Hockey: Lincoln-Way Gold gets past change, cashes in
By Pat Disabato email@example.com January 16, 2014 7:30PM
Lincoln-Way Gold's Justin Klich (left) and Kyle Barna. | Supplied photo
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:28AM
Lincoln-Way Gold won 12 of its first 17 games this season. Then came a midseason coaching change, which could have spelled trouble.
In fact, Lincoln-Way Gold has played even better since Tony Lindeman took over behind the bench, winning 12 of its last 15.
“The guys needed some team building,” Lindeman said. “They had to start getting along with each other and taking personal responsibility.
“To achieve your goals you have to work together. We’re headed in the right direction of achieving our goals and our common goal is to win a state championship. We’ve made a push to achieve that goal.”
Lincoln-Way Gold is a co-op of all four Lincoln-Way schools: Central, East, North and West. The strength of the squad is its ability to put the puck in the net.
The top line of Alex Cerda (28 goals), Kyle Barna (18) and Justin Klich (7) has totaled 53 goals and 53 assists. Klick recently was moved from defense to the top the line.
Lincoln-Way Gold has considerable firepower beyond its top line, though. Ryan Glennon (19 goals), Garett Deegan (15 goals) Andy Zuniga (14 goals) and Harrison Kohl (16 points) also have contributed offensively and on the penalty kill.
Defensively, Ian McDonagh, Anthony Podder and Vince Frodyma have been steady on the blue line in front of goalie Kyle Provencher.
“We are a deep team,” Lindeman said. “We have six kids with 20 or more points. I can throw out any three of my lines against any line in the league. It’s a good thing to have. It makes coaching a lot easier.”
Lincoln-Way Gold has some notable wins, downing Catholic League residents Mount Carmel, 7-4 and St. Viator, 4-3, while also upending rival Sandburg, 5-3.
Lincoln-Way Gold is sitting in second place (18-5-0-1, 37 points) in the Illinois Hockey League West Division, three points behind Naperville Central (40 points).
“The Sandburg game was a good win for us,” Lindeman said. “The kids grew up with a lot of those kids. It was Sandburg’s senior night and the kids were excited about spoiling it.”
By way of a thrilling 6-5 overtime win Friday over St. Rita and 3-0 victory Saturday over Marist, Providence sewed up first place in the Catholic League. The Celtics are 18-0-1, and their 37 points are eight more than Benet, with each having three games remaining.
“Winning the Catholic League has been one of our goals,” Providence coach Nick Iaciancio said. “But we still have other goals we want to achieve. It’s been a fun year. We want to keep it going.”