The OPRF Hockey Club's season came to an end last week with an 8-2 defeat to second-ranked Loyola Gold in the second round of the State playoffs at Heartland Ice Arena in Lincolnwood.
In a physical, yet cleanly played, game the Ramblers began the scoring shortly after the face-off. Taking the puck down the ice, a Loyola Gold player fired a shot that hit Huskies' goalie Bob Grayson in the shoulder. The pucks' momentum carried it into the net for the score, just a mere 24 seconds into the game.
OPRF settled down a bit after the goal that clearly had caught everyone by surprise. With 6:25 left in the first, the Ramblers scored their second goal of the night to complete the scoring in the period.
The Huskies came back in the second period when Brett Newman fired his trademark slap shot that found net at 9:24 in the second. The goal, scored off an assist by Phil O'Connor, brought the crowd back into the game. However, Loyola came right back at 9:05 to make the score 3-1.
The Huskies scored their second goal of the period when Mike Beard won the face-off and passed the puck to Jim Minaghan who sent it to Kenny Javor. Javor was then able to bury the puck in the back of the Gold net. The score came at 7:39 in the second period. Despite the score, the Huskies were unable to overcome the Ramblers as Loyola scored three additional goals in the second period and then two more in the third.
The Huskies were outshot by Loyola 55-19. Grayson was in net for OPRF and stopped 47 of 55 shots on goal. There were just four penalties called the entire game.
Last year, Loyola Gold lost to Fenwick in the championship of the Blackhawk Cup.
The Huskies lose seven seniors to graduation this year: Dan Locasto, Al McDonnell, Joel Meyerson, Masin Ouksel, Adam Palmore, Zach Smith, and Nate Corwin, who was selected a recipient of the Blackhawk Alumni College Scholarship.
A press release contributed to this report.