Hockey: Westerville Warcats looking to secure state tournament berth

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Westerville's David Reisinger (left), Alex Snyder, Santo Scillia and Sedric Cowans celebrate after Scillia scored against Hilliard earlier this season. The Warcats will compete in the Blue Jackets Cup on Feb. 12-14 at Chiller Dublin and OhioHealth Ice Haus.

The Westerville club hockey team hopes to secure a berth in the state tournament with a strong showing in the Blue Jackets Cup on Feb. 12-14 at Chiller Dublin and OhioHealth Ice Haus. 

The Blue Jackets Cup is the tournament for the Ohio Scholastic Hockey League. 

The Warcats were 11th in the state poll released Feb. 1. The top 12 teams qualify for the Buckeye Cup state tournament, which is scheduled for Feb. 26-28 at Chiller North. 

“We are excited for this last leg of the season and fighting for a playoff berth at state,” coach Jordan DiGiando said. “When you have a must-win scenario for a playoff berth, everyone is dialed in and every minute on the ice is intense and important.” 

Westerville was 6-18-3 overall and 3-7-1 (7 points) in the OSHL before playing the PHA Prowlers on Feb. 5. The Warcats were fourth in the league behind first-place Dayton (24, 12-0). 

Through 27 games, Sedric Cowans (Reynoldsburg) led Westerville in scoring with 15 goals and 18 assists. Cullen Hassel (Central) had 13 goals and six assists, and Caleb Bussey (Reynoldsburg) had 10 goals. 

Aidan Mukavetz (South) and William Caron (Central) have shared the majority of playing time in goal. 

“(Our) goaltending has been very strong and confident recently and we will look to play from the (defensive) zone forward,” DiGiando said. “We’re hoping to have some stellar performances by our leaders and seniors in the coming games with some of the younger guys also contributing heavily.” 

Last season, Westerville went 0-3 in pool play at state after losing to Dayton 3-1 in the first round of the Blue Jackets Cup.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank