By: Kristy Booher Angelo, Associate Athletic Director with Special Reporting by Tim Veach, Varsity B Blue/16U Head Coach
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What a weekend for the Varsity B Blue/16U hockey team as the Lancers won the OHSAA JV state championship for the second consecutive year! Gilmour opened tournament pool play with a 7-0 win against Holy Name as six different Lancers scored. Zach Mangel '21 had the game winner as Jack Popovich '22 scored twice. Dylan Stefan '22 earned the shutout in net as Gilmour outshot the Green Wave, 60-8. The Lancers then dropped a close one to Upper Arlington 2-1. Mangel had the lone goal. The Lancers finished pool play taking on rival University School, winning the Battle of SOM 4-0. Despite outshooting US all game, Gilmour was unable to score until the third period when defenseman Harry Rogers '22 collected a rebound in the high slot on his backhand and buried his first goal of the season, which would stand up as the game-winner. The team went on to add three more. Fellow defenseman Connor Underwood '22 also scored his first goal of the season three-and-a-half minutes later to make it 2-0. John Kohanski '21 added the final two goals 54 seconds apart to seal the win late in the period. Jeremy Sturm '21 got the win in net and his first shutout of the season.
Pool play winners included St. Edward, St. Ignatius and Upper Arlington. Gilmour tied in points with a couple of other teams, but advanced as the at-large bid based upon the goal quotient (total goals for divided by total goals for and against). They then faced No. 1-seed St. Edward in the semifinals. The Lancers handily defeated the Eagles 5-1 as Stefan got the win in net.
In the finals, Gilmour faced off with St. Ignatius. The game was scoreless after a first period, which saw GA register six shots and St. Ignatius get four. Gilmour killed three penalties in a row, including 1:34 of a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Gilmour controlled the play during the 5-on-5 time for most of the first period.
The second period started similarly to the first, with Gilmour pressuring hard and controlling the play and still being unable to score. Midway through the period, Ignatius dumped the puck into the Gilmour end and both teams were in the process of changing lines. Joe Roddy '21 retrieved the puck in the Gilmour defensive end and passed to Underwood, who found Shea Hofstrom '22, who was coming off the Gilmour bench at the far end of the neutral zone, to spring him for a breakaway. Hofstrom fired the puck by the Ignatius goalie to give Gilmour the lead with 7:21 remaining in the second period. The score would remain 1-0 at the second intermission.
Gilmour started the third period down 5-on-4 and St. Ignatius maintained the momentum it established during its power play for much of the first half of the period. Gilmour regained some momentum midway through, but then St. Ignatius banked a shot from below the goal line off the back of the leg of Gilmour goaltender Stefan and into the net to tie the game at one with 5:57 remaining in the game. Gilmour maintained its focus and went on the power play after an interference penalty 30 seconds later but was unable to score. Shortly after that penalty expired, St. Ignatius was penalized for charging with 3:11 left and on the ensuing power play, Jack Starr '21 put home a rebound off of a Hofstrom shot with 2:23 remaining in the game to give the Lancers a 2-1 lead. Roddy also assisted on the goal.
The Wildcats pulled their goaltender to gain an extra attacker as the period wound down and mounted a great comeback attempt. The Lancers scrambled to maintain the lead, diving to block shots and clear pucks out of their defensive zone as the clock ticked down. With 21 seconds left, there was a faceoff to the right of Gilmour goaltender Stefan. Frankie Valenti '21 won the draw for the Lancers but Ignatius won the race to the puck and collected it for a shot from the point. The shot sailed high and Stefan deflected it to the boards, where Hofstrom was able to clear it. The Wildcats regrouped and mounted one last rush into the zone. After a shot attempt from the point was partially blocked by Valenti, the puck bounced in front of two Ignatius players near the net to the left of Stefan. Ignatius couldn't corral the bouncing puck as Max Treppo '22 slid in front of the net to block any shot attempt and Stefan saved the final shot by the Wildcats as time expired.
What a fun and exciting end to a well-deserved JV state championship!