Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Sidelines: Northview hockey nearly does it


Northview's Zach Felser controls the puck against Cleveland St. Ignatius at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Wildcats finished the season with a 21-9-3 record.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Once again, Northview came within a game of winning the first state hockey title in school history.

The Wildcats won 11 straight games, including five on the tournament trail to reach the state semifinals where theycontrolled Dublin Coffman 4-0.

But Northview had to settle for therunner-up spot, just as it had in 1982, 1990, and 2006. The Wildcats lost 4-1 to Cleveland St. Ignatius in the state title game to finish 21-9-3.

Senior Mark Hall pulled Northview within 2-1 early in the third period. But St. Ignatius added two unanswered goals.

Goalie Austin Gryca had a terrific sophomore year. Junior Nolan Culver scored twice in the state semifinal and sophomore Zach Felser and junior Tyler Harding also had goals.

St. Francis de Sales earned its first Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division title since 1999. The Knights (29-3-3) carried the No. 1 ranking in the state poll for most of the season. But Findlay (21-9-2) upset St. Francis 3-2 in overtime in the district semifinals.

St. Francis senior Scott Loy was named player of the year in the Red Division.

In the NHC White Division, Perrysburg posted an 11-1-0 record to knock off four-time defending champion Bedford. The Yellow Jackets were led by dynamic scorers Matt White and Ben Lopez. White, who was White Division player of the year, finished with Ohio single-season records for goals (78) and points (135 points).

Springfield, predicted to finish fourth in the five-team Blue Division, posted a 6-2-0 record to win the title. Blue Devils sophomore Josh Eubank was named the division player of the year.

— Mark Monroe

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