The Westerville club hockey team capped another strong season with a return trip to the Buckeye Cup state tournament held March 10-12 at OBM Arena in Strongsville.

The Warcats went 1-2 to finish 31-19-2 overall.

Westerville opened with a 3-1 loss to Wooster on March 10, but bounced back to defeat Fremont 9-2 on March 11. The Warcats were eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Medina later that day.

Last season, Westerville also went 1-2 in the 12-team tournament.

"We told the players how proud we were of them," coach Brian Thompson said. "It's a long year and we ask a lot of them. ... It's tough to get knocked out, but I wanted to hit on how much that group meant to me over the last couple of years."

The Warcats lose eight players to graduation, including forward Evan Ingram, who finished with 23 goals and 32 assists.

"I'm pretty happy with the season," said Ingram, who attends Central and capped a three-year career with the team. "We went on a couple runs ... but (we) lost it at times."

Sophomore forward Grant Dickinson, who attends North, had a team-high 42 goals and 23 assists. Senior forward Victor Runyon, who attends South, had 30 goals and 21 assists, and senior forward Colton Siemer, who attends North, had 22 goals and 26 assists.

Sophomore goaltender Sean Coonfare, who attends Oakstone Academy, went 16-16-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average.

"He's an impressive goalie," Thompson said. "He's one of if not the best goalie in the league. He's kept us in and won a lot of games over the last two years. I'm just really happy that he's only a sophomore. The fact that I know I have goaltending for two years is always fun as a coach to know that he's so young."

Also eligible to return are juniors Ian Bushong (defenseman, Central), Ryan Butler (forward, South), Travis Furman (defenseman, North), Justin Kahle (defenseman, Columbus Academy), Jack Larimer (defenseman, North), Evan Leeth (forward, North), Cameron Morris (defenseman, Central) and Seth Sooley (forward, Central), sophomore Cameron Myers (defenseman, Central) and freshman Nicholas Fagan (forward, South).

Westerville went 13-10-1 (27 points) to finish third in the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League behind Dayton (45 points, 21-0-3) and Newark (34, 14-4-6).

"I definitely had fun my three years," Ingram said. "It's been a pretty good experience playing with all those guys and the coaches were great."

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