Hockey: Upper Arlington rallies to defeat St. Charles in Blue Jackets Cup final

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Upper Arlington players celebrate defeating St. Charles 3-2 in the CBJ Cup championship game Feb. 14 at OhioHealth Ice Haus.

Upper Arlington hockey player Max Robins no sooner had scored the tying and winning goals in the Blue Jackets Cup championship game Feb. 14 than his attention turned to the Golden Bears’ next task.

Second-seeded and eighth-ranked UA erased a 2-1 deficit against top-seeded St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus on a shorthanded goal from Robins with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second period and his winning goal off a faceoff with 12:24 to play for a 3-2 victory.

The Bears, who improved to 18-9-0-3, won their second consecutive Blue Jackets Cup and now will try to atone for last year’s early exit from the district tournament. UA was 36-0-1 before losing to New Albany in a district semifinal.

“This is history for our program. (Consecutive CBJ Cup championships) is something that’s never been done. It is huge for our program going forward to get momentum going into the playoffs,” said Robins, who has a team-leading 31 goals. “We didn’t get the result we wanted (in the postseason) last year and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Nolan Adams scored UA’s first goal 4:46 into the game and goalie Garrett Alderman made 17 saves.

Erich Schoettmer and Tristan Fahs scored in a span of 4:33 early in the second period for seventh-ranked St. Charles, which fell to 16-6-1.

“Our boys were a little tired, to say the least, but they have a lot of heart,” said Bears coach Hamish Baird, whose team was coming off a 2-1, triple-overtime win over third-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a semifinal Feb. 13. “We responded quickly and we just tried to keep it simple and make good, safe, simple, easy plays rather than try to do too much.”

CONSOLATION FINAL: Cincinnati St. Xavier 7, New Albany 4

Colin Appell had two goals and Victor Appell had one as the ninth-seeded Eagles fell to the 10th-seeded Bombers in the consolation bracket final Feb. 14 at the Ice Haus.

St. Xavier, which improved to 13-6-3, took a quick 2-0 lead before Colin Appell scored midway through the first. He and his brother added goals late in the second to make it 4-3 before the Bombers pulled away.

Grayton Grady added the final goal for New Albany, which was limited to 10 skaters because of either injuries or quarantines and fell to 3-13-0-3.

CLUB FINAL: Dayton 6, Hilliard 2

The Hilliard club team’s bid for a second consecutive CBJ Cup title fell short with a 6-2 loss to Dayton in the final Feb. 14 at the Ice Haus. 

The second-seeded Wildcats rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull within 3-2 in the second period on power-play goals by James Schwinne III and Jesse Stevens before the top-seeded Stealth pulled away. 

Hilliard goalie Mason Sines recorded 24 saves. 

“I’m happy with the effort,” coach Jake Trask said. “It definitely wasn’t a 6-2 game. From (Feb. 13 to Feb. 14) we made a lot of good strides in games that are meaningful and we figured out the way our guys need to play to be successful and give ourselves chances to win against these good teams.” 

The Wildcats, who advanced to the final with a 5-1 win over Newark on Feb. 13, are 18-10-2. 

The Westerville Warcats split a pair of games in the CBJ Cup, beating Northeast 7-2 on Feb. 12 and losing to Dayton 11-1 on Feb. 13. 

Fourth-seeded Hilliard and ninth-seeded Westerville will meet in the opening round of the 12-team Buckeye Cup state tournament Feb. 26 at Chiller North.

–Frank DiRenna

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