During its three-day stay in Columbus, the St. Edward ice hockey
team had to contend with Mother Nature, the suspension of two of its
players and finally a game opponent from Gates Mills. In the end none of it was enough to keep the Eagles from winning
an 11th OHSAA crown, the final step a 3-1 win over Gilmour Academy in
the title game played Monday in front of 684 spectators at Nationwide
During its three-day stay in Columbus, the St. Edward ice hockey team had to contend with Mother Nature, the suspension of two of its players and finally a game opponent from Gates Mills.
In the end none of it was enough to keep the Eagles from winning an 11th OHSAA crown, the final step a 3-1 win over Gilmour Academy in the title game played Monday in front of 684 spectators at Nationwide Arena.
Both days of the tournament were pushed back 24 hours due to the snowfall in central Ohio. St. Ed's played against Gilmour Academy without two regulars, lost because of a fight that marred the conclusion of its semifinal win the day before.
None of it mattered, as St. Ed's added another championship to its state record total.
The Eagles (29-11-3) took the lead in the second period and held on down the stretch, taking advantage of outstanding penalty-killing to preserve the victory. After taking a two-goal lead early in the third, three St. Ed's penalties had the team a man-down for more than half of the game's final 12 minutes.
The championship was the first for St. Ed's coach Rob Whidden, who took over the program from his father Bob three years ago.
Junior T.J Colvin broke the scoreless tie just over two minutes into what would become a dominant 15 minutes for the Eagles.
The St. Ed's forward ripped a slap-shot from center ice, just above the circles. Gilmour goalie Austin Severson deflected the shot with his glove, but the puck fell behind him into the net at the 2:08 mark of the second.
St. Ed's outshot Gimout 26-4 in the period.
But Gilmour (23-18-1) appeared to level the score midway through the period when Zach Buehner hit a slap shot high and left of the St. Ed's goal. The puck bounced off the boards, diagonally backwards tos the rear of Eagles goalie Robby Ginsburg.
Reaching back to cover the puck, Ginsburg inadvertently hit it into his own net just as a group of players knocked the goal off its moorings.
Though television replay clearly showed the puck in the St. Ed's net before the goal was disturbed, the ruling on the ice was to waive it off.
Having dodged the bullet, St. Ed's added to its lead seconds before the end of the period via the power play.
With four seconds on the clock, John Plagens beat Severson with a top-shelf wrister from the right face-off spot.
Each team scored in what was an even third period. Gilmour pulled to within 2-1 at 1:48 when Alex Moss got the puck off the face-off and fired a wrist-shot through traffic from above the left circle. Less than two minutes later Danny Geiger of St. Ed's drove down the left boards from center ice, eventually flipping the puck over Severson's right shoulder at 3:10.
Neither team found the net in the first, despite three penalties and more than five minutes of power play hockey.
The closest either team came was Colvin, who hit the left post on a point-blank slap-shot at the 9:32 mark. Each team was credited with five shots in the period.