For most hockey teams that compete in the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the ultimate measure of the season is how far it goes in the state playoffs. But before district plays gets underway, the OHSAA post-season kicks off with fierce local rivalries playing out through league tournaments.
The 2022 league tournaments saw some great action at all levels with a lot of one-goal games including many overtime thrillers. Here is a re-cap
The Olentangy Berlin Bears, in just their fourth season as a varsity program, won the Blue Jackets Cup for the first time. The CBJ Cup represents supremacy in the 18-team Capital Hockey Conference. The top eight schools (five from the Red Division and three from the White) battle for the league championship while the other 10 teams compete in a consolation bracket.
Four of the top nine teams in the state rankings reside in the CHC, so the Bears had to earn The Cup through fierce competition. Berlin defeated #4 Upper Arlington, 3-1, in the semifinals and edged #7 Olentangy Liberty, which finish atop the CHC standings, 4-3 in overtime.
The St. Edward Eagles, ranked #2 in the state, edged #5 Gilmour Academy to defend their Cleveland Cup title. It was the third straight year that these two programs faced off in the championship game of the Great Lakes Hockey League.
Over in the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League, Mentor won their third Baron Cup in four years with a 2-0 win over Hudson in the championship game.
Hudson, the first-place team from the Red Division, survived a scare in the semifinal round, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to squeak past Amherst Steele in overtime.
The Cardinals’ win topped off a Baron Cup Sunday tripleheader that also saw Western Reserve defeat Strongsville in Baron Cup II (White Division) and Normandy top Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy for the title in Baron Cup III (Blue Division).
It was the first league championship for Normandy since the Invaders captured back-to-back Baron Cup II titles in 1998 & 1999.
Western Reserve has enjoyed more recent success. It was the third Baron Cup II title for the Pioneers since 2014.
Archbishop Alter won the Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League tournament with a 2-1 win over Beavercreek. With the win, Alter avenged last year's loss to the Beavers in the title game.
The Knights became the fourth school to win the SWOHSHL in the last four years following St. Xavier, Talawanda and Creek.
--- Scott Harrington for Ohio Hockey Digest