The Aurora Greenmen, the #11 seed in the Kent District, had to win a play-in game earlier in the week just to get to the field of 16. Aurora won that game, 5-3, over #9 Solon on Monday. I will not use the word “upset” here as the Greenmen and Comets were seeded very closely together and finished in third and second place, respectively, in the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League’s White South Division standings.
On Friday, however, Aurora extended their post-season when they knocked out #8 Cleveland Heights, 3-2, in a legit upset of a GCHSHL Red Division team.
The rest of the Kent bracket went by without much fanfare. #7 Kenston and their super sniper Val Carriero gave #5 Walsh Jesuit a run for their money, but the Warriors prevailed, 4-2, over the Bombers in the only other game that was decided by fewer than five goals.
Quarterfinal play resumes at KSU Ice Arena on Tuesday:
Tuesday 6:00 p.m. #2 Mentor vs. #11 Aurora
Tuesday 8:00 p.m. #3 Shaker Heights vs. #5 Walsh Jesuit
Wednesday 6:00 p.m. #1 Gilmour Academy vs. #12 Orange
Wednesday 8:00 p.m. #4 University School vs. #6 Hudson
The winners will advance to the semis on Saturday.
Aurora is the only team that came out of nowhere to make it this far. Hudson is a bit of a dark horse as well, and they have never beaten US, but should be able to give the Preppers a challenge this year.
The top two seeds should advance to Saturday’s semifinals with relative ease. Cleveland Cup champion Gilmour will need to be sharp to guard against an upset (they were knocked out in the district quarters by Mentor two years ago coming off their first Cleveland Cup title) but they are the #3 team in the state and should be able to handle, not only Orange, but US or Hudson in the semis as well.
The other side of the bracket is one of the more interesting four-team groupings in play across the state this week. It starts with Tuesday night’s Shaker-Walsh tilt. The two teams are league rivals from the Great Lakes Hockey League and have played three times already this season – with all of them decided by a single goal. Walsh knocked the Raiders out of the GLHL’s Cleveland Cup in the quarterfinals, so Shaker is well-rested and certainly looking forward to the opportunity to return the favor.
Mentor and Shaker have played three competitive games so far this season with Mentor’s only two losses of the season coming to Shaker (1-0 and 4-3). They also showed they could defeat the Raiders with a 4-2 win on Boxing Day.
Mentor-Walsh would also make for an intriguing semifinal should it play out that way.
Lots of exciting high school hockey coming up at KSU Ice Arena this week!
--- Scott Harrington for Ohio Hockey Digest
Tag(s): In the News High School GLHL Gilmour University School Walsh Jesuit GCHSHL Hudson Kenston Mentor Shaker Heights Cleveland Heights Kent Roosevelt Solon GCHSHL White North GCHSHL White South Benedictine Canfield Chagrin Falls NDCL Orange GCHSHL Blue North Aurora CVCA Twinsburg GCHSHL Blue South Mayfield Nordonia GCHSHL Red