Fox Valley Hawks fans would have thought playing two road games in less than 24 hours would prove to be too much for the club to handle. Especially when those two teams happen to be the previously unbeaten New Trier White, and the always physical D211Chiefs.
But after a 3-3 tie with New Trier White Saturday night in Wilmette and a 3-2 win over the D211 Chiefs at the Leafs Centre in West Dundee, the Hawks might have just caught a spark.
Of course it also helps that players such as forwards Danny Shaughnessy and Tom Purton and goaltender Roberto Torres, all of them from Geneva, are getting un-expected time off from school due to the teachers' strike in Geneva schools.
As hockey is not a sanctioned sport by the IHSA, the Fox Valley Hawks are allowed to not only practice but play games as a full team.
“Both team just had such fight in them right up until the very end,” said Purton, who scored the game-winning goal in the last minute. “]D211] is a very physical team and we had to be prepared for that tonight. I think we won because we had no quit in us.”
After a scoreless first period the Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead when forward Joe Mullaghy pounced on a loose puck just outside the D211 goal area and and put home the rebound chance with 9:15 left. Just over one minute later, the Hawks made it 2-0 when forward Emerson Stopen from St. Charles East skated into the D211 zone and sent the puck into the Chiefs net with 8:01 left in the middle frame.
“We probably were pretty tired coming into this game today after playing late last night in Wilmette,” Purton said. “But we just stuck to it and gave ourselves a chance to win today.”
The win almost did not happen for the Hawks. The D211 Chiefs scored twice in the third period. Their first goal came with nine minutes left in regulation time when forward Jackson Zapatka beat Torres from in close. The visitors tied the game at 2-2 with 4:39 remaining as forward Brendan Gates scored a power play goal.
“I know Roberto gave up those two [goals],” Purton said, "but he also made some really great saves and I felt was in good position all game long. Without his play today, I do not think we win this game.”
Then again, without Purton's goal with :35.6 left in regulation time, the Hawks do not get the 3-2 advantage.
“I think this whole weekend was such a huge confidence booster for us,” Shaughnessy said. “I think we have been pretty inconsistent this far this year. I think we finally have the consistency we need going forward after getting this win and the tie from Saturday.”