JV played opened the weekend with their first league game after a very successful start to the year against some of the top competition in the State. Three minutes into action, Freshman Joe Maher (#38) put The Stampede on the board first with a rebound goal after charging hard to the net. But 45 seconds later, Evanston tied it up with a scrappy goal after a scramble in the crease in front of goalie Mickey Fanella (#31). Evanston finished the first period by putting relentless pressure on The Stampede, giving them a 3-1 at the end of the period. Two minutes into the second period, Evanston scored again on a breakaway goal to make it 4-1. The Stampede responded at the start of the third period with a nasty slap-shot through traffic from Senior defenseman Jack Cesek (#4) that found the net and made it 4-2. Cesek’s goal sparked an offensive onslaught by The Stampede, with the shots coming fast and furious. But Evanston’s goaltending, speed and passing prowess was just too much for a hard-working Stampede squad. The fact that The Stampede kept Evanston scoreless in the 3rd period, with the exception of a last minute empty net goal, should not be ignored. This Stampede crew, regardless of the final score of 5-2, got better as the game went on and showed a “no quit” attitude until the final buzzer.
The weekend ended much better than it started for our JV team, when they took on a tough Carmel Catholic team that competes in both the Chicago Catholic League and Scholastic Hockey League. The first period ended 0-0 as Goalie Mickey Fanella (#31) with two impressive saves, one of them coming on a breakaway. But, in the second period, The Stampede offense really got rolling with 3 goals. The first goal came on a quick wrist shot by freshman forward Max Janczak (#94) that found the corner of the net. Minutes later, sophomore Connor Buckley (#10) found the back of the net on a wicked wrist shot from the top of the circle. The third goal came on a devious backhand shot by freshman Peter Kurpiewski (#37) that slipped through the opposing goalie’s 5-hole. With a 3-0 lead going into the third period, The Stampede kept bringing relentless offensive pressure, the fruits of which came on a breakaway ignited by a Buckley stretch pass to a streaking Kurpiewski, who scored with a defender draped on his back, making it 4-0. Goalie Fanella earned a well-deserved shutout (3rd already in this short season).