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Great Lakes Hockey League Persists through COVID Challenges

By Scott Harrington, 01/06/21, 8:00AM EST


Three GLHL Teams Ranked in Ohio Top 10

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of a good portion of the Great Lakes Hockey League schedule for last week and this week, but GLHL teams have been excelling on the ice and the possibility of a full league schedule being played still exists.

Five of the seven GLHL teams were either unable to play last week, or will be held off the ice this week due to being quarantined, having recently played a team that later had a positive test, or lack of ice: Gilmour Academy, Holy Name, Padua Franciscan, Shaker Heights and Walsh Jesuit.

"We have been in quarantine since December 26 and missed two of our games in our own Christmas Tournament," said Walsh Jesuit head coach Peter Calleri. "We have been cleared to play on January 9 but had to cancel our game with Gilmore due to the extension of the curfew.  We can’t wait to get back on the ice and we are really looking forward to our league game with US.  We had some great momentum going into this layoff so hopefully we can pick up where we left off."

Gilmour had to pull out of their own tournament, the Brother James Memorial, last weekend after an opposing player from their most recent game tested positive for COVID. The tournament went forward with only three teams, including University School.

Only five league games are in the books through January 5. That does not sound like a lot, but there were actually only seven league games on the docket through that date when the original GLHL schedule came out prior to the season.

It may seem like wishful thinking that the complete league schedule (28 games) can be played by the second week of February when the Cleveland Cup is slated to be up for grabs, but it is not out of the question either.

In the meantime, three Great Lakes League teams – St. Edward (#1), Gilmour Academy (#3) and US (#9, tied) appeared in this week’s Ohio High School Hockey Coaches Poll.

BUSY FEBRUARY ON TAP FOR BROOKLYN REC – The OHSAA announced that the Kent District bracket will be moved to Brooklyn where separate “East” and “West” brackets will be contested containing teams that would traditionally play out of Kent and Brooklyn.

The move was necessitated by the ongoing closure of the Kent State University Ice Arena.


Rocky River 5, Padua Franciscan 2
St. Edward 3, University School 1 #

Toledo St. Francis 5, University School 2 #
New Trier (IL) 2, St. Edward 1 #

New Trier (IL) 4, University School 2 #
St. Edward 7, Sylvania Northview 0 #
Gilmour Academy 7, Shaker Heights 0 *

Toledo St. Francis 4, University School 1 %
University School 5, Upper Arlington 4 (SO) %

St. Edward 10, Padua Franciscan 0 *

Upper Arlington 5, University School 0 %

* GLHL league game
# Father Welsh Showcase
% Brother James Memorial Tournament


University School @ St. Edward, 6pm *

Saint Ignatius @ St. Edward, 6pm

Note: Gilmour Academy @ Walsh Jesuit, Padua @ Holy Name and St. Edward @ Shaker Heights to be re-scheduled

Toledo St. Francis @ Gilmour Academy, 12:15pm
Walsh Jesuit @ University School, 2pm * (Rocky River)


GILMOUR ACADEMY – After waiting almost three weeks, Gilmour Academy returned to the ice last Wednesday and defeated Shaker Heights, 7-0, in a league game. Senior forward Kessel Richards scored a hat trick and junior goaltender Ian Anderson stopped all 15 Red Raider shots for the shutout. Senior forward Frankie Valenti picked up a pair of assists in the game and leads the Lancers with seven points (2-5-7) on the season…Voters in the Ohio High School Hockey Coaches Poll were impressed with the win over Shaker, bumping the Lancers up a spot to #3 this week…GA will host #2 Toledo St. Francis on Sunday. The Knights were in Gates Mills last weekend for the Brother James Memorial Tournament, but Gilmour was unable to compete despite hosting.

HOLY NAME – The Holy Name Green Wave is looking at a month-plus between games. The Namers have not played since their 8-4 loss to Sylvania Northview on December 20 and do not have a game on the docket until they host Bowling Green on January 23, although they do have some league games to make up and may be able to re-schedule some before then.

PADUA FRANCISCAN – Following a league loss to St. Edward last Saturday, Padua Franciscan is out of action and will have to re-schedule some games. They have only played two league games and are not scheduled to play again until January 22 when they host Olmsted Falls at OBM Arena in Strongsville.

SHAKER HEIGHTS – The Shaker Heights Red Raiders lead the league in quarantines, as they are currently locked down for the third time this season. “It has obviously been disappointing missing so much of our season so far,” said head coach Matt Bartley. “We didn't get to play any scrimmages, didn't play a game until December 18th, and now we are paused again for a couple of weeks. But looking at the big picture it is better to miss time now than have something come up in the state tournament which ends our season. We are doing our best to stay positive, stay connected as a team, and we are looking forward to getting back on the ice.”

ST. EDWARD – St. Edward has yet to lose a game to an Ohio-based team this season. The only blemish on their record is a 2-1 loss to a top team from the Chicago Area, New Trier (IL) on December 29…The Eagles are the unanimous #1 team in the Ohio High School Coaches Poll for the third straight week…Four St. Edward skaters have already surpassed the 20-point mark this season: Noah Schultz (14-11-25), Sean Kolenich (11-13-24), Lucas Newton (9-12-21) and Jack O’Sullivan (7-14-21).

UNIVERSITY SCHOOL – University School jumps into league play this week with their first two GLHL contests of the season. The Preppers visit St. Edward at Winterhurst for a mid-week game on Wednesday and are scheduled to host Walsh Jesuit Sunday afternoon at Rocky River…US is ranked in the Ohio Top 10 despite a 3-8-0 record. The voters no doubt recognize the quality of the competition the Preppers have faced this season, playing seven of their 11 games against teams ranked in the Top 10 and another against New Trier (IL) which defeated both #1 St. Edward and #2 St. Francis.

WALSH JESUIT – Walsh Jesuit enters the week tied with St. Edward for first place in the Great Lakes Hockey League standings with four points. Both teams own 2-0-0 records in league play. The Warriors have a chance to pick up more points when they visit US in a league game on Sunday. It will be their first game since defeating St. Charles, 4-2, on Boxing Day…Sophomore forward Aiden Cook has been a contributor, producing points in five straight games with goals in four of those games. For the season, he has scored six goals and added three assists for nine points in 13 games played.


Kessel Richards, Gilmour Academy

Gilmour Academy senior forward Kessel Richards notched a hat trick to lead the Lancers to a 7-0 win over Shaker Heights in a Great Lakes Hockey League game on Wednesday, December 30.

For the season, Richards has scored five goals in seven games.

“Kessel is our leading goal scorer and brings a tenacity to the team which is extremely important for us,” said Gilmour head coach John Malloy. “He excels in three sports: soccer, hockey and lacrosse and is a leader on each of those teams. Kessel is one of our captains and we have high expectations for him this year.”

Gilmour has played just once since December 11, but is scheduled to host Toledo St. Francis on Sunday.

PREVIOUS WINNERS: Nick Flowers, University School (Dec. 7); Ethan Payne & Evan Wrightsman, St. Edward (Dec. 14); Tyler Lencewicz, Shaker Heights (Dec. 21) 


Ryan Gorbett collected more assists (35) in league play than any other player in the history of the Great Lakes Hockey League. His 53 career points ranks second all time.

Following a prolific career at University School that saw him earn News-Herald Player of the Year as a senior, Gorbett spent two years playing Tier III Junior hockey with the Northern Cyclones (EHL) and Islanders Hockey Club (USPHL Premier).

Gorbett then moved on to Franklin Pierce University, an NCAA Division III school in the Northeast 10 conference.  Following a freshman season that saw him produce seven points (3-4-7) in 23 games and make the NE-10 Academic Honor Roll, Gorbett finished third on the team in scoring as a sophomore with 27 points (7-20-27) in 32 games. Those 20 assists tied for second in the NE10 conference