The OPRF Hockey Club defeated the Naperville North Huskies 7-3 at Ridgeland Common on Sunday night to win the battle of the Huskies.
The OPRF Huskies got off to a great start, taking a 3-0 lead behind first period goals from Jack Brofman and Dean Rogers and an early second period goal from Phil O’Connor. However, just when the Huskies appeared to be cruising to an easy win, Naperville North came roaring back. North scored two power play goals and an even strength goal in a 3:30 span midway through the second period to tie the game at 3-3. Jonah Rice’s power play goal late in the period (with assists from Rogers and Seth Molek) put the Huskies back in front by a slim 4-3 margin entering the third period.
With a short bench, the Huskies have had a difficult time finishing games this season, but against Naperville North, they owned the third period. One minute into the period, Rogers picked off a North pass at the OPRF blue line and turned it into a breakaway goal to give the Huskies some breathing room. Midway through the period, Brofman picked off a pass at center ice, skated in alone, and beat the North goalie to up the lead to 6-3. Brofman finished the scoring and completed his hat trick with a short-handed goal with 6 minutes left in the game.
The Huskies played the final 6:36 of the game short-handed due to penalties, and were two skaters short for nearly 2 minutes of that span. However, tough defense and great goaltending from Evan McCall (29 saves in 32 shots) kept Naperville North from cutting into the lead, and the Huskies skated off with a 7-3 win to bring their Metro West record to 2-6-3.
On Saturday night, the Huskies dropped a 2-1 decision to the Neuqua Valley Wildcats. Sean Marks gave the Huskies an early first period lead, scoring on a backhand on the rebound of Rice’s shot from the right point. Tanner Houston was spectacular in net, stopping 38-of-40 Wildcat shots and giving the Huskies a chance to win. However, the OPRF was unable to generate many scoring chances, and the Wildcats scored once in second period and again in the third to earn the win.
A press release contributed to this report.