Players that have earned the ALL SHL ACADEMIC TEAM honors are the following:
Adam Silver, Josh Raub, Charlie Walker, Ryan Rossi, Riston Siegel, Logan Lyons, Charlie Rosen, Jake McDermott, Kevin Burns, Daniel Rubin, Cooper Shalin, Jake Semmelhack, Anthony Rafalowski, Owen Weintraub, Brendan Contreras, Jordan Eckstein, Carter Dunn, Luke Jackson, Brady Andrews, Jayden DeLeon, Jackson Strykowski
GBN ALL STATE PLAYERS
NOAH MASINTER, RYAN SANDLER, MICHAEL REYDERMAN
ALL SHL TEAM
1ST TEAM HONORS- MICHAEL REYRDERMAN, NOAH MASINTER
GOALIE OF THE YEAR SHL
Congratulations to the JV for winning the Coaches Trophy
SHL Regular season Champions
GBN Teacher Appreciation Night a HUGE Success!!!
Three of the four SHL tournament quarterfinal series were settled Sunday, as New Trier Green, Loyola Gold, and Glenbrook North all punched their tickets to the league semifinals via two-game sweeps.
The lone outlier from Sunday’s games at American Heartland Ice Arena in Lincolnwood was in the series between St. Ignatius and Glenbrook South. GBS won to force a deciding Game 3 after St. Ignatius won Saturday’s first game of the series.
The grand finale of Sunday’s four games saw fourth-seeded Glenbrook North take on fifth-seeded Saint Viator in a game where “we’re basically mirror images of each other,” GBN coach Evan Poulakidas said.
Similar teams can make make for great hockey games and GBN’s 2-1 overtime win against Saint Viator was one of those.
After winning 3-1 on Saturday over the Lions, GBN got an overtime goal from Anthony Rafalowski to clinch Sunday’s game and the series for the Spartans.
The game-winning sequence started with Jake Semmelhack winning a puck in the neutral zone and sending it ahead up the right side. Semmelhack drifted to the left side and soon found a shot on his stick.
Rafalowski was ready, skating up on the right side.
“I was just staying as the third guy high and saw the puck was getting close to the net,” Rafalowski said. “(Semmelhack) shot it, and it got through the goalie.”
Semmelhack’s swipe from the left side hit Harer but the puck fought its way through to a wide-open far post. It trickled past the post, where Rafalowski stopped it, put it to his backhand, spun and fired the game-winner.
Beyond his game-winner, Rafalowski was a beast in the series.
“Tony was dominant in both games this weekend. He was superb,” Poulakidas said.
The game started with nearly 34 minutes of scoreless hockey before a goal was scored, with both GBN goaltender Micheal Reyderman and Saint Viator goalie Brock Harer handling whatever came their way.
The drought continued until Saint Viator took a 1-0 lead on the power play, with little more than one minute remaining in the second period. That goal came courtesy of a coast-to-coast jaunt by the Lions’ Sean Nutley.
From behind the Lions’ net, Nutley took off up the center of the ice through the neutral zone, cut left around a defenseman into North territory, and fired a low shot from the top of the left circle that zipped under Reyderman’s glove hand.
Ryan Loftus and Thomas Speck were credited with assists on the goal.
“I thought our power play was great right before they scored,” Poulakidas said. “(Harer) made two or three great saves with his legs and then they come down and scored. I thought we could have crumbled but we had a great third period.
“Going into the third period, we’d only given up ten shots, but that’s hockey. One shot and all of a sudden you’re chasing.”
There may be no team in Illinois more comfortable chasing a deficit than GBN, and nobody was hitting any panic buttons at the intermission.
“We’ve been in one-goal games the whole entire season, all our lives,” Rafalowski said. “We know we can get one goal in the third period. It’s nothing that we can’t do.”
The Spartans did just that. GBN tied the game early in the third period on the power play, on a fine play from Noah Masinter. From behind the net near the right corner, Masinter sent a puck with eyes through a crowd that found its way to the left-side post, where a charging Ryan Sandler deposited his backhand.
“I thought our first line of Smitty (Jacob Smith), Sandler, and Massy (Masinter) all did a great job of getting a lot of offense,” Rafalowski said. “They move the puck so nicely and they were able to get that goal for us.”
Both teams fought tooth-and-nail to the game’s final buzzer before giving way to overtime. Rafalowski’s game-winner came exactly five minutes into the 10-minute overtime period.
Poulakidas applauded the line of Rafalowski, Ryan Rossi, and Cooper Shalin for their play all night long, and Rossi passed credit along to various other teammates.
“I thought (Masinter) had a great game, and Sandler is battling some injuries but he was rock-solid,” Rossi said. “I think Semmelhack always has a good game. He’s always rock-solid on the back end, and Logan (Lyons) is always great with the puck.”
Reyderman also had a few accolades thrown his way.
“Reyderman is the best goalie in the state and he’s going to carry us through everything,” Rafalowski said. “He’s keeping us in it.”
North’s big senior also liked the fact that his side has taken four of five games from a tough Saint Viator team this year.
“We’ve had one-goal games with them every single time we’ve played. Every game was close,” Rafalowski said. “I think it’s been our will and tonight we worked harder. We were hard on the puck, we were forechecking, and they couldn’t make plays off our forecheck.
“We didn’t try to make too-risky plays, we played simple hockey, and just tried to wear them down with our will.”
Saint Viator and GBN could well meet again in the state playoffs, where Poulakidas would expect more of what he saw all season against a team that stacks up in starkly similar ways to his Spartans.
“They’re good defensively, they’ve got a good goalie, they struggle to score goals once in a while, and both teams play hard,” Poulakidas said.
“You’ve got to be super-patient against them. You have to leave that third guy back because they leave their zone, cut through the middle, and want to create an odd-man break. They want to score in transition and you can’t allow it.
“That said, then you have to be patient with your own offense. You can’t sink that guy in low because then you get burned. So against them, it’s a real chess game. It really is. And credit our guys
To prepare for March Madness and those NCAA basketball brackets, try the February Frenzy that will be the SHL playoffs.
The NCAA fills a field of 68 teams and while only 8 will skate in the SHL playoffs, the odds of completing a perfect bracket in either tournament are astronomical.
All eight teams – 1 to 8, 8 to 1, and everyone in between – have a legitimate chance of scoring the SHL playoff championship. Unlike any past season, parity is skating, shooting, passing and checking throughout the Scholastic Hockey League.
New Trier finished the regular season as the No. 1-seeeded team, but the Trevians lost 2-1 to Glenbrook South on January 27, as the Titans completed the 3-game series sweep, winning all three games over New Trier. And the last time Green faced No. 8-seed Lake Forest, in an early December home game in Northbrook, the Trevians slipped by with a one-goal victory.
Anyone can win the SHL playoffs.
“There is so much parity this year. I cannot remember a season with this much parity, as a player or coach,” over the past 20 years or so, said Saint Viator head coach Tim Benz, a 2005 graduate of Glenbrook South High School, where he was a two-time all-state honoree.
“With so much parity, the key will be who’s hot and who’s not. It all comes down to matchups – whether that’s team matchups, line matchups, player matchups, everything.”
Link to full article here:
Things looked bleak, at best, for Glenbrook North in the 2023 night-before-Thanksgiving game against arch-rival Glenbrook South in front of a raucous, overflow crowd in Wilmette.
The Titans built a 2-0 lead after the first period and were up 4-1 after two. GBS was coasting toward its third consecutive win over GBN that Wednesday night this past November in one of the state’s biggest rivalry games of the year, every year.
But the Spartans didn’t tap out. Anthony Rafalowski scored unassisted at 10:49 and Noah Masinter found the back of the Titans net less than three minutes later, assisted by Ryan Sandler and Logan Lyons. Cooper Shalin tied the game, 4-4, with just under 5 minutes remaining in regulation time, assisted by Ryan Rossi and Tristan Miller.
Overtime wasn’t enough to end the 2023 Battle of the Glenbrook’s as neither school scored.
GBS senior forward Zach Freimuth was first in the shootout, but he couldn’t crack GBN goalie Michael Reyderman.
GBN senior Ryan Sandler next skated to center ice with every eye in the arena focused on the third-year Spartan, a right-handed shooting center in uniform No. 86.
“I took it in a little bit left and then came in through the left hash mark and shot it low glove side,” beating GBS goalie Eli Kamins to secure the miraculous, come-from-behind GBN victory, 5-4, Sandler said.
The goal, he added, was “the highlight of my hockey career.”
“As a player for GBN and GBS, you are always told about the legacy and history behind the game, (so), to be permanently etched in history for scoring the game-winning goal against our biggest rivals in the year’s biggest game is a moment I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”
Sandler skated for the Northbrook Bluehawks and Highland Park Falcons before landing on the GBN JV as a freshman – and that Spartan season also was memorable. The JV Spartans won the state championship that season and Sandler was named the team MVP – honors he labeled as, “the highlight of my hockey career.”
He also won state as a bantam for the Falcons.
“Coming in as a freshman and immediately leading a team to a state championship has been the foundation of everything I have been able to accomplish in a GBN jersey,” said Sandler, who lives in Northbrook. “Throughout my career I have played every position, but throughout my GBN career I have primarily been used as a center/wing, depending on the gameplan for that given day.
“My family, teammates and coaches are what motivate me every game. My teammates and coaches motivate me the most because every one of those guys are family to me and with it being my last season, I want to leave them with a year to remember. My family, specifically my parents, have been in my corner and my number one fans since day one of my hockey career and with it being my last rodeo as a senior, each and every time I step out onto that ice I try my absolute hardest to put on the best show I can for them.”
He has been shining all season. The Spartans sit in fourth-place in the SHL with a 16-5-2 record. Sandler is third on the Spartans in scoring with 9 goals, 11 assists in 22 SHL games.
GBN kicks off its 2024 SHL schedule on Saturday, January 13, against Stevenson in Buffalo Grove, then faces New Trier Green on Thursday, January 18, at North Shore Ice Arena in Northbrook, and Loyola Gold on Saturday, January 20, in Lincolnwood.
“I love our team this year. These guys are some of my best friends even away from hockey; I couldn’t ask for a better group,” Sandler said. “Our coaches place a great emphasis on team defense which we have the best of in the state. Not only this, but, we have the best goalie in the state, Michael Reyderman. When you combine all of that with the speed our team has, it’s dangerous.”
Sandler doesn’t hesitate on team goals for the next couple of months: win the SHL Championship and win state, period, nothing less.
“The only personal goal I hope to achieve is (to be named) all-state; that would be the greatest honor of my career.”
Sandler has been skating for two season primarily with fellow seniors Noah Masinter and Anthony Rafalowski. Sandler is a two-way player and is effective on both ends of the ice. “I take a ton of pride in my ability to find the open man and commit to the defensive side of the puck even as a forward. I have been known around the league to be a goal-scorer throughout my years at Glenbrook North, but, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t consider myself a goal-scorer, but rather, more of a playmaker, as well as a defensively- and positionally-sound forward.”
Sandler said his game has improved mentally and physically over the past year, leading to more confidence on every shift.
Sandler is a superstitious skater. Well, before he gets on the ice. “I always put on the left piece of equipment first,” he said, noting he ties his left skate before his right and grabs his left glove before his right.
“I’m sometimes taken for a guy with a loudmouth with the way I talk on the ice at times, but, once you get to know me off the ice, I’m generally a pretty simple, laid-back guy.”
Away from the rink, the noise he makes is music. He plays a Fender Acoustic and Gretsch Electric guitar and country music is his pop.
“At first, guitar for me was just learning some of my favorite country songs, but after listening and watching some old clips of Eddie Van Halen play, I really fell in love with it and honestly grew (into) an obsession,” Sandler said. “Music and playing the guitar is everything to me. I play and listen every day. To me, music is and has always been a means of escape.”
His favorite musician is Chris Stapleton, yet, for that one game, his one motivational song would be Enter Sandman by Metallica.
“I like to listen to a lot of the old rock stuff pre-game, like AC/DC, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, and so forth,” he said. “I’m not so sure playing the guitar helps me on the ice, but listening to music certainly helps. Pre-game to hype up, post-game to calm down. It helps in every aspect of life.”
Sandler will attend the University of Kentucky next fall, though he isn’t sure yet whether he’ll continue his hockey career. He will, though, continue his role as a premier PlayStation Madden player.
“Some may be surprised to know my love for dogs,” he said. “My family has had multiple dogs in the house at all times and right now we have four and one of them is my personal dog, Bailey, who I plan to bring with me to college after my freshman year.”
Congratulations to our 2024 Seniors
Celebrating our Seniors
November 22, 2023- GBN/GBS Rivalry Games
Varsity Wins - 5-4
JV- Wins 3-1
So proud of all of our Spartans!!!!
Link to SHL article:
A big congratulations to our JV team for another great win in the Wright Angles Tournament in Madison, WI. this weekend. Way to go boys and coaches!!! They are 3 for 3 this season!