The way Dublin Coffman High School hockey coach Perry Pooley sees it, there is one major obstacle still standing in the way of the Shamrocks winning their third consecutive Capital Hockey Conference title.

The way Dublin Coffman High School hockey coach Perry Pooley sees it, there is one major obstacle still standing in the way of the Shamrocks winning their third consecutive Capital Hockey Conference title.

On Sunday, the Shamrocks will face Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North, and Pooley believes the winner of the game will go on to clinch at least a share of the CHC title.

Coffman is 9-0 in the CHC entering its contest against Worthington Kilbourne on Saturday and Liberty is 8-0 in the CHC heading into games against Kilbourne on Friday and Scioto on Saturday.

After their meeting Sunday, Coffman and Liberty both will have two league games remaining.

"We're both undefeated in our league, so this game is very important," Pooley said. "We've got to respect Olentangy Liberty because they're playing with a lot of confidence and winning close games. We don't want to lose this game and have to hope that someone else beats them. We want to beat them and try to go undefeated in our league."

Liberty is 12-12 overall but is 7-1-1 in its last nine games. Last Sunday, the Patriots beat Gahanna 1-0 as senior forward Ben Saylor scored and senior goalie Nick Kerr had 24 saves.

Pooley said his team will need to play at a furious pace to overwhelm the Patriots and make sure Kerr doesn't lead them to another close victory.

"Our goal is to continue to learn to play faster," said Pooley, whose team was ranked 12th in the state poll and first in the district poll last week and Liberty was fifth in the district poll. "We want to move the puck, forecheck and pass faster than our opponents. If we play at a faster speed, we're a tough team to beat."

Pooley said goalie Alex Rogers and his defense, led by Evan Bowdy, Steven Panchyshyn, Matt Smith, Gregory Strine and Matt Terry, will need to continue to play well for the Shamrocks to win the CHC.

"Our formula to success is good defense, great goalkeeping and timely scoring," Pooley said. "Rogers has been outstanding. He's kept us competitive with the best teams from around the state."

The Shamrocks have relied heavily on their top forward line of Sam O'Brien, Kevin Putnam and Ian Flinders.

"Scoring isn't coming as easy to us this year," Pooley said. "Our top line has been scoring, but we'll need to get a second line scoring to make it tougher to defend us."

•Heading into CHC games Friday at Chiller Dublin against Olentangy Orange and Saturday at Chiller Dublin against Cincinnati Moeller, Jerome is looking to continue building momentum toward the Blue Jackets Cup, which will be held Feb. 12-14 at Dispatch Ice Haus.

"We're only a couple of weeks away from the Blue Jackets Cup, and winning that tournament is our first major goal," coach Pat Murphy said. "We're going to use these last few weeks of the season to try to get ourselves ready to peak in the Blue Jackets Cup and the (district tournament), so we can advance to the state tournament."

To reach those goals, the Celtics must continue to rely on their defense, led by Adam DePerro and Logan Taylor, and goalies Josh Howell and Wes Faulkenberry.

"We've had great goaltending and we're playing great defense as a team," Murphy said. "We've been getting scoring chances, but we don't always score as many goals as we need, so that's something we've been working on improving. We're having a good season overall, and I think we haven't played our best hockey yet."