October is an interesting month in Ohio. Deer archery season is full stride, the leaves have begun to turn. The cool crisp mornings carry the scent of falls splendor. The hockey players notice the rink has good chill as they enter the arena, and for the tried and true Ohio HS hockey fan, Pre Post hockey is winding down. So we take look at what we see on the Ohio landscape as once the November 1st date hits, its all HS until Mar1'ish as the state finals down at the ENORMOUSLY EMPTY VOID of Nation Wide arena are March 8&9th.
The Sylvania North Stars 18u club dismantled Team Ohio 5-1, shut out Team Columbus 5-0, and again 4-1. Also Beating Team Ohio back in Sept 4-2. Its clear the North Stars are notch above in the state. They have been for the past 3 USA Hockey National Series, but falling short in the USA Hockey finals. There are signs this maybe a different year. In out of state competition National stage perennial power house the Afton Americans, who consistently field great YEAR ROUND teams and consistently play in the USA Hockey Nationals. Afton defeated Sylvania by a narrow 1-0 score. Team Cleveland, who looks to be building up for a strong showing also lost to the Afton squad, and also trails Sylvania and Team Ohio by the narrowest of margins on the National rankings Sylvania. Less than a .75 points separate the three clubs. Sylvania played MI elite AAA 18u to a 2-1 loss Team Ohio lost 3-2 to them earlier. This MI AAA club has played and played well tier 1 eliet power houses Compuware, VH west Mi hounds and Honeybaked in some very heated contests. While these OH AA teams are not ready for those heavy hitters, they do have a handful of players who are, they just lack the overall depth to be competitive for 3 periods of that caliber hockey. But it is close enough, just close enough to cause question as to when Mike Mankowski will pull the trigger and pit a full season 18u AAA North Star on the ice.