Bobcats shut out Knights, Wildcats; finish second in NHC


Bowling Green did its part over the weekend, shutting out two Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division opponents.

The Bobcats defeated Toledo St. Francis, 2-0, on Saturday at Tam-O-Shanter and Sylvania Northview, 6-0, Sunday at Bowling Green State University’s Slater Arena.

However, the Bobcats did not control their own destiny and Findlay did, and the Trojans took advantage.

The Bobcats had to hope that Toledo St. John’s could find a way to defeat Findlay on Saturday at The Cube, and that did not happen. The Trojans downed the Titans, 5-2, to win the NHC Red Division title.

Findlay (20-9-5 overall) finished 9-1-2 in the league, but had 21 points while BG (25-8-2, 10-2) and Toledo St. Francis (21-12-2, 9-2-1) finished tied for second with 20. The one point difference is because of an overtime shootout rule installed this year for league play.

All three teams are ranked in the state with St. Francis coming in at fourth, Findlay is seventh and BG is ranked ninth.

In BG’s shutout win over the Knights Saturday, goaltender Matthew Brinkman earned the victory with 16 saves as the Knights outshot the Bobcats, 16-12.

However, BG forward Tanner Amos was able to push a power play goal across with 2:40 remaining in the first period, assisted by defenseman Braden Loomis and forward Rhett Winger.

Amos also scored BG’s second goal unassisted on an empty-netter with 1:51 remaining in the game.

BG just had two penalties for four minutes in the box, while St. Francis had five penalties for 10 minutes. St. Francis goalie Nick Barkhimer had 11 saves.

During the Bobcats’ six-goal rout over Northview, BG goalie Cade Contris earned the shutout in goal in a game that saw six penalties whistled against the Wildcats and 11 against the Bobcats, but BG’s penalty kill unit was relentless.

Rhett Winger led the Bobcats with two goals and an assist. BG forward Nolan Winger got the scoring started, assisted by forward Dempsey Fox, midway through the first period.

Rhett Winger followed with an unassisted goal with 1:15 left, giving BG a 2-0 lead after one period.

BG defenseman Casey Moore put BG up 3-0 on an assist from Rhett Winger with 1:13 remaining in the middle period.

In the third, the Bobcats scored three times to make the end result a no-doubter. Amos scored a power play goal on an assist from forward Hayden Joseph, Rhett Winger scored on assists from Amos and Nolan Winger, and Nolan Winger scored on an assist from Loomis.

This is Findlay’s first-ever Red Division title. The Trojans last won the NHC regular season in 1999-2000 when there were seven varsity teams (and no Red/White/Blue divisions). The Red Division was formed in 2002 when the Greater Toledo High School Hockey League merged with the NHC.

The differences between Findlay, St. Francis and Bowling Green in head-to-head league play were small.

Back on December 8, St. Francis and Findlay played the first league game using the new overtime rules. No one scored in OT, so both teams earned a tie and one point in the standings. The Trojans won a shootout to earn an extra point, which now stands as the difference.

On January 5. the Knights and Trojans went into OT again. This time, Findlay won in OT, with St. Francis getting a point in the standings for the OT loss.

The Bobcats and Knights split their two-game league series. The Bobcats and Trojans also split their series, each winning once.

In the six head-to-head league games between these three teams, home ice was not an advantage. The visitors won four times in regulation, once in OT, and lost in a shootout, earning 11 of the 12 possible points on the road.

BG opens tournament play against St. John’s (5-27) on Saturday with faceoff scheduled for 4 p.m. in Sylvania at Tam-O-Shanter. The winner advances to the district semifinals with the district champion advancing to the state final four.

The top 10 in the state rankings heading into the final weekend of regular season play were (1) Cleveland St. Ignatiius (21-7), (2) University School (29-3), (3) Lakewood St. Edward (17-9-1), (4) St. Francis, (5) defending state champion Olentangy Liberty (21-10), (6) Upper Arlington (15-13-2), (7) Findlay, (8) Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (15-15-1), (9) BG, and (10) Columbus St. Charles (19-10-3).

No posts to display