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IHSHL North Central Outlook - 02.07.20

By Sam Schwartz, 02/07/20, 3:00PM CST


As the final stretch of the Varsity Champions playoffs comes closer, here's how things are shaping up.

The Varsity Champions playoffs have seen a high variety of games. Just last night, Highland Park tied Libertyville/Vernon Hills, and yet the day before that, New Trier blew Latin out of the water by a score of 11 to 0.


It’s beginning to look clearer and clearer which teams are serious contenders to make it to the semifinals. At the same time, no team has mathmatically clinched or been eliminated yet.


Looking at Pool A, New Trier Blue leads the way, with Warren and New Trier White not far behind. Having played three games in only six games, the work has paid off so far for Trevians Blue. Things started off tight for them with a 2-1 win over the Stampede, Christian Tegtmeier’s game winning goal at 1:27 of the third period lifted Blue, despite Stampede’s Philip Johnson scoring on the power play with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation to bring it back to one. A win over their program twin White 5-1 and a 4-1 victory over D155 leaves Blue at 3-0 going into the weekend. A total of six days off and then a home game versus the all-defeated Latin Romans, and then on the road at the regular season champion Warren will finish off Blue’s round robin.


Warren, only one point behind, also through three games, are making a serious statement to finish in the top two for Pool A. They are coming off some momentum too, coming off of an exciting overtime win over St. Rita in the AHAI Blackhawk Cup. Steffen Nerheim scored the overtime winner with at 16:24 of the first overtime period. They will play the winner of Naperville versus a very familiar New Trier Blue. 


Speaking of familiar, District 113 powerhouses Deerfield and Highland Park stand on top of Pool B, both with four points through three games. Highland Park comes off of a late night tie versus the IceCats to net them the tying point. That game was close the entire way, remaining scoreless until 4:34 of the second period, when IceCats junior Christopher Mulligan scored the first of his two goals in the game. The score never differed by more than one goal, with the teams both going quiet for good following a quick exchange of goals over 52 seconds early in the third period.


Highland Park, despite allowing the most goals in regular season playoffs, has had a lot of help in goal when needed. Sophomore goalie Shai Lichtenfeld seems to be red-hot right now. Last year, he joined the team as a freshman on the lower of what was then two junior varsity teams. In his first season sharing the position with Tyler Kasemir on the varsity team. The numbers for the sophomore were more than decent, a goals against average of 3.07 and a save percentage of .889 shows that this could be the beginning of one of the goalies that helps greatly reduce the amount of goals allowed for his team. Even though he shares the role with Kasemir, he has played more than 9 games in the playoffs. As stated that he is red-hot, he has had nerves of steel going into the playoffs. His playoff stats through three games highlight the 2.43 GAA and .908 save percentage. Lichtenfeld will most likely be on your radar next season.


Still lots to be played in the pool play stage, with a big stage of games, and is your home of all things playoffs, so check back here for up-to-date results!