OHSAA: Shaker Heights wins fourth state title

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 8:50 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It wasn't necessarily easy or pretty, but Shaker Heights found a way to get it done. And there are no awards for style points in hockey.

A dozen years ago, the Red Raiders boys hockey program won its last state title when several of its current players were barely old enough to walk and talk. Their last appearance in the state final was eight years ago and head coach Mike Bartley's team made sure its next trip to Columbus would be worthwhile.

The Red Raiders won their fourth state title in school history with a 3-1 win over Sylvania Northview in front of 2,348 at Nationwide Arena, and it was a game that hung in the balance until the final horn.

Not only did Shaker Heights have to earn its way to the OHSAA state championship game by battling out a semifinal win over Rocky River on Friday afternoon, but they gutted out an impressive victory in the final over a very strong Sylvania Northview team that had stunned Columbus' entry (Olentangy Liberty) the day before.

Senior goaltender Eric Sterin kept the Red Raiders afloat as the Wildcats kept coming in the third period, trying to put a dent in a two-goal load that Shaker Heights obtained early in the final period -- on a goal that almost didn't count. Sterin stood tall as the Wildcats got a late 5-on-3 opportunity and essentially tossed the kitchen sink his way, but the netminder was rock solid for the Red Raiders.

His biggest moment might have been a clutch stop on Sylvania's Caleb Rau, who pounced on a turnover at the offensive blueline and had a breakaway with 2:50 remaining in regulation. Sterin stayed patient and square, kicking out Rau's wrister that would have pulled the Wildcats within a goal with plenty of time left.

Sterin finished with 25 saves on the evening.

Shaker Heights got the championship-deciding goal late in the first period from senior forward John Longman, who was excellent for the Red Raiders throughout the final weekend.

While this was not the end result that defending champion Northview was looking for, the Wildcats made their 15th appearance in the state semifinal tournament and played for their third championship in the last seven years. A team that replaced 10 players from last year's championship club, Northview played solid hockey and came together at the right time, coming up one win shy of repeating.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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