Rivalry games are what you dream of as a kid. Growing up, local kids dream of wearing a sweater of their favorite school’s colors, and scoring on their backyard net. In Northeast Ohio, these imaginary jerseys tend to be either blue or green with a mixture of gold.
Greg Langermeier agrees.
“It is one of the games you wish to play in as a kid,” said Langermeier. “We are going to be ready to go from the start. Most of our team has played in this game before so they know how to handle the emotion. It is always a close game, so I am looking forward to laying some hits and doing what I can to help our team.”
The 55th meeting of the 2000s of the storied Saint Ignatius-Saint Edward hockey game begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Winterhurst.
“It will be a good measuring stick,” said Coach Pat O’Rourke ‘90. “It is a tough barn to play in and it is a great atmosphere. Both teams should be energized and it should be fun.”
The Wildcats, who have won 12 of the last 13 matchups in the series, are hungry and expecting a battle-tested Saint Edward team.
“It is always tough playing a rivalry game,” said senior Eric Lile. “You have to block out all the outside noise and focus on the game.”
After suffering a weekend sweep at the hands of Shady Side Academy, the Cats are excited to play rival Saint Edward.
The Indians handed the Wildcats losses of 5-3 and 6-1.
On Saturday, the Cats’ lone goal came off a powerful shot from senior Aedan Conway. Conway, who has spent time at both forward and defense for the Wildcats, has deceptive speed and a quick shot which can lead to instant offense. Conway is the SIBN’s player to watch for Thursday.
“I’m just excited to battle with my family,” said Conway. “It is do or die in these games.”
One thing that plagued the Wildcats last weekend was the amount of penalties taken. Despite all the penalties, the Wildcats penalty kill held well against the Indians’ attack. The Cats are 90% killing penalties this season, and are renowned for their aggressive penalty kill.
Manning the pipes against Saint Edward will be senior captain Benny Savarino. Savarino has compiled 51 career wins in the net for the Wildcats. The three-time state champion is reassuring in the net and as consistent as they come.
“Playing in this game is always special, the games are something else,” Savarino said. “The environment is amazing, and it’s a game that we look forward to each year. It will be a fun game for sure.”
The Wildcats have a plethora of young, talented forwards. The Cats have returners who consistently make an impact such as Joey Trobenter and Aidan Millett.
Joey Trobenter has heated up recently, and a shift doesn’t go by where you don’t notice #12. Millett, who scored the opening tally against Saint Edward in last year’s District Final, is excited for the contest.
“It is always fun to play against your friends,” said Millett. “With that being said, the 45 minutes on the ice you are trying to produce to help your family. “
Forwards Matt Sullivan and Erik Galauner have also been a welcome addition this season. The forwards have combined for 13 points this season, and have done well winning 50-50 battles.
The Eagles are one of the most storied teams in OHSAA Ice Hockey history, and this year’s team is no different. Led by sophomore Tanyon Bajzer, the Eagles would like to defeat the Wildcats, who have knocked them out of the playoffs the past three seasons.
Standing at 12-5-0, the Eagles are the reigning champions of the Padua Holiday Classic following this weekend’s tournament win.
The Eagles feature strong goaltending from sophomore Nate Cappellazzo, who holds a 2.23 GAA. Saint Edward has impressive wins over Holy Name and Olentangy Liberty.
The SIBN will cover the action hitting the air at 7:25 p.m. I will provide the call alongside my partners in crime, Pat Keane ‘20 and Max Marazzi ‘20.