Perrelle powers Carmel to state triumph in OT
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Senior Joe Perrelle led Carmel in goals this season, netting 40 in 40 games, along with 17 assists.
No goal or assist for Perrelle was bigger than Thursday night at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.
Perrelle's wicked wrist shot, at the 8:39 mark in overtime, gave the Corsairs a 3-2 win over New Trier White for the White Division state championship.
"That probably was the best shot of my whole career," said Perrelle, whose game-winner capped a 3-point night. "I saw an opening (in the upper corner), so I just threw it up there."
Perrelle's shot blazed past Trevians goalie Stefan Wallach (22 saves), and the Corsairs' contingent, which included athletic director/football coach Andy Bitto, went wild.
"That game-winner was a rocket of a shot," Carmel coach Mike Rucinski said.
Rucinski presented the game puck to Bitto, who said he definitely will find a spot for it in the school's athletic trophy case.
Perrelle was looking for redemption in overtime because of his actions in the third period.
Carmel (22-20-8) led 1-0 when Perrelle was assessed a 4-minute penalty early in the third period. About a minute into his penalty, Perrelle was joined in the box by senior teammate Zach Shenderovsky, who was charged with tripping, giving the Trevians' a 5-on-3 man advantage.
New Trier capitalized on the power play, tying the game at 9:04 on a goal by Sam Berman, assisted by Jonathon Kenyon and Nicolaus Meyer.
Two minutes later, just seconds after Perrelle got out of the box, the Trevians grabbed a 2-1 lead when Andrew Machnik scored, assisted by Matt Garcia and Berman.
"Pretty stupid," Perrelle said of his double-minor. "I thought I was done for the game. I didn't think I was going to get another shift. (Rucinski) was pretty mad at me."
Perrelle was benched for three shifts before Rucinski finally let his star goal scorer back on the ice.
"I was shocked when he told me to get out there," Perrelle said. "This is the biggest moment of my life."
"Joe was well-rested to go back out on the ice," Rucinski said with a smile.
Senior Grant Stredler had 26 saves for the Corsairs, including 12 in the second period.
"Even when we fell behind 2-1 (with seven minutes remaining to play), we still were confident that we could pull it out, somehow," Rucinski said.
Carmel senior Mike Wiacek tallied the game-tying goal with 3:21 left, on assists from Perrelle and sophomore Matt Mrowiec.
Mrowiec also scored the first goal of the game, beating Wallach with 1:49 remaining in the first period. Perrelle and Wiacek earned the assists.
"It just popped out to me and I slammed it in. You can't miss that one," Wiacek said of his goal. "It was a good game, a total team effort. Everyone played great.
"This is the biggest moment of my entire life. You dream about playing varsity hockey, and you dream about winning a state championship — and we did it."
Wallach acknowledged Perrelle's accuracy on the OT winner.
"It was a good shot," he said. "The difference was speed and size, but I'm still proud of the team. We really came together, especially late in the season."
Stevenson JV captures state title: Freshman Jake Cimarusti scored with 18 seconds remaining in the second overtime, as the Stevenson junior varsity team defeated Loyola Academy 3-2 on Wednesday night to capture the JV state championship at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.
Cimarusti scored all 3 goals for the Patriots (25-21-2), including the game-tying goal with 4:50 left in regulation time. Freshman Ben Moschea assisted on Cimarusti's game-winning goal, and junior Raymond Lee had the assist in the third period. Sophomore goaltender Ary Furman had 29 saves for Stevenson.
"Nerves played a huge part of the first period for us defensively, but our goalie, who wasn't nervous at all, was able to bail us out," said Stevenson JV assistant coach Dan Wood.
Added head coach Tim Johannes, "One of the biggest keys was faceoffs and sophomore Kevin Zajac winning 90 percent of all faceoffs. Jake Cimarusti played with such an edge that you knew big things were going to happen when he touched the puck What can I say about our goalie, Ary Furman, who played outstanding."
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