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St. Francis wins its first state hockey championship



Toledo St. Francis de Sales players Kasey Rupp, 15, and Jake Wawrzyniak, 13, battle for the puck with Lakewood St. Edwards player Alex Norton, 11, as an official is knocked into the Kights bench during the first period at Nationwide Arena, Sunday, March 13, 2011. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON 15 13 11

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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COLUMBUS — St. Francis de Sales captured its first state hockey championship in school history by besting perennial power Lakewood St. Edward 2-1 in overtime Sunday at Nationwide Arena.

In a classic battle befitting a title contest, the Knights and Eagles entered overtime tied at 1. Freshman Matt Opblinger scored the game winner on a power play goal with 3:52 left in OT.

His shot from the side of the net bounced past Eagles goalie Jonathan Lacoste as the St. Francis players and fans erupted.

Junior goalie Thomas Kosinski was solid throughout and junior Ben Torchia kept his hot streak alive with a goal in the first period. Torchia and Scott Wawryzniak assisted on the game winner. Kosinski finished with 25 saves, including 13 in the second period.

Torchia, who had a hat trick in the district championship and in the state semifinal, drew the penalty that set up Opblinger's game winner.

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