According to Athens goalie Jake Bloomfield, winning the Blue Jackets Cup last Sunday at Chiller North satisfied a goal set before the season began.

According to Athens goalie Jake Bloomfield, winning the Blue Jackets Cup last Sunday at Chiller North satisfied a goal set before the season began.

"At the beginning of the season we addressed this as our main goal," said Bloomfield, who led the Bobcats' stifling defense in a 3-0 win over Newark in the championship game. "It's awesome."

Standing within earshot, Athens coach Jim Caesar was quick to correct his netminder.

"(The state tournament) is our goal," he said.

Athens, which won the inaugural Blue Jackets Cup eight seasons ago, entered the tournament third in the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League (GCHSCHL) at 14-7-4 behind Newark at 14-5-6 and Hilliard at 12-4-9.

Athens defeated Hilliard 5-1 in the first round last Friday before beating Newark 2-0 last Saturday to reach the championship game.

Meanwhile, Newark beat Westerville 4-1 in the first round last Friday, and after losing to Athens last Saturday, had to play last Sunday morning against PRPC and won 8-2 in the finals of the loser's bracket.

Athens was well aware Newark played earlier in the day.

"We took advantage of that," Caesar said. "Our plan was to get the puck, dump it in deep and make them work, pressure them, hit them and wear them down. It worked."

Athens got on the board with 3 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first period. On a 2-on-1 rush, Ryan Donelley corralled a lose puck on the left wing and, with no defender in front of him, beat Newark goalie Zach Dennis glove-side.

"That was huge," Caesar said. "It gave us the momentum. When we got that second goal, we demoralized them and then they were done after that third goal."

After a scoreless second period, Kevin Deal and Jacob Schriner added goals in the third to secure the title.

Throughout the game, the Athens defense clamped down on Newark's attack. More specifically, the Bobcats' game plan was focused on the Generals' top line of brothers Gabe Parini and Sol Parini, and Peter York.

"That's their main line and their leading scorers," Bloomfield said. "We really wanted to focus on shutting them down."

Newark coach Don Jennings was impressed by Athens' defense and its ability to frustrate the Generals' attack.

"Their defensemen are very big and strong," Jennings said. "They do a good job of clearing the puck and getting it out of the zone when they need to."

Last season, Newark defeated PRPC 3-1 to win the Blue Jackets Cup. The Generals lost nine players from that team and the current team has 10 underclassmen.

"We're very pleased with the effort they put forward today," Jennings said. "I cannot tell you how proud I am of this team. We're not discouraged and we'll probably see them again in the state."

The Buckeye Cup is March 5-7 in Cincinnati. It was established in 2005 as a postseason tournament for the high school club teams in the state. Newark is the defending champion and Athens won in 2008.

"The Blue Jackets Cup is big, but we want to win the state tournament," Caesar said. "We wanted to win (the GCHSCHL) and we lost to Newark a few weeks ago. Otherwise, we'd be in first place. Our goal was to come back, win this tournament and now we want to be competitive in the state tournament."