giving the Huskies a 5-on-3 advantage. However, the Huskies were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and managed only one shot on goal.
The Wildcats added two more goals on point blank shots in the final minutes of the game and skated off with the victory.
The Huskies face off against Sandburg in a Metro West road game on Sunday (8:30 p.m. at Oak Lawn). The team's next home game is Tuesday Oct. 11 (8:35 p.m. at Ridgeland Common) against New Trier White. The home game is the Huskies' first of 10 as part of a season-long Metro Invitational tournament.
A press release contributed to this report.