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Blackhawk Cup Elite 8 Is Set

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

The top eight teams heading into the 32-team Blackhawk Cup state tournament were (in order) New Trier Green, Fenwick, Loyola Gold, Glenbrook South, Mount Carmel, Stevenson, Sandburg and Glenbrook North. Now after two hard-fought rounds, those eight teams are all that remain.

Here is a look at the Elite Eight:

New Trier Green
Seed: No. 1
League: Independent
Blackhawk Cup wins: Oak Park / River Forest 5-1, St. Viator 4-1
Players to watch: F Connor Olvany, F Kyle Brown, D Mark Stephens, D Matt Young G Mark Ingram
Outlook: The fastest and arguably the best team in the state, the Trevians, who won the Blackhawks' Holiday Hockey Classic earlier this season, look poised to make another run at the state title. New Trier knocked off rival Loyola Gold to win the High School Invitational Tournament. Glenbrook North, though, should be a tough test for New Trier in the quarterfinals.

Glenbrook  North
Seed: No. 8
League: Metro North
Blackhawk Cup wins: Notre Dame 7-0, Marist 3-0
Players to watch: F Adam Goldblatt, F Jayson Megna, F Jason Tulig, G William Dodge
Outlook: A fast and young team, Glenbrook North finished atop the Metro North regular season standings by scoring a league-high 107 goals and allowing a league-low 28. The Spartans, who are yet to allow a goal in the Blackhawk Cup tournament, play top-ranked New Trier Green in the quarterfinals, but an upset is not out of the question.

Mount Carmel
Seed: No. 5
League: Catholic League
Blackhawk Cup wins: Lincoln-Way East 7-2, Naperville Central 7-2
Players to watch: F Tyler Marcano, F Rich Odom, G Larry Knight, G John Nye
Outlook: Mount Carmel, a tough, bruising team, won the regular season title in the Catholic League and is currently playing second-ranked Fenwick for the Kennedy Cup. In what should one of the best games of the state tournament, Mount Carmel plays fourth-ranked Glenbrook South in the quarterfinals.

Glenbrook South
Seed: No. 4
League: Metro North
Blackhawk Cup wins: York 5-2, Neuqua Valley 7-1
Players to watch: F Christopher Benz, F Trevor Stevens, D Michael Kerr, G Jason Nesbitt
Outlook: The defending state champions tied neighborhood rival Glenbrook North with 41 points in the Metro North regular season. The Titans are as skilled as any team remaining in the tournament, but face a tough and proven team in Mount Carmel in the quarterfinals.

Seed: No. 2
Leagues: Catholic League, Metro West
Blackhawk Cup wins: Homewood-Flossmoor 10-0, Lake Forest 5-0
Players to watch: F Nick Powers, F K.C. Madock, F Mike Freitag, G Vincenz Barsanti
Outlook: The Friars have dominated their opponents in the first two rounds of the Blackhawk Cup tournament, outscoring them by a 15-0 margin. Fenwick is currently playing fifth-ranked Mount Carmel for the Catholic League's Kennedy Cup title. The Friars, who finished first in the Metro West regular season, play conference rival Sandburg in the quarterfinals.

Seed: No. 7
League: Metro West
Blackhawk Cup wins: Warren 3-2, Brother Rice 4-1
Players to watch: F John Sarsfield, F Michael Smith, F Michael O'Toole, F/D Daniel Allen, G Jack McHale, G Katie Goeing
Outlook: The Eagles get a shot at Metro West rival Fenwick, the No. 2 team in the state tournament, in the quarterfinals. Sandburg finished second in the Metro West regular season behind Fenwick.

Seed: No. 6
League: Metro North
Blackhawk Cup wins: Jacobs 7-1, Bartlett 2-1
Players to watch: F Quinn Brennolt, F Matthew Levey, F Matt Buxbaum, G Adam Croft
Outlook: The Patriots finished third in the Metro North behind Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South. A fast and skilled team, Stevenson beat one of the best goalies in the Blackhawk Cup tournament in Bartlett's Steven Tomczyk. The Patriots face third-ranked Loyola Gold in the quarterfinals.

Loyola Gold
Seed: No. 3
League: Independent
Blackhawk Cup wins: Lyons 9-1, Highland Park 3-0
Players to watch: F Nick Morici, F Mike Fallon, F Joe Affinati, D Josh Dessent, G Conor Riley
Outlook: A perennial powerhouse, Loyola Gold played some of the best team in North America this season. The Ramblers lost to rival New Trier Green in the High School Invitational Tournament title, but are out to avenge a loss in last year's Blackhawk Cup final to Glenbrook South. A physical and punishing team, Loyola faces No. 6 Stevenson in the quarterfinals.

At AHAI Hockey Center
New Trier Green vs. Glenbrook North, 1:20; Mount Carmel vs. Glenbrook South, 3:15
At AHAI Hockey Center
Fenwick vs. Sandburg, 12:50; Stevenson vs. Loyola Gold, 2:45

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