Naperville North’s second-period surge knocks Fenwick out of Blackhawk Cup
Bensenville Friday, 3/8/13 Fenwick's Benjamin Kohen (16) collides with Naperville North goalie, Mario Ritchie (37) during the third period of Friday's Blackhawk Cup game. Naperville North won the game, 3-2. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 9:38PM
BENSENVILLE — It was a game worthy of being played much later in the state tournament.
Naperville North came up with a big second period and prevailed over Fenwick 3-2 on Friday night at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.
The No. 6 Huskies (42-13-6) will take on the winner Wednesday of the Sandburg vs. Highland Park game in the round of eight in the Blackhawk Cup.
The play that sparked the Huskies was an end-to-end rush by Jake Novack after the senior co-captain was sprawled on the ice by his own end-board. Novak got up, took control of the loose puck and dashed down the right side before cutting back to the middle and beating Zachary Danna to the stick side with just under six minutes remaining in the period to tie the score at 1-1.
“That’s what leadership will do for a team,’’ Naperville coach Brian Noonan said. “That’s the reason he’s a captain. He has good speed and he’s not afraid to block shots and do the things that you need to do to win games.’’
“That goal was huge,’’ co-captain Paul Mascitti said. “Once he cuts to the middle like that, he can beat anybody.”
Sean McDonnell kept the momentum going less than a minute later by stealing the puck in Fenwick’s zone and working his way through the defense for a shot that hit the crossbar. It deflected to Zachary Abrams, who put home the go-ahead goal.
“Sean has a great toe-jack move,’’ Novack said. “He can use that against anyone.’’
Mascitti scored the eventual game-clincher late in the period when he beat Danna to the upper-shelf for a 3-1 lead.
“I know from playing against him in the all-state game that he likes to go down to protect the five hole,’’ Mascitti said. “He’s the best goalie in the state and it took a tough shot to beat him.’’
Ian Murdoch scored his second goal of the game for the Friars (38-13-5) with only seconds off the clock in the third period to bring his team to within 3-2. It came after goalie Mario Ritchie came out of the net and made an errant pass that Murdoch easily intercepted.
“That was a tough play for Mario,’’ Noonan said. “I know what he was trying to do but the ice was still wet and he couldn’t lift the puck, otherwise we had a four-on-two.’’
Murdoch put Fenwick up early with a rebound goal from a Joe Scorpio shot midway through the first period.