Stevenson

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

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@RamblerHockey Twitter account

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

A state champion will be crowned Saturday at the United Center, when Loyola Academy Gold plays Stevenson for the Boys Red Division State Championship.

Here are some of the storylines we’re watching ahead of the game.

1. Coaching connection: These two coaches have known each other for more than 20 years. Loyola head coach D.J. LaVarre coached against Stevenson head coach Tom Wood when Wood played youth hockey. LaVarre also knows Tom’s dad, Jim, who is the former head coach at Stevenson. Currently the coach Stevenson’s JV 2 team, Jim won the AHAI high school coach of the year in 2007.

2. Fun rewards for players of the game: At Stevenson, the player of the game is awarded a hard hat. At Loyola, it’s a championship belt.

3. International influence: Stevenson’s goalie, Elias Sandholm, is a transfer student from Sweden and has the highest save percentage in school history, .951. He made the all-state team and the Chicago Showcase team.

4. Next man up: In net for Loyola will most likely be Hugh Brady, a senior who stepped up when Thomas Moran went down with a hip injury. Brady has played 47 games and has a .945 save percentage.

5. A drought will be snapped: Stevenson has never won a state championship. Loyola is looking for its first since 1996.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m., with the girls’ state championship game, Glenbrook vs. New Trier, starting at 11:30 a.m.

One more fun note: Team USA gold medalist and Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne will drop the ceremonial puck prior to both games.

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 22 Huntley

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 22 Huntley

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25., we unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.

School: Huntley

Head coach: Mark Zimolzak

Assistant coaches: Mike Slattery - OC/Quarterbacks, Mike Naymola - Receivers, Joel Bosman - Assist. Receivers, Craig Kastning - Running Backs, Chris Babyar - Offensive Line, Zack Borring - Assist. Receivers, Cliff Pawlak - Defensive Backs, Paul Reinke - Linebackers, Ben Salomon - Defensive Line, Keith Mooney - Assist. Defensive Line, Gary Swanson - Strength Coach, Will Benson - Scout Teams Coordinator, Mike Doty - Assist. Offensive Line, Doug Millsaps - Assist. Quarterbacks.

How they fared in 2016: 8-4 (8-2 Fox Valley Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Stevenson and Fremd before losing to Loyola in the quarterfinal round.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 23 Cary-Grove]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 @ Jacobs

Sept. 1 vs. Prairie Ridge

Sept. 9 @ Dundee-Crown

Sept. 15 vs. Hampshire

Sept. 23 vs. Cary-Grove

Sept. 28 @ West Aurora

Oct. 5 vs. Crystal Lake Central

Oct. 14 @ Crystal Lake South

Oct. 20 @ McHenry

Biggest storyline: Can the Red Raiders make a deeper run in Class 8A?

Names to watch this season: senior QB Eric Mooney, senior LB Charlie Zornow

Biggest holes to fill: The Red Raiders will need to reload on the offensive line this summer with just one returning starter back in senior Joey Wilson.

EDGY's early take: Huntley made a nice run under Zimolzak in Class 8A last postseason and several key starters return this fall, including All-State quarterback Mooney. The Red Raiders program has continued to make impressive, steady progress on the field. One of these days, sooner rather than later, Huntley will challenge for a Class 8A state title. 

57 Days to Kickoff: Huntley

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57 Days to Kickoff: Huntley

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Huntley

Head coach: Matt Zimolzak

Assistant coaches: Mike Slattery (OC/QB), Doug Millsaps (Asst. QB), Mike Naymola (WR), Joel Bosman (Asst. WR), Zack Borring (Asst. WR), Craig Kastning (RB), Chris Babyar (OL), Mike Doty (Asst. OL), Cliff Pawlak (DB), Paul Reinke (LB), Ben Salomon (DL), Keith Mooney (Asst. DL), Gary Swanson (Strength), Will Benson (Scout Team), Brad Aney (Freshmen HC), John Woo (Freshmen DB), Mike Ginczycki (Freshmen DC/LB), Jeff Beam (Freshmen DL), Gavin Fahey (Freshmen WR), Jim Rago (Freshmen RB), Zach Davidson Freshmen (OC/QB).

How they fared in 2016: 8-4 (6-2 Fox Valley Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Stevenson and Fremd then lost to Loyola Academy in the quarterfinals.

[MORE: 58 Days to Kickoff - St. Viator]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Jacobs

Sept. 1 – Prairie Ridge

Sept. 8 – @ Dundee Crown

Sept. 15 - Hampshire

Sept. 22 - Cary-Grove

Sept. 29 – @ West Aurora

Oct. 6 - Crystal Lake Central

Oct. 13 - @ Crystal Lake South

Oct. 20- @ McHenry

Biggest storyline: Can the Red Raiders win the Fox Valley Conference and make another deep run?

Names to watch this season: senior QB/DB Eric Mooney, senior LB Charlie Zornow

Biggest holes to fill: The Red Raiders will need to reload on the offensive line with just senior Joey Wilson (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) as the lone returning starter.

EDGY's early take: Huntley took some real positive steps forward in 2016, including big playoff wins against 8A powers Stevenson and Fremd. With Mooney back in the fold, along with good talent returning on both sides of the football, expect another strong FVC and postseason run from the Red Raiders.