Trailing by four goals in the second period, the Dublin Jerome High School hockey team found new life against Cleveland St. Ignatius in the state final March 9 at Nationwide Arena.
Matt Kish scored a power-play goal off assists by Nolan Kunzelman and Nick Augenstein with 4 minute, 16 seconds remaining in the period and just 14 seconds later, Augenstein burst out on a breakaway and beat St. Ignatius goaltender Benny Savarino for an unassisted goal to cut the deficit in half.
However, the Wildcats answered with three goals in the third period to close out a 7-2 victory for their fourth consecutive state title and fifth in six years.
Joey Trobenter had a hat trick to lead St. Ignatius, which finished 27-9-0-1 and outscored its six postseason opponents by a combined 47-4. Jerome, which became the first central Ohio team to reach the state final, finished 35-3-0-1.
“We got beat by a better team today,” Celtics coach Pat Murphy said. “Our kids played hard. We never quit, but that’s a really good hockey team over there and they deserved to win today. If we could have gotten (a third goal), I don’t know if the outcome would have been different, but that fifth goal (St. Ignatius scored) kind of knocked the wind out of us.”
St. Ignatius, whose regular-season schedule consisted mostly of travel and AAA teams, took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Matt Sullivan with 13:54 remaining in the first period.
The Wildcats made it 2-0 with 6:53 left in the period on Trobenter’s first goal.
Just 20 seconds into the second period, Trobenter scored his second to give St. Ignatius a 3-0 lead, and Charlie Erbs scored with 12:11 left in the period to extend the Wildcats’ advantage to 4-0.
Just 22 seconds into the third period, St. Ignatius made it 5-2 when Trobenter scored his third goal. The Wildcats’ final two goals were scored by Greg Langermeier with 7:33 remaining and Cam Kurtz with 3:33 left.
“We just went out there, played hard, scored a couple goals and felt like we were dominating at that time,” Kish said. “Then they got that fifth goal.”
Goalie Mark Bishopp had 26 saves for Jerome, which was outshot 33-12.