skip navigation

Great Lakes Hockey League Weekly: Final Four edition

By Scott Harrington, 02/08/19, 11:00AM EST



Four of the top seven ranked teams in the state of Ohio take to the ice this weekend to determine the winner of the 2019 Cleveland Cup—the post-season championship tournament of the Great Lakes Hockey League.

That sets up a semifinal tilt with University School, which is looking to make it to the championship game for the fifth time in six years.  The defending champions, Gilmour Academy, took care of business Tuesday night with a 9-1 win over Padua Franciscan.

The Green Wave will now face St. Edward in the late semifinal game on Friday.  On the other side of the bracket Holy Name, which finished in second place in the league standings during the regular season, advanced with a 7-3 win over Walsh Jesuit.

Had they advanced to Saturday’s championship game, they would be over the OHSAA’s pre-district games played limit of 35.  The Cougars were not allowed to compete in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.  St. Edward advanced to the semifinals over Lake Catholic.

St. Edward eliminated Holy Name, 4-1, in the quarterfinals and Gilmour defeated University School, 3-2 in overtime, in the championship game.  Both of Friday’s semifinal match-ups are between teams that met in last year’s tournament.

While Gilmour took home the hardware last season, none of the other three remaining teams have won this tournament previously.


GILMOUR ACADEMY > GA will play Friday, February 15, against the winner of a Mayfield-Brush first round game.  They have allowed just 49 goals in 33 games so far this season and have not allowed more than a single goal in any of their last six games...Gilmour is the #1 seed for the upcoming Kent District tournament.  28-2-1-2 record.  Gilmour Academy, the top seed for the tournament and #1 ranked team in the state, are the consensus team to beat this weekend—and very intent on defending their crown...Strong defensive play and outstanding goaltending have propelled the Lancers to a  The defending Cleveland Cup champions arrive in the semifinals on a 10-game winning streak.

HOLY NAME > Holy Name’s productive offense was on display in a 7-3 win over Walsh Jesuit in a Cleveland Cup Quarterfinal game Wednesday night...The Namers were one of just three teams to knock off GA in the regular season, beating them 3-2 in overtime on November 30...Junior forward Brennan Dickey (11-7-18) and senior forward Sebastiano Layne (9-9-18) ended up in a four-way tie with Lake Catholic’s Jacob Schmitt (11-7-18) and Tyler Alt of University School (11-7-18) for the league scoring title (GLHL games only).  Ross Conforto was one of three GLHL goaltenders to play all 10 league games for their team this season, but Green Wave head coach Tim Sullivan turned to sophomore J. J. Light for the quarterfinal game against Walsh...Holy Name opens Brooklyn District play as the #2 seed on Sunday, February 17 at noon against Bay.

LAKE CATHOLIC > Heading into the tournament season, Lake Catholic senior forward Jacob Schmitt They will next play on Saturday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. facing CVCA.  Last year’s championship game (won by GA 3-2 over US) was the fourth...The Cougars are eager to get back on the ice for the Kent District tournament.  leads all GLHL skaters in goals (33) and points (60) in all games...There have been a total of four overtime games in the history of the Cleveland Cup (two in 2014 and two in 2018) and Lake Catholic was involved in each of the first three.

PADUA FRANCISCAN > Padua Franciscan was eliminated by Gilmour Academy, 9-1, in the early quarterfinal game on Tuesday.  It was the second time in five days that the Bruins went up against the Lancers...Senior forward Justin Eles leads Padua in goals (11) and points (16) points this season and has figured in 43% of the Bruins goals on the campaign (16/37)...Padua’s season resumes Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they face the winner of Amherst Steele-Garfield Heights in the Brooklyn District tournament.

ST. EDWARD > Don’t sleep on the St. Edward Eagles.  They have been somewhat over-shadowed by Gilmour’s dominant record this season—and their #1 ranking in the state—and Holy Name fended them off in the league standings, but the Eagles have been right there all season, ranked #3 in the state most of the year.  They have a scoring star in sophomore forward Tanyon Bajzer (31-22-53), scoring depth, and a goaltender that can steal games when he’s on.  The Eagles should have a run in them as they look for their first Cleveland Cup championship...Holy Name defeated St. Edward in each of the first four meetings between the two schools, but the Eagles have won the last eight dating back to December 28, 2015.  That streak includes the only previous meeting between the schools in the Cleveland Cup—a 4-1 St. Edward win in last year’s quarterfinals...St. Edward will begin their pursuit of a 12th state championship on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. when they face the winner of a first-round game between Avon Lake and Brooklyn.

SHAKER HEIGHTS > Shaker will open district play Saturday at 5:15 p.m. against the winner of a first-round game between Aurora and Twinsburg.  They are right back on the ice as the #2 seed for the upcoming Kent District tournament.  The Red Raiders may have been eliminated in their first kick at the can in the Cleveland Cup, but we have not heard the last from them this season.  The Shaker Heights Red Raiders fared well in their maiden voyage in the GLHL, finishing in the middle of the pack.

UNIVERSITY SCHOOL > University School drew Shaker Heights in the quarterfinals and proved the axiom that it is hard to defeat a good team three times in a season.  The Preppers were due and made good on it with a 4-1 win over the Red Raiders on Tuesday.  Next up for US—the #1 team in the state in the semifinals...Senior forward Tyler Alt US awaits the winner of Orange-Chagrin Falls.  tied for the scoring lead (league games only) with 11-7-18 in 10 games...The Preppers, the #3 seed for the Kent District, will start working towards a fifth consecutive district title on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

WALSH JESUIT > Walsh Jesuit has won its Cleveland Cup quarterfinal game every other year since the founding of the league, advancing in 2014 (1-0 over St. Edward), 2016 (6-1 over Padua Franciscan) and 2018 (7-3 win over Padua Franciscan).  Unfortunately, 2019 in an odd year...Walsh is icing a young team this season so head coach Pat McKendry and his charges look to extend their season and play as many tournament games as possible to gain experience...Following their 7-3 loss to Holy Name that knocked them out of the league tournament, Walsh resumes their post-season with a Kent District game against North Coast League rival Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. 


FORWARD Jacob Schmitt senior Lake Catholic
FORWARD Brennan Dickey junior Holy Name
FORWARD Tanyon Bajzer sophomore St. Edward
DEFENSE George Brinn senior University School
DEFENSE Tyler Budzar senior St. Edward
GOALIE Toby Herlong sophomore Gilmour Academy
COACH Tim Sullivan 16th season Holy Name
SPORTSMANSHIP (tie) P. J. Calleri (Walsh) Henry Saada (US)



Tyler Alt, a senior forward with the University School Preppers, is the Great Lakes Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ending February 3.  Alt scored the lone goal for US in a 3-1 loss to Gilmour Academy, figured in all four goals in a 4-0 win over Walsh Jesuit, and notched a hat trick as the Preppers defeated Padua Franciscan, 9-0, in their final regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

“Tyler is a crafty player that has been a huge part of this year’s success,” said University School head coach Andrew Gerow.  “Tyler not only plays on our top forward line but is a key contributor on our penalty kill and power play.”

Alt tied for the GLHL scoring title (league games only) with 11 goals and seven assists in 10 league games.  In all games, he leads the Preppers in goals this season (17), and his 34 points are second only to US leading scorer Jack Henry Muha (15-24-39).

“Whenever we have needed a spark this season, Tyler has been there to lift the team with a big goal or play,” Gerow said.

PREVIOUS WINNERS—Tanyon Bajzer (St. Edward), November 28; Dominic Cassamatta (Gilmour Academy), December 5; Brennan Dickey (Holy Name), December 19; Geremy Davison (Walsh Jesuit), January 4; Niko Negron (Holy Name), January 11; Amaedeo Cantini (Lake Catholic), January 18; Jacob Schmitt (Lake Catholic), January 23; Domenic Cassamatta (Gilmour Academy), January 30.