A Page -- Feb. 27 -- High Schools

Holy Name gains respectability, but 

Wells-Spellacy-Geither line 

explosive in leading top-seeded 

St. Ignatius into district semis 

against Brecksville

Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





BROOKLYN – No. 1 district seed St. Ignatius won the sectional championship with a 6-4 win over a Holy Name team that never gave up the battle this afternoon, thereby earning the right to play Brecksville in Tuesday’s district semifinal here in the John. M. Coyne Recreation Center.


After Holy Name took early control, St. Ignatius (22-8-1) used the explosive line of Paddy Spellacy, Mike Wells, and Liam Geither to forge a 3-1 lead in the first period.


”Mike and Liam work the corners well and do a really good job of getting me the puck,” said Spellacy, who wound up with four goals by the end of the day. “They are willing to take the body on the opposing players and it opens up the shots for me. We’ve been working well together all year.”


The Namers (15-16-1) struck gold first with the team’s leading scorer Dave Fassbender scoring a goal at 1:27 with an assist from Gene Kossak.


The lead stood through the halfway point of the first period, but then the Wildcats went, well, wild.


Geither crossed a pass to Spellacy who beat Green Wave goaltender Sam Pikus high to tie it at 8:13. Wells led Geither with the pass.


“Scorers like Paddy make it easy for me,” said Geither, who finished with five assists. “I know he’ll find the right hole to put it through if given a good angle. I just have to get the puck to him.”


The Wildcat special teams then killed a Namer power play and followed with a goal at 13:48 by Spellacy on a rush play with Wells and Geither picking up the assist.


After a head contact infraction on Holy Name, Iggy went into the power play. Wells attained the playmaker as Spellacy joined him in assisting on John Jeziorowski’s goal at the 14:54 mark. Jeziorowski was on a bad angle, firing a side shot from near the baseline. The puck bounced off Pikus’s back and across the crease line into the net area for the goal.


The momentum from scoring the late first-period goal carried over into the second period and an early goal for a 4-1 Iggy lead. Spellacy attained the hat trick at 0:15 with assists from none other than Wells and Geither, who earned playmaker status with his third assist.


“Sometimes it is hard to keep it going against a good team like Holy Name, who comes in with nothing to lose and knows about our ranking,” Wells said. “We know that we cannot let up at any time because they can always come back and score.”


Holy Name then went to work to snatch back the momentum. After a slashing penalty on Nolan Schade, Holy Name made it a two-goal game again with a power-play goal by Dave Perry on a redirect off a shot by Chad Walker from the point. Fassbender also assisted on the goal at 3:33.


Iggy made it 5-2 on an Andrew Steed goal at 6:38 off assists from Mike Abood and Geither.  Fassbender made it 5-3 at 9:42 with an assist from Alex Kurowski.


Iggy coach Pat O’Rourke pulled goaltender Mike Kovesdy in the second period in favor of Josh Potts.


“I just wanted to add a spark to the team,” O’Rourke said. “We’ve been rotating the two, and sometimes change up like that can change the pace of the game.”


After getting slightly outshot in the first period, Iggy evened it up in shots in the second as both teams had 25 after two 15-minute sets.


Holy Name made it exciting again in the third when Joe Baker’s unassisted goal on the short-hand at 8:38 made it 5-4. After tripping and slashing penalties, the Namers had just killed a 5-on-3 Ignatius power-play for a minute and a half when a cross check put them into another man disadvantage, leading to the fourth Holy Name goal.


“Yes we are disappointed to lose this game because we thought we were good enough to keep playing next week,” said Holy Name coach Tim Sullivan. “Coach O’Rourke made some nice remarks about our program after the game. To get that from the coach from the top team in the state is a very god thing. We have come a long way in six years. We had a game plan and stuck with it all the way. I can’t ask for more.”


Spellacy’s fourth goal came at 9:27


“I challenged the other lines to step it up and score the way this one did today,” O’Rourke said. “It is easy for another team to shut down just one line. One of our other lines I just put together two weeks ago. We are going to need that to keep playing.”

George Wright's overtime goal gives 

Walsh 4-3 win and spot in Kent 

district hockey semis

Feb. 27, 2010

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





KENT – In an overtime thriller today here in the college’s ice arena, third seeded Walsh Jesuit nipped Kenston, 4-3, to win the sectional championship and advance to Tuesday’s high school district semifinal hockey game.


Ten seconds into the overtime, George Wright scored the winning goal to send the Warriors home ready for more on their home ice. They will play tonight’s Gilmour-Hudson winner.


Wright was opportunistic and key for the Warriors today. They had to play comeback hockey to earn this one this afternoon. Wright scored the team’s first goal after they had been down 2-0 to the Bombers, a 30-game winner playing in the White Division this year.


Tony Santo gave Kentson the lead with a goal in the sixth minute of the first period and then Greg Revak made it 2-0 with a power-play goal midway through the first period.


Wright finally got the Warriors on the board at 14:13 of the opening period, which led to a Vince Gaglione score at 14:45 to make it a 2-2 game after one.


The momentum carried right over into the second period as Walsh then put on a better defensive effort in the second period. The Warriors then took their first lead with another late period goal when at 13:02 Vince Lavassuer made it 3-2 with a power-play goal.


Kenston tied it at 12:16 of the third on a power-play goal by Nick Levine..


Gaglione had two assists for Walsh. Nate Myeroff, Greg Shupe, and Michael Marsinek had the others.

Kyle Weninger, Nick Levine, and A.J. Mangan had the Kenston assists.

Preppers win 12th straight sectional 


Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





KENT – University School won its 12th straight sectional championship with today’s 9-1 win over Mentor in the ice haus here on the Kent State campus


Nine different chaps scored for the Preppers, who will face Lake Catholic in the district semifinals Monday night. Lamping the light for US were Ian Robertson, Matt Wipper, Sam Turben, Andy Gerow, Kevin DeGulis, Connor Clemens, Andrew Musser, Ryan Demsey, and Joe Grisko.


Andrew Preiser , Travis Long , Wipper, Robertson and DeGulis each had two assists. George Chapman, Sam Turben, Alex Stefanski, Demsey, and Conner Judson also had assists.

Bill Beard has coached US to 12 sectional championships


John Blomstrom scored the goal and Matt Kelley had the assist for Mentor.


Gilmour scores early and often to 

hold back Hudson and advance to 

districts against Walsh

Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor




KENT --- No. 2 seed Gilmour used the score early/often tactic tonight to gather enough goals to advance to Tuesday’ district semifinal game against Walsh with a 4-2 win over Hudson here.


The Lancers used three first-period goals to make the difference against the upstart Explorers. First Eddie Asher scored at 1:14, followed by Matt Grieder at 6:04 and Jordan Robinson at 8:59. Robinson’s goal eventually turned out to be the game winner as the Lancers had a 3-0 lead before Hudson could even pose any serious threats.


Hudson finally tallied at the 9:35 mark of the first when Tyler Ganley scored an unassisted goal.


The rest of the game was traditional Gilmour hockey, lots of tight defense and timely goaltending.


Hudson did make it close with a power-play goal at 5:50 of the third by Steve Jones. Spence Antunez scored an open netter in the waning seconds.


Grayson Kotseos had 31 saves in goal for Hudson while Graham Bodueszek had 14 for the Lancers.


Matt Panzo, Antunez, and Billy Davis had assists for Gilmour. Ryan Ashton and Chris Hartle had the Hudson assists.






Padua uses Jack-in-the-box plays to 

get three quick goals and advances to 

district semis against Ed's; North 

Olmsted playing without Mikey 

Konyesni, who had a heart attack

Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





BROOKLYN – Using a Jack-in-the-box approach, Padua strung together a three-goal barrage to break open the game on the way to a 5-1 win over North Olmsted for a sectional high school hockey championship, in the second game of the doubleheader today in the John. M. Coyne Recreation Center.


Padua (18-10-8) will play St. Edward in the district semifinals Wednesday here.


With the score tied 1-1 in the second period, North Olmsted had one man in the penalty box and Padua two, Padua began to make its move.


Bruin goalie Justin Goebel sent the puck up ice in the 4-on-3 skate to get things started.


Dom Accairri, who just finished serving two minutes for tripping, jumped out of the penalty box, stayed onside as Nick Placko crossed the blue line with the puck he took from Goebel’s pass. Accairri then turned on the jets, skating ahead of Placko and getting a nice lead pass from him that he banged past Eagle goalie Dan McBride. Goebel got credit for the second assist on the even-strength goal.


Each team still had one man in the penalty box. The North Olmsted penalty was set to end three seconds after the Padua one. Again, Bruins forward Dave Nowak was in the penalty box on the side the Bruins were attacking and the Eagles’ Ryan Sutton in the box six feet to his right, giving him a three-second and six-foot lead.


As his hooking penalty time was ending, Nowak jumped out of the box and raced toward the goal with not as much of a lead as Accairri had on his, but enough to get a pass and put the rubber on McBride. The puck bounced off the goalie, Nowak picking it up and scoring to make it 3-1 on almost an identical Jack-in-the-box score, as had occurred just 1:31 earlier.


“From the box, I can see the whole ice, giving me an advantage over the players who are on the ice,” said Nowak. “We try to use that to our advantage, maybe sneak behind the other team without knowing we are there. We just try to catch them off guard, maybe get an odd man rush out of it.”


Dan Metz and Joe Dimitrov assisted on the goal at 4:26. Sutton was able to get out and make it a 5-on-5 skate, but already Padua had put on the pressure for Nowak to capitalize on his time and space lead.


North Olmsted (21-9-1) was playing without Mikey Konyesni, who had a heart attack earlier in the week. The 16-year old was in intensive care and has been given the green light on most other matters, but his athletic participation is still on hold temporarily.


“It was tough for our team to take and not only because he is our top power-play and penalty-kill guy,” said North Olmsted coach Tim Murphy. “There are some things a coach takes really seriously and I can tell you it is not winning or losing games. We are lucky we were not hanging his jersey on the glass behind the bench. We did have his number on our shin guards. I told them to play their best without him. I was expecting us to be .500 this year. To win a couple holiday tournaments, win our division and go this far is something worth putting a stamp on and mailing.”

13 Konyesni.jpg (67067 bytes)

Mike Konyesni, sidelined indefinitely with a heart attack


The trifecta was completed at 4:38 when Chris Yamnitsky found Jared Bogdan right in front of the net. Bogdan stuffed it in to make it 4-1.


Padua added one more second period goal, a power-play tally when Placko scored at 7:41 with assists from Matt Hartman and Pat Haws.


“That one was the key goal,” said Bruin coach Doug Hauser. “Once we can get it to 5-1, it makes it pretty hard for them to come back. This was a ‘quality’ win for us.”


It did, as no other scoring followed by either team the rest of the day. Padua did beat Blue Division Midview, 10-0, Tuesday for its first win since Jan. 3, but with this one over Red East champ North Olmsted, the “quality” Hauser speaks of could just turn into “peak” performances next week and the week after, which is all that really counts.

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Ryan Sutton


 The Bruins and Eagles played it evenly in the first period. North Olmsted struck first blood when Sutton nailed home a goal with a shot from the point that was assisted by Brandon Schmitt at 1:09 of the first period.

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Brandon Schmitt

Padua got it back at 3:36 when Nowak took a cross from Mike Palisics and scored to tie it, 1-1. Hartman, an alternate captain, also assisted.

St. Ed scores 16 goals in first two 

games; Eagles going after their 

eighth straight state JV hockey 

championship tomorrow

Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





LAKEWOOD – St. Edward is going after its eighth consecutive state JV hockey championship this weekend and made quite a statement in the first 14 hours of the tournament, winning 9-0 last night over Sylvania Northview and 7-2 this morning over Toledo St. John, here in Serpentini Arena.


The last time a St. Ed team did not win the state JV title was 2002, when Padua won it. The Bruins did not qualify for the eight-team tournament this season.


“The top eight teams in the state make it to this tournament,” said St. Ed JV coach Troy Gray, the tournament director. “If you look at who is here, most are connected to the top varsity programs in the state. Of the last 22 state championship teams at the varsity level, 18 of their JV programs are here this weekend.”


Also, if one were to look at the Frozen Fours since 1978 in Ohio, at least one of the eight programs here is represented in one form or another in each one from each year.


Upper Arlington won the city championship in Columbus, so it qualified through those means. Others like St. John, Gilmour, University School, St. Francis, etc. qualified because of the success of the programs.


“This gives the JV guys something to shoot for at the end,” Gray said. “It gives them a chance to feel the pressure of a state level competition so that they are ready when they move up. Some have gotten themselves moved up earlier than expected through performing well here.”


C. J. Hoy scored two goals this morning. Chris Day, Ted Price, Marty Clancy, and Matty Geib each scored goals.


Gabe Lampron had a playmaker, while Connor King had two assists. Keigan Mennetti, Pat Flannery, and Alex Norton also had assists.

Gilmour, US, Bee Gee join St. Ed in 

state JV Frozen Four

Feb. 27, 2010


By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor





LAKEWOOD – Gilmour, Bowling Green and University School joined St. Edward in advancing to tomorrow’s Frozen Four of the 10th annual state JV hockey championship tournament.


All are consistently strong hockey programs. BG, US and St. Edward’s varsity programs have combined for 18 of the 32 state championship honors since the OHSAA began crowning a champion at the varsity level in 1978.


On the JV level, St. Edward has won the last seven state hockey championships. St. Ignatius won the first one in 2001 with Padua taking all the marbles in 2002.


US is still going after its first one but was runner up each of the last three seasons to the Eagles. Padua was runner up twice, St. Ed once, Elyria Catholic once, BG once and US one other time.


In this morning’s 4-0 win over Sylvania Northview, Gilmour got goals from Nick Aleva, Joey Lencewicz, Sean Curtin and Alex Haluska. In a 6-4 loss to BG this afternoon, Lencewicz scored two goals and Aleva and Haluska one each.