COLUMBUS - Northview coach Mike Jones said his Wildcats went away from the script that got them to the state final by not getting enough shots on net.
Northview managed just 17 shots, including two in the second period of a 4-1 loss to Cleveland St. Ignatius yesterday at Nationwide Arena. The Wildcats went 0 of 6 on the power play.
"We thought we'd win the game if we put 10 shots on them per period," Jones said. "At times we tried to get a little too fancy and we were a little too perimeter. It's odd because through the playoffs, we've talked about just shooting everything. For some reason we got away from that today."
Northview had a golden opportunity with a four-minute power play early in the second period that went by the wayside as the unit tried to be too perfect with passes.
"That's what happens when you coach a skilled team," Jones said. "They want to make the play that puts them on the news."
Northview was outshot 13-8 in the first period, 11-2 in the second, and 8-7 in the third.
"They had about six or seven shots go wide," St. Ignatius goalie Josh Potts said. "We had a lot of blocked shots, too."
NERVOUS MOMENT: Just 1:45 into the game, play was halted when Northview senior Mark Hall was checked hard into the glass and collapsed to the ice.
Hall appeared to be unconscious initially. But he was helped to his feet after about three minutes. Hall, who ranked fourth on the team in scoring (11 goals and 16 assists), was taken to the lockerroom, but returned later in the first period and scored the Wildcats' only goal.
"I felt like I was knocked out for a couple seconds but I got up and got some ice on my neck," Hall said. "I passed the concussion test. After that I wanted to hurt them and the best way was to get them was on the board."
PUBLIC PRIDE: Jones said his program takes a tremendous amount of pride in being a public school that competes at the highest level.
"We have seven and a half miles to pull kids from that are born certain years," Jones said. "That's not to take anything away from the privates. That's what they do. But we don't have the luxury of pulling kids from wherever we want."
The last public school to win the state title was Shaker Heights in 2001. Bowling Green captured three straight titles from 1997-99. The last championship the Bobcats won came when St. John's Jesuit had to forfeit the title because of a rules violation.
"We are the winningest program in northwest Ohio in our conference over the last 10 years," Jones said. "To say that is a straw in that hat for Sylvania schools. Public schools are great."
St. Ignatius coach Patrick O'Rourke said he has respect for the Northview program.
"We played Northview before and we knew they were tough," O'Rourke said. "It was an epic game. We did not take them lightly."
DEDICATION: The Wildcats paid tribute all season to former player Jake Thornton who died in an ATV accident in September. Thornton's No. 19 jersey hung on the glass behind Northview's bench.
Jones said the team dedicated the season to Thornton.
"We wear a patch on our jerseys with his initials," Jones said. "It's just a small thing that's with us to remember and to think about him every game."