PLYMOUTH, Minn. — No matter the game or the setting, expectations are always high for Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
That was especially true at this year’s Chipotle-USA Hockey High School Prep National Championships.
Shattuck-St. Mary’s came into the tournament as the defending Division I champs, as it went undefeated on its way to the title in Frisco, Texas, a year ago. This marks the first year that USA Hockey has added a prep-specific division to nationals.
Playing in its home state, the results weren’t much different, as Shattuck-St. Mary’s defeated New Trier Green (Ill.) 10-0 in Monday’s championship game.
“We know when we play we have a bulls-eye the size of the state on our back,” Shattuck-St. Mary’s coach Teddy Doherty said. “To be able to beat a good team like that, as easily as we did, was very impressive. We picked the right time to play our best game this season.”
While the score eventually got out of hand, the first period was tightly contested, with both teams creating quality chances in search for the game’s first goal.
Defenseman Sebastian Sanfilippo eventually found the opener for Shattuck-St. Mary’s midway through the first period. Aaron Sawicki won a faceoff in New Trier’s zone and set up Sanfilippo perfectly for a shot from the blue line that made its way to the back of the net through traffic.
New Trier responded with a couple of good scoring opportunities to close out the period, but Riley Burnett was able to stop each shot that came his way to make sure his team held a lead going into the first intermission. Burnett finished the game with an 18-save shutout.
Doherty loved the defensive effort from his team throughout the tournament, as Shattuck St. Mary’s didn’t give up a single five-on-five goal in the five games they played.
“That just shows how committed we were to playing defense,” he said. “Everybody up and down the lineup contributed in some kind of way.”
The floodgates opened less than 90 seconds into the second period, as Ethan Beane scored the first of his three second-period goals. On top of his hat trick, Shattuck-St. Mary’s added three other goals in the second period to take a commanding 7-0 lead into the third.
Alex Dell, who is one of four players to be on the team that won a national title in Frisco last season, had a goal and an assist in the second before finishing with four points in the game. While Shattuck-St. Mary’s took the game over in the second, Dell said he and his teammates felt like they had a good chance to win from the opening faceoff.
“We were confident and we were ready from the start,” Dell said.
Shattuck-St. Mary’s never trailed on its way to the Division I title last year. This time around, it fell behind only once — going down 1-0 to Valor Christian (Colo.) on Friday before going on to win 5-1. Shattuck-St. Mary’s outscored its opponents 26-2 in its five games in Plymouth.
The perks of playing in Minnesota were evident when the team received its hardware, as dozens of Shattuck-St. Mary’s fans took photos and shared in the victorious moment.
“A lot of our faculty and staff came up, which was a good boost for our group,” Doherty said.
After another national title, Doherty made sure to emphasize how proud he was of the way his team performed throughout the tournament.
“I can’t stress enough how big this is for our school and the 20 kids in that room that bought in and did this together,” he said. “There was not one kid better than the other, it was a group effort and I’m really proud of them for that.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.