IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Glenbrook South girls hockey coach Steven Hamelin has figured out a way to do deal with the emotional strains of a tense game.
He paces the bench.
Back and forth he went the other night — keeping an eye on the action while dodging everything in his path, including water bottles, sticks and other hockey paraphernalia.
“I probably paced for 45 minutes tonight,” said a relieved Hamelin, following his team’s taut 1-0 victory over second-seeded Fenwick in a state semifinal game at The Edge in Bensenville on March 5.
This one wasn’t easy on the nervous system.
Fenwick was relentless.
And the intensity of the game never wavered.
“We were all a little nervous,” said Glenbrook South senior forward Hannah Jensen, who tallied the game’s lone goal with 4:39 left in the opening period.
“Coach just kept telling us how much he believed in us,” No. 50 added.
Shutting out a high-powered offensive team like Fenwick was quite the accomplishment.
The reigning state champs, seeded third, will head back to United Center on March 24. They will face top-seeded New Trier, which needed two overtimes to overcome Loyola Academy in the other state semifinal game.
“You can’t take anything away from that team in the other dressing room,” said Hamelin, who guided GBS to a 7-3 victory over Loyola in last year’s state title game. “This was a great two-way hockey game. A nail-biter.
“And we’re so excited about going back to the United Center,” the coach added. “We’ve got eight seniors. It will be great for them to experience that again. It’s all about them.”
Jensen, who earned AHAI all-state honors along with teammates Madeline Dunham, Madison Itagaki, Kathleen Thomas, Chloe Carroll, Lily Cataldo and Nicole Knudson, broke free and bolted down the ice on her winning goal.
“It was a 2-on-1 with me and Cataldo,” said Jensen, who was assisted by Knudson. “Their defender covered her and left me open.
“I saw a little opening in the corner and went for it,” added Jensen, who slipped the puck past Fenwick all-state goalie Lena Flores. “I can’t describe how good that felt.”
Carroll praised Jensen.
“Just an awesome goal,” said the senior captain. “Hannah always steps up when we need it the most.”
Dunham also had a big night, finishing the game with 15 saves.
“For this game to end with only one goal scored is pretty crazy,” said Carroll. “We just tried to keep the puck out of our zone.
“I think it came down to who wanted it more,” she added.