The Dublin Jerome High School hockey team has put together a successful season, including winning the Blue Jackets Cup, by following a simple but effective formula.

The Dublin Jerome High School hockey team has put together a successful season, including winning the Blue Jackets Cup, by following a simple but effective formula.

Coach Pat Murphy emphasizes team defense, first and foremost, and utilizes four forward lines with the intention of keeping his players fresh while wearing down opponents.

Fourth-seeded Jerome will continue to employ that strategy when it plays ninth-seeded Centerville in the third round of the district tournament at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dispatch Ice Haus. The winner plays third-seeded Cincinnati Moeller or Oxford Talawanda in a district semifinal at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus.

"If we play our style, I think we'll have a good opportunity to win both games, because that recipe has worked for us all year," Murphy said. "The key is playing good team defense and getting good goaltending, because defense is what wins championships. We roll four lines. Our first line of Joey Nahay, Kurt von Zychlin and Jake Howell scores most of our goals, but when we have all four lines chipping in, that makes us hard to stop."

Centerville beat Springboro 4-1 last Sunday to improve to 19-10-2 overall.

The Elks defeated Jerome 5-4 in double overtime in the second round of the district tournament last year, as senior forward Joe Breslin scored two goals, including the game winner just 15 seconds into the second overtime.

Jerome beat Centerville 5-3 on Dec. 11 in the squads' only meeting this season.

Murphy is counting on defensemen Logan Taylor and Adam DePerro to help contain Breslin.

"Centerville is aggressive and they have a really good forward that we'll have be on top of at all times," Murphy said. "Our whole team plays good defense, but Logan and Adam have been the key defensemen. They both log a ton of minutes and they play in every situation. They're key to generating offense, too, by starting breakouts."

The Celtics defeated Talawanda 5-1 on Jan. 17 and are 2-0 against Moeller this season, having won 4-0 on Jan. 30 and 4-3 in the Blue Jackets Cup final on Feb. 14.

"We've beaten every team that's left in our bracket, so we're confident we can win out if we play well," Murphy said. "If we can score four goals or more, we'll probably win because we don't give up many goals."

Coffman opened district play last Saturday with a 10-0 win over Scioto.

Sam O'Brien, who missed six games because of a fracture of his third thoracic vertebra, scored three goals in his first game back.

Kevin Putnam, Gunner Gruehl and Eric Gute each scored two goals and Evan Bowdy scored one.

"Sam's getting back into the flow of things and I think our entire team's getting back on track," Putnam said.

The second-seeded Shamrocks play 12th-seeded Upper Arlington in the third round Saturday at the Ice Haus.

The Golden Bears beat St. Charles 4-2 last Sunday to improve to 13-22-3.

Leading UA are senior goalie Drew Cook (.900 save percentage on 963 shots), senior forward Ethan Burton (16 goals), junior forward Jack Sansbury (13 goals) and sophomore forward Matt Beebe (10 goals).

Coffman defeated UA 2-1 on Dec. 4 and 2-0 on Feb. 11.

"Getting Sam back in the lineup has been a big boost," coach Perry Pooley said. "He's a dangerous player, and he makes everyone around him better. "UA played us tough in both games. We'll need to move the puck, get to the net and play faster than we played against them in the past."

The winner plays top-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore or sixth-seeded Beavercreek in a semifinal at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus. Coffman beat Sycamore 5-4 on Nov. 28 and 6-4 on Dec. 12 but has not played Beavercreek this season.

"The key for us to keep winning in the tournament is playing at a fast pace," Pooley said. "We're going to get our top defensemen, Bowdy and (Matt) Smith, on the ice as much as we can, because they control the ice when they're out there."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto hockey teams:

COFFMAN

Last Saturday -- Defeated Scioto 10-0 in district tournament opener

Saturday -- At Dispatch Ice Haus (2:30 p.m.) vs. 12th-seeded Upper Arlington in third round of district. Winner plays top-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore or sixth-seeded Beavercreek in a district semifinal at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus.

Of note: The Shamrocks are 25-9-2 overall.

JEROME

Last Sunday -- Def. Troy 3-0 in district opener. Joey Nahay scored two goals and Kurt von Zychlin scored one.

Saturday -- At Ice Haus (4:30 p.m.) vs. ninth-seeded Centerville in third round of district. Winner plays third-seeded Cincinnati Moeller or Oxford Talawanda in a district semifinal at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus.

Of note: The Celtics are 21-6-1 overall.

SCIOTO

Last Friday -- Def. Worthington Kilbourne 3-1 in district opener

Last Saturday -- Lost to Coffman 10-0 in second round of district

Of note: The Irish finished 8-22-2 overall.