BROOKLYN, Oh - The first few checkpoints passed on the map towards the end goal.
The Wildcats started their 2021-22 playoffs this past weekend, squaring off against the Holy Name Green Wave, a Great Lakes Hockey League member. Both teams were placed in the Brooklyn district of the OHSAA playoffs, all the games taking place at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, coincidentally the home of the Wildcats.
The Green Wave took off with an early lead in this Sectional Final game; Dennis Keeler came down the left side wing and took a shot to the far side post on Nolan Francis and struck twine. The buzzer rang, signaling the end of the first frame with the Green Wave in the driver's seat 1-0.
The Cats came out for the second period and got to work. Bia Savarino took a shot and found the back of the net, tying the game at one apiece. Moments later, Holy Name's Ian Greenhill took the puck off the faceoff win and went down to shoot and score, less than ten seconds after Savarino's shot.
The building lost a lot of energy. From that point on, the Wildcats were in complete control, the goals started to pile on left and right, the puck movement had become nearly perfect. Savarino scored a second and Fredrick, Getz, Rodgers, George and Bartone all had goals of their own as well. The Wildcats played great defense and held the Green Wave from scoring anymore. Francis finished the game with nine saves in net and the Cats topped the Holy Name Green Wave by a final of 7-2.
Days later, the Wildcats skated into another matchup, this time the Normandy Invaders in the District Quarterfinal game. The Wildcats came to play, dressed in their white Saint Ignatius jerseys with the blue and gold trim and just 13:41 to play in the first, junior defenseman Erik Bratton struck the back post and bounced a superb shot into the back of the cage for a Wildcats early lead 1-0.
The Blue and Gold continued to dominate in all aspects of the game; by the end of period one, the Wildcats returned to their locker room with a 6-0 lead. The message between periods was the track for their opponents' season was growing shorter and shorter, meaning they would be bringing everything they had to contest with the Wildcats.
Nevertheless, the Cats came out and kept up their game, getting good shots, making crisp passes and cycling the puck well down in the corners was their bread and butter. Junior Bia Savarino had himself a night with a hat trick. The first one in the 2021-22 campaign for the Cats and a lead that kept spreading points across the roster. Brandon Getz plugged in two goals, Bartone, Rechin, Basile and Sidoti all had a share in putting the rest of the goals behind the Invader goaltender. Jack Utrup came up big in the saves he had to make, finished with a seven save shutout, and helped secure the Wildcat victory of 10-0.
In their postseason stand, the Cats march on and face the Benedictine Bengals at the Brooklyn Rec Center this Saturday, February 26, for a District Semifinal matchup. Puck drop will be at noon, live coverage of the entire game will be covered on the SIBN.