Days before the Blackhawk Cup championship game, Glenbrook North coach Mark Brunner praised his goaltender Will Dodge.
In Saturday's Blackhawk Cup state finals, Dodge was outstanding again making 32 saves to lead Glenbrook North to the 4-1 victory over Fenwick in front of more than 5,000 fans at the United Center.
"He's been nothing but amazing for us," Brunner said. "He has been outstanding for us. I think he gives us a chance to win every time he's in net. Our guys really feed off him. They are more confident when he's back there."
The junior goaltender was named the game's most valuable player as he handed the Spartans (51-9-7) their first state title since 1985.
"I was just in the zone," Dodge told a bevy of reporters after the game.
Dodge has been "in the zone" the entire Blackhawk Cup state tournament finishing with three shutouts and a 0.80 goals-against average in five playoff games. Dodge, though, might be overshadowed by the eventual game-winning play made by teammate Jayson Megna.
With the game tied at 1-1, Megna scored the game-deciding goal on a highlight reel move in the second period. The junior forward faked a shot, side-stepped a Fenwick defenseman and then backhanded a shot past Fenwick goaltender Vincenz Barsanti (22 saves).
"I never thought I would be able to use that move in the state championship," Megna said. "I guess working on that goal so much in practice paid off."
Danny Carroll scored Glenbrook North's first goal of the game on the power play in the second period, and Matt Rosenberg and David Tulig iced the game for the Spartans with goals in the third period. Tulig's was an empty netter with 1:40 left to play.
Fenwick (56-20-9) had a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first period when sophomore Mike Freitag batted in a rebound with KC Madock and Tony Tedesco assisting. After that, however, it was all Glenbrook North.
"It's an amazing feeling (to win the Blackhawk Cup)," Rosenberg said. "We gave it everything we had."