The time has come. The Top teams are known and are making their title runs. I will say this one last time, with the hopes it does not fall upon deaf ears. One of two things needs to happen. Either the state needs to fully recognize that one size does not fit all, in how they determine how many divisions and associated state titles can be associated with a sport. In the case of Hockey there needs to be 2. The other option is the Ohio HS teams need to with draw from the OHSAA, and just run it on their own.
That said we are here, and playing in this system.
The top two teams:
1. St. Ignatius- I say with out reservation or hesitation that this is the best ever in Ohio. They roll over every team they face. Sure we see some tight contests. But those are rivalry games, they are tight in the best of years. What matters here is the Wildcats are just winning them. Week in and week out, this team wins. They loose Miles McQuinn an utter point beast for the SEASON, just at the midway point, and dont skip a beat. Fear hits with the potential loss of who I feel is the prolific scorer the state has seen in Liam Geither, and the Wildcats win. The Wildcats are awesome. I want to say UNBEATABLE, as they are to this point! What a great year. They are my pick for a state title, they are number one, they are the best team in state history. They can take it all, they should.
In being the best team ever. They are equally blessed to house four of the states best players: 1. Patric Spellacy 2. Liam Geither 3. Michael Abood 4. Miles McQuinn. While having faced a red hot Shaker team, that was wrong moved for district play and fully expecting that to be a hell of game. It should have been what would have been a likely state semi final game. Again if you move a Shaker from one district to another, a district where they were only real thread as a Public school, it would only be logical to have divided up the Cleveland districts in to a Public and a Private. What a colossal mess.
2. Sylvania Northview- Here we have another team that is just dominate. No where near the epic 219 goals for that Ignatius has tallied. Yet in looking at Sylvania's 46 goals against they one of the toughest most stingy defensive teams in state history. Fully capable of finding the net with 135 goals for, coming from Zach Felzer, Jacob Kobach, Dalton Carter and Drew Crandall. Yet it is the defense at Northview that is most notable. That may be in part because head Coach Mike Jones has a blue line for a heart. Great defense starts in the net. Gryca is likely the best goalie the state has ever produced, the tandem of Bowels and Gryca is with out question the best the state has ever seen. So the goalies are stopping what gets threw the Defense. Outstanding blue line play is coming from a great utility player in the JR Tyler Dewitt. Kyler Omey, Brady Storer, Brad Wadsworth and Brint Easton are the Sr's who are the keys to Northview's defensive prowess.
There you have it. The two best teams in the state. One best in state history, the other best in school history. I want to see the Wildcat's, of Sylvania battle the Wildcats of Ignatius. This is the game of the year. The hottest ticket for a state final ever. The deal is they each have to win their way to it. Neither can take their foot off the gas.
Hot on these teams heals we have a red hot Shaker team. They are capable of beating Ignatius, people. Shaker can and may upset Ignatius. Toledo St. Johns can beat Sylvania, dont let this weekends 5-2 win fool you. I was there. I saw that Toledo played a wide open style to see if they could keep pace with Sylvania and failed. Expect to St. Johns choke things up and if St. Johns manages to reach to a game with Northview look for a 2-1 final.
Dublin Jerome just offed my pick from Columbus in Olentangy Liberty. I am sticking by Liberty to make the state semi finals, they are just playing well and learned from this weekend that they have to go hard to beat Jerome.
My prediction. Not long winded here at all. The Four teams that reach state semi finals
Brooklyn- St Ignatius
Columbus- Olentangy Liberty
game goes to OT tied at 2
and Ignatius wins.
Enjoy the playoffs and get to the games.