There’s something about playing for your school, according to the head coach of the Dublin-Jerome Celtics, Pat Murphy. That certainly was true today for the Celtics, who beat the Olentangy Orange Pioneers 2-0 to win their second consecutive Blue Jackets Cup championship this afternoon at the OhioHealth Ice Haus.
Chase Rose and Alex Booth scored the two tallies for the Celtics, while Jeff Davison and Coleman Mitchell picked up the assists. The Celtics were also better in the shots category, registering 36 shots against the nine registered by the Pioneers. Goaltender Connor Willette posted a shutout to seal the win and allowed only three goals in the entire tournament, which started Thursday night.
“It was a team effort. We really were able to dictate the play of the game from start to finish. It was really good,” Murphy told Blue Jackets radio announcer Bob McElligott after the game.
“We always try to peak at the right time, and we’ve had some success in the playoffs at the end of the season. As coaches, we’ve really just turned it over to the players and let them do their best on the rink,” Murphy said.
This is the sixth Blue Jackets Cup title for Dublin-Jerome, who had to defend their title this year against several of Ohio’s top-ranked high school hockey programs, such as Olentangy Liberty and St. Charles. Murphy, who is in his ninth season as head coach at Dublin-Jerome, said the quality of play has grown as the Capital Hockey Conference continues to become more competitive year after year.
“When you compare yourself against some of the teams from Cleveland and Toledo, and you’re able to compete and win against those teams - it shows that the hockey in Columbus has certainly gotten stronger, and hopefully, it continues that way,” Murphy said.
The season isn’t over yet for the Celtics or any of the teams who participated in the Blue Jackets Cup. They still face playoffs and the district tournament next week and must continue to win if they hope to compete in the OHSAA Final Four for the state championship on the Main Ice at Nationwide Arena.
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