According to commissioner Dr. Dan Ross, the Ohio High School Athletic Association is working on finding a cure for this winter’s ill – a tied Division I state hockey final.
In March, the OHSAA awarded co-division I championships after Cleveland. St. Ignatius and Sylvania Northview ended in a 1-1 tie after seven OT periods. National HS Federation rules stipulate that a shoot out cannot be held to end a HS hockey game.
Ross said the OHSAA’s decision to end the game in a tie came after careful consideration of player health and discussion among coaches.
Ross said a proposal to play one or two more OT periods after the seventh was discussed, but that after the option to award co-champions was presented both schools (coaches and administrators) agreed to end it that way.
Both coaches shook hands and hugged.
“I wish I had a picture of that to put on the big screen (at Nationwide Arena),” Ross said Thursday. “I had to go out after that and tell 3,000 people the game was over. That wasn’t pretty.”
Ross joked afterwards that he had to ask his wife to show him his birth certificate just to make sure his name didn’t start with “F.”
Moving forward Ross said the OHSAA ice hockey committee met this week and is discussing ways to figure out a new ending should a multiple OT game happen again.
The committee is leaning away from a shoot out as Ross indicated a survey of Ohio HS ice hockey coaches did not want that. One option being discussed is removing players each extra period.
Regardless, Ross says the OHSAA ice hockey committee is planning on a proposed solution in May.
“We need a way to end,” Ross said. “We’re really lucky that it was a final and not a semifinal. If it had been a semifinal we would have really been in a tight spot.”