Hockey: Hilliard Wildcats fall in state semifinal; Westerville Warcats go 1-2 at state

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Hilliard's Alex Kerr (8) celebrates his goal against Westerville earlier this season with teammates Luke Starr (14) and Jesse Stevens (10). In the 12-team Buckeye Cup state tournament, the Wildcats lost to Medina 5-2 in a semifinal Feb. 28 at Chiller North.

The Hilliard club hockey team came up short in its bid for its first state title. 

Competing in the 12-team Buckeye Cup state tournament, the Wildcats reached a semifinal before losing to Medina 5-2 on Feb. 28 at Chiller North. 

Owen Ambrozy and Sammy Delio scored for Hilliard. Luke Starr had two assists and James Schwinne III added one. 

“I’m proud of them,” coach Jake Trask said. “We left it all out there. We didn’t leave anything on the table where we’re wondering what could have been.” 

Top-seeded Dayton went on to win the state title later that day, beating second-seeded Medina 5-1. 

The fourth-seeded Wildcats went 3-0 in pool play, defeating Westerville 7-1 on Feb. 26 and Miami 6-1 and North Royalton 6-3 on Feb. 27. 

Hilliard trailed North Royalton 3-0 after one period. 

The Wildcats are 23-14-2 and will close the season March 5-7 when they compete in the Big Bear Ice Warrior Tournament in Indianapolis. 

Westerville went 1-2 in pool play, beating Miami 5-2 on Feb. 27 and losing to Hilliard on Feb. 26 and North Royalton 5-4 in overtime Feb. 27. 

Santo Scillia scored two goals and Caleb Bussey, Sedric Cowans and Cullen Hassel each added one against Miami. 

“We definitely did enough to get here,” said coach Jordan DiGiando, who announced that he will not return after three seasons.

The ninth-seeded Warcats finished 9-22-3.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank