Northview Wildcats claim 2nd state title in 3 years with historic game!!!!
The Northview Wildcats and the St. Ignatius Wildcats will be forever linked by more than just their mascot. Theses 2 programs will be linked for the epic state championship game they played on Saturday afternoon at Nationwide Arena. Skating in front of several thousand fans the 2 state powers put on a game of historic proportion. After a regulation 1 to 1 tie the teams played 7 overtimes before state and school administration declared co-champions citing player safety as the major factor. For the 1st time in the 37 year history of the tournament the game would end in a tie.
Northview would strike 1st near the mid-way point of the 1st period. A rebound off a shot from Junior Josh Koback was collected by his older brother Jake who found the back of the net for a 1 to 0 lead. Senior Cody Estrel added a second assist on the goal. The game remained that way until the mid-way point of the 3rd period when St. Ignatius was finally able to solve the Cats defense and goaltender David Marsh. Neither team would score again and for the 8th time in tournament history the title game was headed to overtime. Remarkably Northview was playing in their 3rd overtime in the state title game. In 1982 the Cats were defeated in double overtime by Kent Roosevelt 4 to 3. Northview also lost an overtime decision in 2006 when they feel to Padua by a score of 6 to 5. This years team was destined to change that history. Led by Marsh’s amazing 78 saves Northview took every punch that St. Ignatius could land over 7 grueling overtimes. Reminiscent of a Rocky movie the Cats were knocked down but never knocked out. Playing with the heart of a warrior Northview put their bodies on the line in what can only be described as miraculous!! After 7 overtimes the teams had decided nothing on the ice. As both teams readied for the 8th overtime tournament, school and state officials met to determine the safety of the players. After a discussion on possible solutions it was ultimately determined that for the safety of the players the teams would be determined co-champions with both claiming a state title.
As the decision was announced to the crowd at Nationwide arena players tried to come to grips with the decision that they would not get a chance to finish what they had started. Emotions ran high as coaches tried to console and congratulate the players on the amazing accomplishment of being a state champion! Still unsure of the emotions they were feeling the players finally returned to the ice to an incredible ovation from the Northview faithful. With tears of both heartache and joy streaming down their faces the players and coaches embraced as a state championship trophy was shared back and forth between the players from both teams. For the Seniors it was also a realization that their careers had come to an end. They had delivered Northview to the promise land once again and for most had played in their 3rd consecutive championship game. They had also delivered on a promise to never give up. As their friend and classmate Mo Sedige leads the cheer we say “THANK YOU SENIORS!”
With the teams headed for the locker rooms and the fans exiting the stadium the debate and news started to unfold. ESPN tweeted the outcome and social media went wild. Sylvania Northview and David Marsh became household names! Internationally the game became a lightning rod for conversation and even controversy. Should the game had gone to a shootout or postponed for play to resume on a different day?? That debate will go on for years. 1 thing that will never be debated by the fans in that stadium….Theses kids were champions in every sense of the word. They left everything they had out on that ice for each other, their school and themselves!!!!! Congratulation boys!! You have made your school, parents and coaches so proud! YOU ARE 2014 STATE CHAMPS and no one will ever take that away from you… WE LOVE YOU!!!!