Maksimovic’s goal rescues top-seeded Glenbrook North from Hinsdale Central
Glenbrook North's Nicholas Day (left) tries to get around Hinsdale Central's Timothy McLaughlin. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:49PM
BENSENVILLE — Glenbrook North coach Evan Poulakidas said the Spartans’ game with Hinsdale Central (23-17-1) Monday night in Bensenville would be their biggest of the season.
He added, if they won, “we’re going to be a hard team to beat.”
Poulakidas and the No.1-seeded Spartans have a chance to prove that after a 3-2 win over Hinsdale Central in the 2013 Blackhawk Cup.
“They were a real good team and we were fortunate enough to beat a good team,” Poulakidas said. “There was a lot of pressure tonight, being the No. 1 seed, and to get through tonight was huge.”
Glenbrook North (34-13-3) took the lead early with a goal from Zach Meier with 4 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first. Ryan Maksimovic found a wide-open net on the power play three minutes later.
Penalties got the best of Hinsdale Central, and Glenbrook North capitalized.
“They were giving us a lot of power plays,” said Meier. “Our power play wasn’t really in sync but in the third period we got it together. Maksimovic had a big goal and when we’re going good we’re going great.”
Hinsdale countered as Jack Rooney made a break and scored a short-hander. With 3:56 left in the second period, Seamus O’Kane knocked one between the pipes during a 5-on-4 advantage to knot the score.
Then it felt like the playoffs.
“Between the second and third period, we were a little uptight,” said Poulakidas. “I just said, ‘Hey, it’s a hockey game, you have to enjoy it and just relax.’ ”
When Glenbrook North hit the ice after the intermission the Spartans meant business. They picked up three penalties of their own but overpowered Hinsdale Central’s power play. Maksimovic did the rest, converting another power play goal just minutes into the third.
“I can tell you this,” said Poulakidas. “We took the ice in the third period. The 5-on-3 is what worked.”
Hinsdale Central coach Mike Rohdenberg and his team quietly left the rink.
“You have to give them credit,” said Poulakidas. “They went in there, tied the game and it was a scramble.”
Glenbrook North will play either Stevenson or Benet, who took the ice later Monday.
“You play who you play,” Poulakidas said. “And unfortunately you don’t get to pick.”
Glenbrook North 34-13-3
G: Zach Meier, Ryan Maksimvovic (2)
GK: Nate Berger (22 saves)
Hinsdale Central 23-17-1
G: Jack Rooney, Seamus O’Kane
GK: Levine (21 saves)