The New Trier Hockey Club began their pre-season this Sunday with decisive Green Varsity team victories over both the Northwest Chargers (W 5-2) and the Providence Catholic Celtics (W 4-1).
The following is a season preview crafted by the hockey club's board of directors.
The largest high school hockey program in the state takes to the ice this week, as New Trier’s boys teams play their first games. Once again, New Trier is the only Illinois program to field four teams comprising a total of 80 players.
One major change from last season is the demise of the Chicago Metro Hockey League and the dawn of the new Illinois High School Hockey League (IHSHL). After many years of playing an independent schedule, the Club’s top team, New Trier Green, has joined the Scholastic division of the new league.
The new 9-school Scholastic Division includes most of the state’s elite hockey programs. Loyola Gold, both Glenbrook schools, Stevenson, St. Viator, Rockford, Prairie Ridge and Barrington join New Trier Green in the league’s inaugural season. Green will face each opponent three times to comprise a 24-game league schedule. These same schools will compete at the JV level as well.
Bob Melton returns for his 16th season as head coach of New Trier Green, in search of his 9th State Title. Melton is excited about the new development. “The new League will be excellent. Some of the best teams in the state are in this league. The League should prepare Green for State playoffs come March.”
And as for this New Trier squad’s chances to gain Melton his 9th championship, “I think we have an excellent chance to be atop team and compete for a state title this year. We will rely heavily on our five returning Green and senior players Kyle Melton, Brian Enriquez, Drew Koch, Alex Pegler and Ryan Bower. There is no replacement for experience.”
New Trier’s 2nd and 3rd teams, Blue Varsity and White Varsity, will be part of the League’s North/Central division. Since these teams will no longer be competing with the top teams from powerhouses such as the Glenbrook schools, St. Viator and Stevenson, the Blue squad figures to have an excellent chance to claim the title. The White team should also be competitive against local foes such as Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest and Deerfield.
New Trier Hockey Club President David Brower says he is pleased with the creation of both divisions as it “gives access to great competition for all four teams”.
The complete schedules of all four teams can be found at www.newtrierhockey.com.