It was a vintage moment for Stevenson senior hockey player Michael Trapp.
In the decisive game of a best-of-three Scholastic Hockey League series against Rockford on Feb. 15, Trapp had the puck at his stick with the score tied 1-1 in overtime. He made a rush up the ice and, with a defender hanging all over him, he backhanded the puck to Matthew Heller, who scored the game-winner.
“That play epitomizes what he’s done this season,” said Stevenson coach Jim Wood, whose team dropped a 3-1 decision to Loyola Gold in the Red Varsity state tournament Tuesday. “Not only can he score goals, but he can make really great passes. He’s one of the most creative guys that I’ve seen all year. He also plays hard on defense, which often goes unnoticed. He’s a fun player to coach.”
Trapp’s face lights up while describing the end of the Rockford game.
“I fell as I was making the pass, but I was able to see the puck go in,” he said. “Everybody hopped off the bench and went insane. It was crazy.”
Trapp played club hockey for his first two years of high school. He joined the Stevenson team as a junior and never looked back.
“There was a new league with a lot of competition,” Trapp said. “I decided I wanted to play for my high school and with all my friends. There’s something different about playing in front of family and friends when you’re representing your school.”
Trapp has made the most of his opportunity. He ranks second on the Patriots (33-16-1) in goals (44) and assists (30). He has 74 points despite missing most of December with a partial tear to his left MCL.
“I had to stay off it for almost a month,” he said. “It’s tough being a captain and watching your team [struggle]. I was able to come back the day after Christmas and by the middle of January was [100 percent].”
Senior Trevor Patten said the return was seamless.
“When he got back to the lineup it was like he never missed a beat,” Patten said. “He played tenacious and aggressive the whole time.”
Next year, Trapp will attend Illinois, where he plans to study biology and play club hockey.
Now that the high school season is over, Trapp will not take a break from the ice. For the second consecutive year, he was selected to represent Illinois at the America’s Hockey Showcase in Pittsburgh, April 10-14. Last year, Trapp contributed four assists as Team Illinois won the national tournament.
The team is composed of the top 20 juniors and seniors in the state. Trapp’s teammate Jared Projansky (52 goals, 55 assists) also was selected.
“It was a really good experience,” Trapp said. “You play against those guys all year long and have a rivalry, but everyone mixed together well and we had a lot of success.”