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2021 Columbus District Preview

By Scott Harrington 02/20/2021, 12:15pm EST

St. Charles, Upper Arlington lead deep field

Upper Arlington was 36-0-1 under former head coach Brett Howden heading into last year’s Columbus District semifinal against New Albany. The Golden Bears were upset in that game and, while the team has not been as dominant during the 2020-21 regular season, the memory of what happened a year ago has motivated them to make good on their opportunity this time around.

They started by defending their Capital Hockey Conference tournament championship, winning the Blue Jackets Cup with a come-from-behind victory against top-seeded St. Charles.

“It was an historic win for our program,” said first-year head coach Hamish Baird. “We came in and worked hard and our boys really wanted it.”

Now the Bears set their sights on for the district title that eluded them a year ago.

“We feel like we have some unfinished business and have a shot at making a run to the district title,” Baird said. “We are very much looking forward to getting started.”

Junior forward Max Robins sparked the comeback in the CBJ Cup Final, scoring the game-tying and -winning goals in a 3-2 win. They were his 28th and 29th goals of the season in just 24 games played.

“That’s the kind of season he’s had”, said Dave Purpura of This Week News. “He has certainly become the go-to guy for them in big situations.”

Another player that endured last year’s heart-breaking loss in the districts and is back playing like a man on a mission is senior goaltender Garrett Alderman, who rocked a .934 save percentage in league play.

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