The top-seeded Olentangy Liberty High School hockey team beat third-seeded Dublin Jerome 4-3 in overtime in a district final March 2 at the OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The Patriots improved to 26-5-5-1 overall and will face defending state champion Sylvania Northview or Toledo St. John's in a state semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday, March 8 at Nationwide Arena. The state final is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at the same site. Jerome finished 27-9-3 overall.
With 4 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in overtime, forward Jack Gainor fired the puck off goaltender Connor Willette’s pads and forward Noah Allmaras tipped the rebound past Willette for the game-winning goal.
“Dublin Jerome’s a great team, but our guys played with a lot of heart and gave a great team effort,” said Liberty coach Jack Hoogeveen, whose team has won two district titles in three years. “We had the will to go to the net and score.”
Forward Brock Rumbaugh scored a power-play goal to put Liberty ahead 3-2 with 2:24 left in the second period. The Celtics answered with a power-play goal with 6:05 left in the third period, as forward Tommy Parizek tapped a rebound past goaltender Cam Perry.
Willette finished with 18 saves and Perry had 17 saves.