Following a trio of blowout victories to begin the district tournament, the Dublin Jerome High School hockey team showed it can win a tight game as well when a championship is on the line.
The Celtics scored with 8 minutes, 25 seconds left in the second period, and the play of their defense and goaltender Mark Bishopp made the goal stand as they beat Olentangy Liberty 1-0 in the district final March 2 at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
Jerome improved to 34-2-0-1 and advanced to face Hunting Valley University School in a state semifinal March 8 at Nationwide Arena.
“We played fantastic defense,” Bishopp said. “I barely got any quality shots on me.”
The Celtics’ Evan Shea scored the game’s lone goal off an assist by Matt Kish. Bishopp had 18 saves, while Liberty goalie Andrew Vidrick made 22.
“Vidrick got that big rebound right in the slot,” Shea said. “I just turned around and thought if I’d put it on net, good things would happen. That’s exactly what happened. I put it top shelf.”
Liberty, which also lost to Jerome in last year’s district final, finished 23-10-2-3.
“We wanted (Vidrick) to hold us in and try and win that sucker 2-1,” Patriots coach Kevin Alexander said. “I thought we came out in the third period and had some chances. That’s a helluva a team we lost to.”