The St. John's Jesuit hockey team advanced to the district championship with a thrilling 2-1 victory over rival St. Francis de Sales tonight.
Titans senior goaltender Mike Barrett was solid and sometimes spectacular as he finished with 24 saves in the district semifinal game at Tam-O-Shanter.
Barrett protected the one-goal lead when he stopped Matt Opblinger on a penalty shot with 32 seconds left in the third period. The penalty shot was awarded after St. John's was called for a delay of the game penalty for knocking the net off its moorings.
Junior Ian Rapp gave the Titans a 1-0 lead just 1:58 into the game. Rapp scored the power play goal on an assist from Nate Miller.
St. John's took a 2-0 lead on a crisp passing play from Rapp to Nick Baumgartner to Caleb Hauenstein, who scored 1:04 into the second period.
St. Francis pulled within a goal when Opblinger scored a power play goal on an assist from Aaron Natyshak with 1:32 remaining in the second period.
St. Francis goalie Kade Phipps was equally impressive as Barrett. Phipps finished with 29 saves, including 17 in the third period.
St. John's (22-7-5) defeated the Knights for the third time this season. The Titans, the No. 2 ranked team in the state, advance to face the winner of Saturday night's other district semifinal between Northview and Bowling Green.
The district final is March 1 with the winner earning a berth in the state final four.
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