COLUMBUS – There was no sharing for St. Ignatius Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
St. Ignatius had a three-goal outburst in the second period Saturday, then held on to defeat University School 4-3 to win the school’s fourth OHSAA ice hockey state title.
The Wildcats (38-2-1) got exactly the start it wanted.
Just 14 seconds into the game, Cam Gerard got a rebound and scored to give St. Ignatius a 1-0 lead.
University School would answer early in the second period. Just 20 seconds into a power play, James Koch scored to tie the game at 1 at 2:06.
The last 13 minutes of the second period was an all-out assault by St. Ignatius.
The Wildcats scored three times in the second period on 23 shots. Zachary Kisel scored at 5:01 and again just 57 seconds later to make it 3-1 St. Ignatius.
Late in the period, Aidan Spellacy made it 4-1 at 12:58. It was a four-point afternoon for Spellacy, who also had three assists to go with his second period goal.
University School got one back early in the third. Robby Engoglia scored at 1:03 of the third to pull the Preppers within two, 4-2.
The score remained 4-2 until the final minute of regulation. With Alec Silver on the bench for an extra attacker, JD Clemens scored with 39.2 remaining. University School had closed to within 4-3.
St. Ignatius would shut the door, running out the final 39.2 seconds for its fourth state title.
Ignatius outshot University School 39-21. It was the fourth victory of the season for the Wildcats over the Preppers, who are both members of the Great Lakes Hockey League.
St. Ignatius finished the season winning 26 games in a row dating back to a 5-1 loss to St. Francis Dec. 20 in the Padua Holiday Tournament.
It’s the first state title for Ignatius since the infamous seven-overtime championship game of 2014. In that game, St. Ignatius goalie Dylan McKeon made 31 saves in the 1-1 tie with Sylvania Northview.
It was a game both McKeon and St. Ignatius Head Coach Pat O’Rourke admitted to still have in the back of their minds.
On Saturday, McKeon turned aside 18 shots to pick up his second state championship.
This time, he and his teammates don’t have to share.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
@ Nationwide Arena, Columbus
St. Ignatius 4, University School 3
SI – 1 – 3 – 0 – 4
US – 0 – 1 – 2 – 3
FIRST PERIOD: Scoring – 1, St. Ignatius, Cam Gerard (Jared Stepka, Aidan Spellacy) 0:14. Penalties – Brian Russell, St. Ignatius (Hooking) 7:08; Tommy Nook, University School (High Sticking) 13:51. SECOND PERIOD: Scoring – 2, University School, James Koch (JD Clemens, Robby Engoglia) 2:06. 3, St. Ignatius, Zachary Kisel (Aidan Spellacy, Cam Gerard) 5:01. 4, St. Ignatius, Zachary Kisel (Aidan Spellacy) 5:58. 5, St. Ignatius, Aidan Spellacy (Zachary Kisel, Cam Gerard) 12:58. Penalties – Seth Whitney, St. Ignatius (Interference) 1:46. THIRD PERIOD: Scoring – 6, University School, Robby Engoglia (JD Clemens) 1:03. 7, University School, JD Clemens (Robby Engoglia, Tommy Nook) 14:21. Penalties – None.
Shots on goal: St. Ignatius 12 – 23 – 4 – 39. University School 6 – 7 – 8 – 21. Power plays: St. Ignatius 0 for 1, 1 shot. University School 1 for 2, 1 shot. Goalies: St. Ignatius, Dylan McKeon (21 shots-18 saves). Alec Silver (39 shots-35 saves). T: 1:44.
Matt covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @mattsports.