|1 - IN||Waubonsie / Metea Warriors||2||2||0||0||4||10||5||5||3||0||0||26|
|2||Hinsdale Central Red Devils||2||1||0||1||3||9||8||1||2||4||0||50|
|3||Neuqua Valley Wildcats||1||0||1||0||0||2||4||-2||2||1||0||4|
|1||Naperville North Huskies||3||2||0||1||5||12||11||1||3||3||2||46|
|4 - OUT||DuPage Stars||3||0||2||1||1||9||14||-5||3||4||0||36|
|1 - IN||Naperville Central Redhawks (JV)||2||2||0||0||4||12||3||9||2||0||0||26|
|3||Lincoln Way (JV 1)||1||0||1||0||0||3||4||-1||0||2||0||4|
|4||Waubonsie / Metea Warriors (JV)||2||0||2||0||0||0||11||-11||0||0||0||4|
|3||Neuqua Valley Wildcats||1||0||1||0||0||2||4||-2||2||1||0||4|
|1||DuPage Stars (JV)||2||2||0||0||4||7||1||6||1||0||0||8|
|2||Neuqua Valley Wildcats (JV)||2||1||1||0||2||5||4||1||1||0||0||8|
|3||Sandburg Eagles (JV)||1||0||1||0||0||3||5||-2||0||1||0||14|
|4||Plainfield Predators (JV)||1||0||1||0||0||1||6||-5||0||1||0||16|
|1||Hinsdale Central Red Devils (JV)||2||2||0||0||4||12||5||7||2||1||0||8|
|2||Oswego Panthers (JV)||2||1||1||0||2||11||7||4||2||0||0||12|
High emotion, physical play, 76 combined shots, 14 total penalties and nine goals scored in the game — whatever the definition of ‘barnburner’ is, Lyons and the host Cobras gave it their best shot to meet the criteria on Saturday night.
Lyons’ 5-4 win over the Cobras wasn’t even all that important in the grand scheme of things, but fans would never have known it by the way the two teams went at each other for 51 minutes.
“This game is meaningless because the (playoff) bracket is already set,” Lyons coach Benjamin Engle said. “So there was nothing on the line. But it was a pride game for us and we got the job done.”
Lyons’ Whit Proctor scored two goals in the win and he agreed with his coach, and added a wrinkle:
“It was really just a game of pride going into the playoffs,” Proctor said. “It was a huge game for us. Our next game might be as early as Wednesday and winning a close game like this gives us all the momentum we need for it.”
The last time the two teams met, Lyons won 5-0 over the Cobras on Jan. 14. But on Senior Night for the Cobras on Saturday at Oak Lawn Ice Arena, there was a different vibe in the air.
Lyons struck first when Maks Washchuk followed up a shot and buried at the 13:30 mark of the first period, on assists from Carter Storey and Colin Leader. The Cobras tied the game at 9:12 when Anthony Sobieszczyk centered a pass from the right side to brother Dom Sobiezczyk, and he scored from the slot.
With 3:11 remaining in the first period, Proctor made it 2-1 in front with assists going to Zach Thornton and Blake Egan.
The second period was the wildest one of the game, with five goals forthcoming.
First, the Cobras fought back even again at the 9:50 mark of the second period on the power play, when Liam Boyle scored an unassisted goal. The 2-2 tie held for little more than two minutes, with Lyons going up 3-2 when Storey followed up his own shot and buried the rebound at the 7:18 mark. Thomas Goryl also assisted on the play.
Yet again, the Cobras bounced back. Peyton Enderle skated up on the right side on an odd-man rush and ripped a shot that tied the game 3-3 at the 3:39 mark of the second period.
What made the Cobras’ resilience particularly impressive is that they had to do it without captain Jacob Layman, who was injured on the game’s first shift and did not return.
“He’s obviously a big part of our team,” Cobras coach Jack Warren said of Layman. “That really hurt us because then our lines were jumbled up and we had to try to get back on pace. It was just hard because he’s so good at leading by example and without him, it’s just difficult.
“But we worked hard. We were getting pucks deep and when we worked hard, we were able to get some production.”
The final two minutes of the second period was likely where Lyons won the game. Engle’s boys struck twice on goals from Proctor and Goryl, with Benjamin Ovnik and Cole Clary on the respective assists.
Lyons’ late second-period scoring spree gave them a 5-3 lead heading into the final period.
“We were getting the puck deep. We have good systems getting it deep,” Storey said. “I thought we could have done better on the power play but we went into the corners really hard and fast, and we battled for pucks.
“We’ve grown as a team, we’re communicating better, and we’re working better together.”
High emotion and resulting penalties marked much of the third period.
“Last time we played them we only had two or three penalties,” Proctor said. “It’s especially frustrating when there are missed calls and calls that shouldn’t have been called. But that’s hockey. It’s a good win and I’ve got no complaints.”
The Cobras scored the game’s final goal with 8:04 left to play, making it 5-4 on a Joseph Roti goal and a Kam Bednarz assist.
The teams scrapped to the final buzzer and the Cobras might have tied the game if not for some stellar goaltending by Lyons’ Jackson Clary, who made a few fine saves on a pair of one-on-one isolation plays in the third period.
Warren liked the team-wide effort he got despite the loss, and Bednarz and Anthony Sobieszczyk shined on Saturday.
“They both played a lot of minutes for us and they both played great,” Warren said “(Sobieszczyk) is a guy who, in any situation I put him him, he gets the job done. He’s blocking shots, getting goals, getting into dirty areas and doing the things other people don’t want to do. He sets an example for everyone. And Kam is always hard-working and he’ll also do anything I ask of him, and he’s just a smart hockey player.”
Lyons spent the game’s waning minutes doing just what Engle wanted to see.
“The last five minutes of that game, we ate the clock, got it in the corner, and that’s something we work on all the time,” Engle said.
“The game was closer than we wanted it to be, that’s for sure. But they’re a good team. The olympic-sized rink here always throws a curveball at us, but we’re a good passing team and we moved the puck well to try to take advantage of that. What I liked is we’re missing some players and still got the win. We had a tough game against Glenbard last night and we’ve got three guys out with injuries.
“(Clary) made some big saves for us, and Whit played awesome tonight. He’s a grinder, he’s our physical guy and he played well at both ends of the ice. Storey obviously moved the puck really well and defensively, Andy McCann played well. He moved the puck really well and he’s got a great shot.”
Storey and Proctor also applauded the play of teammates Ryan Murphy, Ovnik, Clary, Anthony Panzeca, Zach Thornton, and Nicholas Calvey.
“Thornton and Murphy at the end, killing it for who knows how many minutes, and Jackson Clary kept us in the game,” Proctor said. “And Panzeca and Calvey were great defensively tonight.”
Storey liked what Murphy brought to the table Saturday.
“Ryan Murphy goes really hard in corners, he battles for pucks — he’s one of those guys that just gets the dirty work done,” Storey said.