This game had two teams that have been atop the Chicago Catholic Hockey League for decades. St. Rita and Mt. Carmel were ready to rumble in the Southwest Ice Arena, and the crowd knew they were in for a treat. After a warm-up skate, the United States Air Force presented the Scholar Athlete award winners with their plaques at center ice. From Mt. Carmel, Patrick Wehr accepted the award alongside his parents, Pat and Michelle. From St. Rita, Bill McGrenera was joined on the ice by his mother Donna as he was awarded the plaque. Immediately following the presentation, the first lines from each team set-up for the opening face-off.
The Mustangs struck early in the first period when Jack McDonnell scored off an assist from Michael Tisoncik, giving St. Rita the 1-0 lead. That was the only goal of the first period. Mt. Carmel had a few good chances, and it seemed like just a matter of time before they would score.
In the second period, St. Rita clearly had the mindset to come out and hit Mt. Carmel hard, putting pressure on the goalie. Blake Nevin and Jack McDonnell scored a pair of goals just two minutes apart to give the Mustangs a 3-0 advantage. You couldn’t help but wonder if those goals had something to do with the kids banging the glass behind the goalie with their Air Force Thunder Sticks. With the ice tilted against Mt. Carmel, it seemed like one more goal might do them in. With less than a minute left in the period, St. Rita scored again on an unassisted goal by Henry Capouch making it a 4-0 game at the second intermission.
The third period could have been a formality, but Mt. Carmel clearly wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Just two minutes into the third, Ben Boukal of Mt. Carmel put the Caravan on the board. With another quick goal, it could have been a whole new game. But unfortunately for the Caravan, it was their only goal of the day. With 32 seconds left in the game, Zach Bulthuis floated an empty netter to cap off a great day for the Mustangs.
At the conclusion of the game, the Air Force took the ice to present the Great American Rivalry Series Championship Cup to the Mustangs of St. Rita!
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- HOCKEY: St. Rita vs. Mount Carmel – 2010