Catholic sweep gives Cats NHC playoff championship!

by Coach Elliott on February 14, 2011

The Wildcats claimed the inaugural Northwest Hockey Conference playoff championship with a win over #1 state ranked St. Francis Sunday 7 to 3. Saturday night the Cats defeated St. Johns in overtime in the semifinals 3 to 2 for a weekend Catholic sweep.

Saturday night the Cats did everything right but put the puck in the net. Northview out-shot St. Johns 41 to 21 and hit 3 post, but found themselves in overtime after they converted just twice during regulation. The Cats jumped out to a 2 to 0 lead after 1 period of play on goals from Nolan Culver and Drew Crandall. The Titans evened the game with a pair of goals of their own in the 2nd period. An intense 3rd period saw the teams battle back and forth. After killing off a 5 minute major penalty and a 5 on 3 late in the game Northview was headed to overtime. With St. Johns on the power-play senior captain Tyler Harding made perhaps the play of his career. Down 4 on 3 Harding blocked a shot, chipped the puck out, raced past the St. Johns defensive pair and snapped a shot past the goalie to send the Northview faithful into hysteria. The win secured the Cats a championship berth versus St. Francis who had earlier defeated Findlay in the other semi-final 9 to 2.

In the Championship game Northview squared off versus  regular season league champ St. Francis. Ryan Laplante’s forecheck pressure led to his unassisted goal just 3 minutes in. Culver pushed the lead to 2-0 14 seconds later with the 1st of his 2 goals on the game. With St. Francis on the power-play and coach Elliot knocked a little loopy from and inadvertent stick to the head the Knights closed to 2 to 1. They were able to even the score near the end of the 1st period as the teams headed to intermission tied at 2. Culver’s 2nd goal gave the Cats a lead the would never relinquish at 3 to 2. Junior Zach Felser would hit the eventual game-winner on the power-play to give the Cats a 4 to 2 lead after 30 minutes of play. Graham Kelsey added to the lead just 17 seconds into the 3rd with his 1st goal of the season, but the Knights answered just 45 seconds later to keep the pressure on. There was no fold in the Cats resolve this day Freshman Cody Estrel picked a glorious time to pick up his career 1st goal and Aaron Booth finished off a strong effort, and the Knights, for the final score 7 to 3.  The 2 wins gave Northview the Championship in the NHC playoff red division and some momentum as teams ready themselves for the state playoffs.

 The Cats will take a 18-7-3 record and a #2 seed into the state tournament. Their first game will be on Thursday versus Perrysburgh at Tam-o-Shanter. Game time is scheduled for 8 o’clock.

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  1. 2 Wins over the Catholics give the Cats the league playoff championship
  2. Cats move to 6-0 in the NHC

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