The varsity hockey team travelled to Ann Arbor, Mich., in mid-January to compete in The Big Chill Tournament. They dominated the action allowing only four goals in their four games en route to the tournament championship.
The “Skating” Mustangs opened tournament play with a convincing 4-0 win over Carmel of Mundelein. Senior goalie Mike Iwaniec recorded his first career shutout in the victory. Coach Brian Coleman’s '99 team then squared off against Sandburg and soundly beat the Eagles 6-1. In the semi-finals, St. Rita flexed their muscles with an 11-0 whitewash of the Milwaukee Blaze. In the tournament championship game, the Mustangs would once again face-off versus the Sandburg Eagles. This time the Eagles played St. Rita tough as the Mustangs hung on by the slimmest margins with a 4-3 victory and a tournament title.
Sophomore Connor McGrath was named tournament MVP after accumulating the most points of any player in the tourney. He was also named the Chicago Catholic League Player of the Month for December.
McGrath stayed hot heading into the Kennedy Cup Playoffs. He scored three goals in three games (including a game-one penalty shot) for the Mustangs in the first round of the playoffs, knocking off St. Ignatius two games to one. To give the "Mustang Maniacs" (St. Rita's student section) a thrill, McGrath scored the game-winner in overtime in an action-packed, "do-or-die" game three on Sunday, January 29 at Southwest Ice Arena (SIA).
Up next, the Skating Mustangs face Providence in game one of the Kennedy Cup Semi-Finals at Arctic Ice Arena on Friday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m. Game two is scheduled for Thursday, February 8 at 7:55 p.m. at SIA.