The fifth meeting this season between the Dublin Coffman and Dublin Jerome high school hockey teams offered an extra incentive: the winner moves one step closer to a trip to state.

The fifth meeting this season between the Dublin Coffman and Dublin Jerome high school hockey teams offered an extra incentive: the winner moves one step closer to a trip to state.

The second-seeded Shamrocks defeated the third-seeded Celtics 4-2 in a district semifinal Feb. 28 at OhioHealth Ice Haus to improve to 24-7-3 and advance to play fourth-seeded Upper Arlington in the district final March 5 at the Ice Haus.

The district champion advances to a state semifinal March 10 at Nationwide Arena.

"It was a good game," said Coffman coach Darcy Cahill, whose team won four of the five meetings with Jerome this season. "It was just a hard-fought win. It could have gone either way. Kudos to the kids and the effort they put in. We're sticking to the plan that we set out the first of the year of just taking it one game at a time. The kids are pulling together and it means a lot to Coffman hockey."

Coffman opened the scoring 3 minutes, 35 seconds into the second period on a goal by Mathew Riley with assists by Cameron Fiorita and Luke Babner.

Jerome tied the game at 1 on Jon Kinkopf's power play goal, assisted by James Fischer and Nathan Hauke 8:12 into the period before Coffman retook the lead on Ryon Malas' unassisted goal at the 11:20 mark of the period.

Jerome's Hunter Stavroff scored off a scramble in front of goaltender Grant Powell to tie the game at 2 at 5:27 of the third period, but Fiorita scored less than a minute later to give the Shamrocks the lead for good.

Riley added an empty-net goal at 14:01 of the third.

Powell finished with 20 saves and Jerome goalie Harrison Graff had 19.

"We knew it was going to be a close game," said Jerome coach Pat Murphy, whose team finished 23-14. "Both teams are really evenly matched. We didn't put our chances away and they did. That's a 3-2 game, a really good game. I feel bad for the seniors. We'll be back."

Upper Arlington 7, St. Charles 6

Fourth-seeded Upper Arlington built a three-goal lead and held on to upset top-seeded St. Charles in a district semifinal Feb. 28 at the Ice Haus.

The Golden Bears improved to 23-8-1-1 and advanced to play second-seeded Coffman in the district final March 5 at the Ice Haus.

St. Charles finished 32-5.

"It was a great battle between two hungry teams," UA coach Jay Graham said. "We were fortunate to hold on for the victory."

Jack Dolan and Danny Logan both scored two goals for the Golden Bears and goalie Philip Hawthorne had 11 saves.

Alex Brennan and Riley Rentz scored two goals apiece for the Cardinals and goalie Aaron Roe had 14 saves.

-Scott Hennen