It’s almost here. Just six league games remain on the 2021-22 Great Lakes Hockey League schedule. Those contests will all be played over the next 72 hours as the league firms up the final standings and sets the bracket for the eighth annual Cleveland Cup.
As we enter the final three days of the regular season, none of the seven positions in the standings are set in stone.
In addition to the league tournament, the OHSAA district draws will take place on Wednesday, February 9 to set the brackets for the four district tournaments – including the two played in Northeast Ohio.
St. Edward, Padua Franciscan and Holy Name will compete in the Brooklyn District and the state playoffs return to Kent this year with Gilmour Academy, University School, Shaker Heights and Walsh Jesuit playing out of the Kent State Ice Arena.
700 (AND COUNTING...) Gilmour Academy's 4-3 non-league win over Shaker Heights on January 29 was the 700th victory of John Malloy’s long, successful career and adds to his state record for career coaching wins. It was also the eighth win in a row for Gilmour.
AWARD SEASON – The All-GLHL First- and Second-Team All-Stars will be announced prior to Tuesday’s Cleveland Cup Quarterfinal game along with the league MVP, Coach of the Year and Scholar Athlete awards.
2022 CLEVELAND CUP – All seven league members qualify for the GLHL’s post-season tournament – the Cleveland Cup. This year, the first-place team will be given a bye into the semifinals while the remaining six teams are matched up in mid-week quarterfinal games.
Note: The standings on the Ohio Hockey Digest website are all subject to the same format that awards a point for an overtime loss. For purposes of the official GLHL standings and tournament seeding, those points are not considered. The official standings, as of 2/3/22 are as follows:
1. St. Edward 16 points/2 games left; 2. Gilmour Academy 12 points/2 games left; 3. University School 10 points/1 game left; 4. Shaker Heights 8 points/1 game left; 5. Padua Franciscan 7 points/2 games left; 6. Walsh Jesuit 4 points/2 games left; 7. Holy Name 1 point/2 games left.
Tie-breakers (in order): head to head results, most league wins, goal differential head to head, goal differential in league play, goals for in league play, goals against in league play, coin flip
All games at OBM Arena, Strongsville
Tuesday, February 8
#4 vs. #5, 6pm
Wednesday, February 9
#2 vs. #7, 6pm
#3 vs. #6, 8pm
Friday, February 11
#1 vs. Tuesday winner, 6pm
Wednesday winners, 8pm
Saturday, February 12
Championship game, 8pm
FRIDAY, JAN. 28
University School 4, Holy Name 1 *
St. Edward 4, Walsh Jesuit 2 *
Gilmour Academy 1, Padua Franciscan 0 *
Shaker Heights 2, Rocky River 1
SATURDAY, JAN. 29
Walsh Jesuit 2, Padua Franciscan 1 *
Gilmour Academy 4, Shaker Heights 3
University School 5 Holy Name 1 *
SUNDAY, JAN. 30
Shaker Heights 5, Holy Name 1 *
University School 6, Walsh Jesuit 1 *
TUESDAY, FEB. 1
Shaker Heights 6, Holy Name 2 *
* GLHL League Game
FRIDAY, FEB. 4
Holy Name @ Walsh Jesuit, 4:50pm *
Gilmour Academy @ St. Edward, 5:50pm *
University School @ Padua Franciscan, 7pm *
SATURDAY, FEB. 5
Padua Franciscan @ St. Edward, 3:40pm *
Shaker Heights @ Walsh Jesuit, 7pm *
SUNDAY, FEB. 6
Holy Name @ Gilmour Academy, 2:10pm *
* GLHL League Game
SAM WADE, UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
The Great Lakes Hockey League Player of the Week can be found on SOM Center Road for the fourth consecutive week.
University School forward Sam Wade scored three goals and assisted on five others for eight points to spark the Preppers to three league wins in as many days.
The sophomore scored two goals – including the game-winner, in a 4-1 win over Holy Name on Friday, then figured in three more goals (1-2-3) as the Preppers took the re-match at Reis Rink the following night.
He finished off the weekend with three assists in a 6-1 win over Walsh Jesuit.
Rivals Gilmour Academy and University School have alternated this award over the last four weeks. Wade is the third Prepper to win the award this season.
PREVIOUS WINNERS – Josh Weiner, Walsh Jesuit (Week of Nov. 22); Mark Berglund, University School (Nov. 29); Shane Helman, Padua Franciscan (Dec. 6); Tyler Lencewicz, Shaker Heights (Dec. 13); Geoffrey Lapsevich, St. Edward (Dec. 20); Noah Colasanti, Walsh Jesuit (Dec. 27); Matt Bauman, Gilmour Academy (Jan. 3); Colin Counahan, University School (Jan. 10); Victor Provozhaev, Gilmour Academy (Jan. 17)
If Gilmour Academy wants to share the regular season title with St. Edward, they need to go into the Eagles’ barn and win on Friday night, hope Padua goes into Winterhurst Saturday afternoon and defeats St. Edward as well, then win their final league game on Sunday. If GA is able to thread that needle, they would still be tied for first place. They would need to win Friday’s game at Ed’s by three or more goals to grab the tie-breaker and the #1 seed for the Cleveland Cup…Rocco Hice gave Evan Underwood (14 saves) all of the offense he needed in a 1-0 win over Padua last Friday. It was Hice’s sixth goal of the season and his fourth in the last seven games. It was the third shutout in seven January starts for Underwood, who has recorded a perfect 7-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals-against average and .941 save percentage since the calendar flipped to 2022.
A flurry of league games close out the 2021-22 schedule for Holy Name. The Green Wave will have squeezed in nine GLHL contests in the final 15 days of the regular season by the time it is all said and done. A game with Shaker Heights was moved up from Thursday to Tuesday to beat the winter storm…A win over Walsh Jesuit on Friday would keep Holy Name’s chances of moving up in the standings alive, but the odds of a quarterfinal match-up against Gilmour Academy would still be pretty strong. The Green Wave finish the regular season at Gilmour on Sunday which would give them a good scouting opportunity if the Lancers do end up being their first opponent of the post-season…The Namers have not managed more than two goals in a game since their most recent win, 5-4 over Normandy on January 8…Holy Name is 3-4 all-time in Cleveland Cup quarterfinal games. The Green Wave won the championship in 2019 with a 2-1 win over University School.
A scoreless tie against Holy Name on January 23 drew attention to a recent issue for Padua Franciscan: The goals have dried up. The Bruins have lit the lamp just three times over their last four games. Brock Bisler and Liam Conway scored the Padua goals in a 5-2 loss to Olmsted Falls and Shane Helman found the net in a 2-1 loss to Walsh Jesuit on Saturday. There was also a 1-0 loss to Gilmour Academy last Friday in which Aidan Knox stopped 24 of 25 shots but took the hard-luck loss…Helman’s goal against Walsh was his team-leading 23rd of the season. He also leads the team with 35 points and 45 penalty minutes.
Shaker Heights has not dropped back-to-back games since January 7-8 but has not won consecutive games since December 26-27. That is a trend the Red Raiders will need to correct if they are going to string three wins together to capture their first Cleveland Cup…Tuesday’s win over Holy Name moved Shaker up into fourth place. Padua has a game in hand in which to pass them, but it’s starting to look like a good bet that the 4/5 quarterfinal game ends up being Shaker against Padua regardless of which teams finishes on front of the other. It is looking unlikely that either team will move higher than fourth or drop lower than fifth…Sammy Gerber’s three-point effort Tuesday against Holy Name (1-2-3) was his sixth three-point game of the campaign…Shaker’s last league tournament title was their second of back-to-back Baron Cups in 2017.
The scenario could not be more simple for St. Edward heading into the final weekend of the regular season: pick up at least one point in the standings over the course of two home games and win the GLHL regular season title outright. That would also earn the Eagles a free pass into the semifinals of the Cleveland Cup while the other six teams in the league have to play their way forward in mid-week games…The Eagles have been the #3 ranked team in the state virtually from the drop of the puck in November. A 2-1 setback against #1 Saint Ignatius is the only loss St. Edward has suffered since before Christmas (11-1-2 since a December 18 loss to #4 Upper Arlington at the Padua Tournament)…Jack Mansour is on a seven-game point streak in which he has accumulated nine goals and 12 points…Zach Bell had points on four Eagles goals against Holy Name last week, then followed it up with three more points in the next game, scoring the game-winning goal and collecting two assists in a 4-2 win over Walsh Jesuit.
After sweeping six points in the league standings in a span of three days last week, a win over Padua on Friday would ensure University School a top-three finish in the league standings. US scored 15 goals in those three wins despite their second-leading scorer, Senior forward Mark Berglund, being out of the lineup. Will Genovese (six assists) picked up a lot of the slack, as did sophomore Sam Wade (3-5-8) who leads the team in assists (24) and points (32)…The Preppers are looking for their first Cleveland Cup title having lost in the championship game five times in the first six years of the league (2014-2019)…One thing that any team is looking for heading into the post-season is sharp goaltending. Preppers senior goalie Evan Crawford has allowed more than one goal just twice over his last nine starts with a 1.10 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in that span.
A fourth-place finish would be the best-case scenario for the Warriors if they can win their final two league games against Holy Name and Shaker Heights…Walsh is 12-2-0 this season when it scores more than two goals in a game…A 3-1 win over Padua in last year’s Cleveland Cup quarterfinals was the third time in the last four years and the fifth time in seven years that the Warriors won their first round game, but they are 0-5 all-time in the semifinal round of the league tournament.