The Westerville Warcats club hockey team fell short in its bid for a state tournament berth.

Westerville and Massillon Jackson tied for the 12th and final berth for the Buckeye Cup, with Jackson earning the at-large spot because it defeated the Warcats 3-1 on Dec. 2.

At-large berths are based on computer rankings and include criteria such as strength of schedule.

"It stinks that it comes down to this, especially when we entered a week of practice and we were getting prepared to go to the state tournament," said coach Brian Thompson, whose team finished 11-33-7 overall. "I feel bad for the seniors who are getting prepared and then all of a sudden they don't get that last time. It's tough."

The Warcats went 1-2 in the Blue Jackets Cup, defeating Athens 8-1 on Feb. 16 and losing to Hilliard 5-0 on Feb. 15 and Newark 4-2 on Feb. 17.

Ryan Butler had three goals against Athens, and goaltender Sean Coonfare had 20 saves.

Westerville went 3-18-3 (9 points) in the Ohio Scholastic Hockey League to finish sixth behind Newark (43, 20-1-3), Dayton (30, 13-7-4), Northeast and Hilliard (both 28, 12-8-4) and PHA (27, 12-9-3) and ahead of Athens (3, 0-21-3).

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