The Saint Ignatius prep hockey team is as hot as they come.
Riding a five-game win streak into this weekend, the Wildcats face another tough set which begins tonight against Illinois’ No. 1 ranked high school team, New Trier.
Following the contest with New Trier, the Wildcats will stay in the Chicago area to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Jesuit Tournament, hosted by Loyola Academy
A key part of the Wildcats’ efforts this weekend will be the goaltending of senior captain Benny Savarino. The senior has three consecutive shutout wins, and has kept the Wildcats in multiple games this season. Benny is 9-3-0 with a 1.77 goals against average this season.
“We have a chance to prove ourselves against the No. 1 team in Illinois,” said Savarino. “It is going to be a fun tournament, and our ultimate goal is to come home with five wins.”
On Friday night, the Wildcats will face New Trier at 9:15 p.m. EST. New Trier is the top-ranked team in Illinois and is 40-4-1 on the season. The Trevians have wins over every other top 5 ranked Illinois team, and have dominated many opponents.
New Trier could very well be the toughest opponent the Wildcats face this weekend.
“We saw a few of these teams last year and we had success in those games,” said assistant coach Brian Holz ‘07. “It will be interesting to see if we can keep the high level of play we had last year.”
Holz ‘07 was a captain his senior year under coach Pat O’Rourke ‘90 and rejoined the coaching staff two years ago after completing his masters at the University of Notre Dame.
Following the New Trier contest, the Wildcats will battle their Jesuit brothers in a tournament in the Windy City.
At 11 a.m. EST Saturday morning, the Wildcats play Saint Joe’s Prep.
Saint Joseph Prep – a Jesuit school from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – is the first opponent in the round robin games for the Wildcats. The Hawks are the only non-divisional team the Wildcats play in the round robin. St. Joe’s Prep is the No. 18 ranked team in Pennsylvania, and No. 4 in Eastern Pennsylvania.
The Hawks have two wins over Holy Ghost Prep, the No. 4 ranked team in all of Pennsylvania.
The second round robin game will also be played on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST versus Loyola Academy from Quebec. The Warriors have played two close games this season but fell to Upper Canada College.
The round robin wraps up Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST versus Saint Ignatius Chicago.
The Wolfpack are ranked No. 6 in Illinois. Saint Ignatius has beaten most of the top tier teams in Illinois and has played close games with the rest of the top teams including New Trier. Saint Ignatius also beat St. Joe’s Prep 2-0 this season.
The Wildcats will look to wrap up the weekend on a high note with a game on Monday, with the opponent dependent on the results of the tournament.
All games will be broadcast on the SIBN, as Pat Keane ‘20 joins me on the call.