Senior Night at Ridgeland Common Ice Arena on Sunday night didn’t exactly finish the way the OPRF Hockey Club would have liked.
After a ceremony that honored senior forwards Jack Brofman and Mike Wojtowicz, defensemen Andy Dirgo and Joel Meyerson, and goalie Evan McCall, the Huskies fell 5-3 to Sandburg.
Sandburg entered the game firmly in second place in the Metro West with a 17-4-2 record and took a 2-0 lead on early first-period goals. However, the Huskies came storming back to tie the game before the end of the period on a power play goal by Seth Molek and a short-handed goal by Brofman.
Sandburg jumped back on top with a power play goal early in the second period, but the Huskies tied the game a minute later when Phil O’Connor poked in the rebound of Dirgo’s slap shot from the left point. The game remained deadlocked until late in the third period when Sandburg scored to take a 4-3 lead. With OPRF desperately trying to tie the game in the final minute, Sandburg was able to take advantage of the Huskies’ pinched in defense and scored on a breakaway with 14 seconds remaining.
The Huskies also lost Saturday night 2-1 to Waubonsie Valley, with O’Connor scoring the team’s only goal. Goalie Tanner Houston stopped 24-of-26 Warrior shots.
With the two losses, the Huskies close out the Metro West regular season with a 5-15-4 record. The team will begin the Metro West playoffs this coming weekend in a bracket that includes Hinsdale South, Geneva, Bartlett, Naperville North, and St. Charles North.
Earlier in the week, the Huskies ran their Metro Invitational Tournament (MIT) record to 6-1-1 with a 6-2 win over Hersey. McCall stopped three breakaways and two point blank shots in the first period, giving the Huskies time to overcome a slow start. The Huskies got two goals from Dean Rogers and Molek and one each from Sean Marks and Wojtowicz.
With two MIT games remaining, OPRF trails only Highland Park (7-0-2) in the standings.
A press release contributed to this report.