Hockey: Providence falls short in state semifinal
By Eli Kaberon For Sun-Times Media March 16, 2014 10:24PM
Providence defender, John Duzansky (5) steps up to make a check on New Trier Green's, Benjamin Laukkanen (85). New Trier Green faced off against Providence in the boys red varsity hockey state semifinal game this Sunday at The Edge ice arena in Bensonville, Illinois. | Jason Glosniak/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2014 6:14AM
All season long, New Trier Green has won games with its defense. On Sunday afternoon, the team’s offense finally picked up some of the slack.
The Trevians scored three goals in an 11-minute stretch, helping the team rally from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win over Providence in the semifinals of the boys state tournament at Edge West in Bensenville.
Top-seeded New Trier Green, which won the state title in 2013, appeared to have its chances of a repeat dashed in the second period, when the Celtics scored two goals. Rich Yusa scored on a breakaway at 10:09 of the second and John Duzansky fired one in at 4:53 to give Providence what appeared to be a commanding lead.
Trevians forward Ben Laukkanen was able to get one back by scoring with 1:34 remaining in the period, a goal that sparked his team.
“Giving up two quick ones is tough because in games like this the team that scores first usually is the one that wins. But we didn’t give up,” New Trier goalie Jack Junge said. “Ben’s goal at the end of the second period was humongous. If we didn’t get that, we probably would have been done. That gave us momentum going into be third.”
Junge was terrific, stopping 39 of 41 shots, including all 17 Providence aimed at the net in the third. Four times the Trevians had to kill off penalties, and on each occasion Junge made sure his team didn’t allow a goal despite being a man down.
Trevians forward Jason Kuker took care of the offense late in the game, deflecting a shot into the back of the net to tie it with 14:38 left.
Kuker then scored the game-winner a few minutes later, juking past a defender and firing a shot top-shelf past Celtics goalie Ryan Iaciancio.
“It was just me and the goalie and I saw he left the top of the net open,” Kuker said. “So I tried to get in close and squeeze it in.”
Iaciancio stopped 19 of 22 shots before being pulled for an extra attacker late in the game.