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Chicago Crush Premier Breaks Through! Historic Season Paves Way for Bright Future


The Chicago Crush Premier celebrate an early season victory | Photo by Beverly Buchinger
The Chicago Crush Premier celebrate an early season victory | Photo by Beverly Buchinger


ADDISON, Ill.- The 2023-2024 season was truly one for the history books for the Chicago Crush Premier squad. Under the excellent leadership of Head Coach Steve Maltais and Coach Phil Bushbacher, this resilient group of players accomplished something the franchise had never done before - winning their first ever playoff game and series.


Chicago Crush Premier Celebrate a big win | Photo By Beverly Buchinger
Chicago Crush Premier Celebrate a big win | Photo By Beverly Buchinger

It was a campaign marked by tremendous growth, perseverance, and an unwavering belief in themselves. The team's leading scorers Caden Day (52 points), Nick Zehelein (35 points), and Ryan Hammer (34 points) provided consistent offensive firepower all season long. On the blueline, steady defensemen like Jason Castaneda, Cyler Brogle, and Jonathan Wood helped solidify the team's structure.



Chicago Crush Celebrating an exciting goal | Photo by Beverly Buchinger
Chicago Crush Celebrating an exciting goal | Photo by Beverly Buchinger

The goal scoring depth didn't stop there, as the Crush received valuable contributions throughout the lineup from the likes of Sam Barnitz, Spencer Kauke, Jacob Rozanski, Owen Rycerz, Adyn Konchar, Logan Fernandes and so many more. Between the pipes, the stellar netminding trio of Jack Sundhall, Patrick Johansen and Andrew Young gave the team a chance to win every single night.


#31 Jack Sundhall and the boys battle the River Kings | Photo by Andrea Brogle
#31 Jack Sundhall and the boys battle the River Kings | Photo by Andrea Brogle

While the regular season had its share of ups and downs, the Crush kept pushing forward, never losing sight of their ultimate goal. When the playoffs arrived, they rose to the occasion in dramatic fashion. A hard-fought first round series win over the Battle Creek Kernels was soon followed by an epic clash against the Fort Wayne Spacemen in the second round.



Nick Zehelein & Caden Day Celebrate a score | Photo by Beverly Buchinger
Nick Zehelein & Caden Day Celebrate a score | Photo by Beverly Buchinger


The 2023-2024 Chicago Crush will go down as the team that kicked down the door and proved they belong among the USPHL's best. From the coaches to every single player who took the ice, this was a group that left it all out there each and every game. Their hard work, commitment and sacrifices paid huge dividends and have laid the foundation for even greater future success.


To Head Coach Maltais, Coach Bushbacher and all the players - thank you. Thank you for an unforgettable season and for allowing Chicago hockey fans to be part of this remarkable journey. The future is blindingly bright, and the best is yet to come for the Chicago Crush.


2023-24 Chicago Crush Premier Squad | Photo by Andrea Brogle
2023-24 Chicago Crush Premier Squad | Photo by Andrea Brogle

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