(Don Lee photo)
Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. @ Kent State University Ice Arena
1. University School (23-7-3, ranked #3 in Ohio) vs
3. Walsh Jesuit (20-9-5, ranked #9 in Ohio)
Great Lakes Hockey League rivals University School and Walsh Jesuit meet Friday evening at KSU Ice Arena in a re-match of last year’s Kent District Final, won by US, 5-1.
The Preppers are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games with their only loss coming in the Cleveland Cup championship game, 3-2 in overtime, at the hands of Gilmour Academy.
Not only is there the intrigue of a district championship re-match, the Preppers and Warriors went to overtime in both of their GLHL league games with the Preppers winning one and the other ending in a tie.
“Walsh and University school are very evenly matched,” said Preppers head coach Andre Lacroix. “Both games were close and could have gone either way. It should be a good game.”
University School senior forward Ethan Whetstone (20-34-54) and junior defenseman George Brinn (13-27-40) were named to the Great Lakes Hockey League All-Star Team. Junior forward Jack Henry Muha (19-26-45) was also a major contributor at the offensive end.
Walsh, meanwhile, is led by Great Lakes Hockey League Player of the Year, senior forward Jonathan Gabriel, who scored a team-leading 27 goals.
Fellow Warriors seniors Max Miotke (21-24-45) and Steven LeVasseur (16-25-41) also hit the 40-point plateau.
Senior netminder Jakhari Desphy has started all 34 games so far, posting 20 wins. A four-year started, he is the GLHL all-time leader in saves, minutes played and wins.
Warriors head coach Pat McKendry agrees that this should be a very competitive game.
"This should be a hard fought game," he said. "Both teams play hard and organized so as always it will come down to execution when the puck drops. These games are the reason you go to schools like Walsh Jesuit and University."
The winner of the Kent District will face the winner of the Sylvania District in a state semifinal game next Friday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Toledo St. Francis and Toledo St. John’s meet in the Sylvania District Final at 7:00 p.m. this evening at the Sylvania Tam O’Shanter.