Eric Tamulonis’ two-way play takes Andrew to sectional final

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Andrew’s Eric Tamulonis is a scorer, but he takes his defensive assignments seriously.

He did a pretty good job on one of Lockport’s top offensive players, Jake Jagodzinski, in a 14-10 loss earlier this season, holding him to three goals.

On Friday, the stakes were higher. Tamulonis stepped up in both regards, leading Andrew to an 11-8 victory in the Lincoln-Way Central Sectional semifinals.

The senior scored seven goals, and on the defensive end again held Jagodzinski to three.

“I knew he’d be aggressive from the last game,” Tamulonis said. “I just kept my hands up and didn’t give him the foul, didn’t let him shoot outside, and when he shot I tried to stuff him.”

No. 2 seeded Lockport (26-5) led twice at 1-0 and 2-1 via goals by Jagodzinski and Zach Elias. The first period ended at 2-2.

Tamulonis put the No. 3 Thunderbolts (24-5) in front for good at 3-2 with 4:47 left in the first half, and was followed just 46 seconds later by teammate Alex Gacek.

Andrew led 5-3 at intermission, thanks in part to 11 first-half saves by Tim Yara.

“They’re quick, so I was pretty ready for anyone to shoot on me,” Yara said. “I knew I had to get up big and I had to use my long arms to get anything.”

Andrew struck quickly at the start of the third period when Tamulonis scored on a pass from Chuck Walters, and led 8-4 at the final break.

Trailing 11-5 with just under five minutes remaining, Lockport binge-scored and was within 11-8 after a goal by Steve Howell with 1:23 left. The Porters got the ball back on a steal, but couldn’t convert.

Sandburg 11, Lincoln-Way Central 4: No. 1 Sandburg (24-8) advanced to the sectional final behind four goals by Majd Ibrahim (four goals), Jakob Hnatovic (three goals) and Mitchell Zieler (two goals).

The Eagles, who beat Central 8-7 during the season, broke open a 3-2 game with four consecutive goals – two by Ibrahim.

No. 4 Central (15-12-1) was led by Kyle Forsythe (three goals).

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