The Westerville club hockey team hopes to change its fortunes beginning this weekend in the Blue Jackets Cup.
The Warcats defeated Dayton 3-2 on Feb. 15 to end a seven-game winless streak in Ohio Scholastic Hockey League play. They improved to 12-17-5 overall and finished 4-10-4 (12 points) in the league, behind first-place Newark (32, 15-1-2).
"Obviously, we want a lot more wins league-wise, but when you look at everything together, we've had a very competitive season," coach Jordan DiGiando said. "We've put ourselves in situations to win a lot of hockey games, but we've ended up on the wrong side of them."
The Warcats are seeded sixth for the Blue Jackets Cup, which is the league tournament. It will be played Friday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 23, with the final Feb. 23 at Chiller North.
Westerville will play third-seeded Dayton in the first round Feb. 21 at Chiller Ice Works.
"We're probably a little bit of an underdog in (the Blue Jackets Cup)," DiGiando said. "We tied Newark (at 3 on Jan. 30). We tied Dayton (at 1 on Jan. 25). It's an underdog story, but we've put ourselves in position to win some games and I still feel we have a strong chance at the CBJ Cup if we play our game."
The Warcats also are hoping to advance to the 12-team state tournament, the Buckeye Cup, which will be held March 6-8 in Cleveland.
"We're still in state contention," DiGiando said. "I like the way that we've been playing aside from the past week or so. We just didn't get some bounces."
As of Feb. 13, the Warcats were eighth in the USA Hockey rankings on myhockeyrankings.com, which is used to determine the 12-team Buckeye Cup.
Westerville advanced to state last season, going 1-2 to finish 22-24.
Alex Snyder scored off an assist from Santo Scillia in a 6-1 loss to Hilliard on Feb. 9. Goaltender Aidan Mukavetz had 19 saves.
Scillia had two goals and Joshua South added one in a 4-3 loss to PHA on Feb. 8. Goalie Bryce Beaty had 13 saves.