Two players who weren’t major contributors on Loyola Gold’s state championship team last season led the charge in the Ramblers’ 2-0 win over New Trier Green on Sunday at Centennial Ice Rink in Wilmette.

Senior defenseman Eagan Callahan scored the first goal, and senior goalie Drew Shearson (pictured above) earned the shutout in net. Callahan was on Maroon as a junior, while Shearson was a backup on Gold behind 2018 graduates Hugh Brady and Thomas Moran last season.

Two of 21 seniors on the team’s 24-player roster, Callahan and Shearson will be instrumental in the Ramblers’ defense of their title, according to head coach DJ LaVarre. Callahan is one of 12 newcomers to Gold.

“What’s great is that this was a team win,” LaVarre said. “Everybody contributed in one form or another.”

Senior Eamon O’Brien scored the second goal on an empty net. He’s one of 12 players back from last season’s state title team, the program’s first since 1996. O’Brien skates on the first line with seniors and Gold veterans Aidan Finegan and Cooper Prawdzik.

“They were our No. 1 scoring line last year and are playing well again this year,” LaVarre said.

The second line has consisted of Drew Buck, Christian Dunne and A.J. Cornelison. Owen Boersma, Cole Corrigan and Danny Huber have been on the third line.

Along with Callahan, top defensemen include Hayden Beck, Declan Darcy, Timothy Hackett, Nick Liebers, Kevin Purcell and Patrick Weimer.

Matthew Choate, Max Raynal and Shearson are Gold’s three goalies.

“With so many seniors, there is more understanding and comprehension of what’s involved and what’s being asked of them,” LaVarre said. “We still are working to figure out roles.”

After losing to the Trevians in the first two meetings this season, including a 3-1 defeat Nov. 25, LaVarre said Sunday’s win was good for the team’s confidence. It was New Trier’s first loss of the season.

“We had a great mindset all game,” he said. “When we got the lead early, we didn’t defend it. We continued to push forward. It was our best overall game. Our bench was incredible. I haven’t seen that much positivity on the bench in a while. That was a huge influence.

“Good win for the boys.”

Sunday’s game served a greater cause as Loyola and New Trier teamed up to raise $18,425 for Misericordia, a Chicago-based non-profit organization focused on caring for the developmentally disabled. Weimer is junior board member at Misericordia.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola