Notebook: Worthington Kilbourne Wolves hockey team faces next test in district tourney

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Nick Siler and Kilbourne open the district tournament Feb. 20 with a first-round game against Gahanna at OhioHealth Ice Haus.

In its first varsity season since 2014-15, the Worthington Kilbourne hockey team finished fifth behind champion Olentangy in the seven-team CHC-Blue Division.

Coach Bryan Cummings said he was satisfied with how the Wolves competed during the regular season against more seasoned opponents. They went 4-12-0-1 in CHC play, while Olentangy went 11-5.

Now, there’s another challenge ahead: the district tournament. The Wolves are seeded 20th and play 17th-seeded Gahanna in the first round Feb. 20 at OhioHealth Ice Haus, with the winner to face fourth-seeded Oxford Talawanda the next day at the Ice Haus.

“I think all the coaches are very happy with how we finished (in the league),” Cummings said. “Our league record probably doesn’t show as competitive as it was in many of the games. 

“Overall, we’ve been happy. We finished probably where I thought we would as far as league standings, but as far as competitiveness I think we’re more than I expected. A lot of the credit goes to these guys for stepping up and bringing it.” 

The Wolves were 15-12 overall before playing Cincinnati St. Xavier on Feb. 12 in the second round of the Blue Jackets Cup consolation tournament. Kilbourne defeated Columbus Academy 4-3 in the first round Feb. 10. 

The semifinals were Feb. 13 and the final was played Feb. 14.

Simon Abbott was leading the Wolves with 35 goals through 26 games, followed by Luke Walton with 31. Owen Shaffer had 326 saves. 

After the district tournament, Cummings said the Wolves will participate in a tournament the weekend of Feb. 26, with games to played at South Metro Sports in Dayton. 

“I think we have an opportunity to win a couple games in the CBJ Cup, and then this will be the first time we’ve been in the (district) tournament since we were varsity five seasons ago,” Cummings said. “That will be a fun experience for these guys just to be able to play against one of these top-tier teams and just follow the tournament.”

Carter Reinbolt and Thomas will play DeSales in the first round of the district tournament Feb. 19 at Chiller North.

Thomas finishes 

third in CHC-White

The Thomas hockey team finished third (9-6-0-1) in the six-team CHC-White behind champion Cincinnati Moeller (14-1-1). 

Coach Bill McGill said it’s been a roller-coaster season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying restrictions. 

“For all teams it’s been a crazy year. All teams have lost time because of COVID ... we were no different,” he said. “The fact that we were able to get all our conference games in was great.” 

Evan Kendall was leading the Cardinals with 12 goals through 25 games, followed by Sebastian Edvardsen with 10. 

McGill said Elliot Hartwick, who had 703 saves, has stood out in goal as the successor to 2020 graduate Jorge Bare. 

The Cardinals were 13-11-1-1 overall after losing to St. Charles 2-1 in the first round of the CBJ Cup on Feb. 11.

In the district tournament, eighth-seeded Thomas will play 22nd-seeded DeSales in the first round Feb. 19 at Chiller North. The winner faces ninth-seeded Dublin Jerome or 25th-seeded Dublin Scioto the next day at the Ice Haus.

“Going into the (district) tournament, the goal is to get out of the first weekend, which we haven’t done in quite awhile,” McGill said. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve