Liberty High School Varsity & Junior Varsity Ice Hockey: Press Clippings

Wednesday, March 9
Arcy, Patriots win thriller to advance to state semi


Wednesday, March 9, 2011  11:41 AM

Larry Larson is a former athletics director at Grandview High School. He can be heard as “Mr. High School Sports” on WTVN 610 AM

It was a hockey game that the players, coaches and fans won't soon forget.

On March 5 at the Dispatch Ice Haus, top-seeded Dublin Jerome played second-seeded Olentangy Liberty for a district championship. The winner would advance to a state semifinal against Toledo St. Francis at noon Saturday, March 12, at Nationwide Arena.

Liberty's Marshall Oja settled the drama, scoring early in the second overtime to give the Patriots a 3-2 victory.

The game featured a matchup of two standout goaltenders in Jerome senior Josh Howell and Liberty junior Eddie Arcy, who stopped 30 shots in the game after he had made 17 saves in a 3-0 win over Dublin Coffman on Feb. 27.

"What a game that was," Arcy said afterward. "Both teams played at a high level and there really wasn't any room for mistakes. Our team hung tough just like it has all year. From day one, our goal wasn't only to win the district; it was to win the state tournament. But like any hockey team, we went through some hard times. We had injuries to a number of players that shook our confidence, but we have a great group of players who care greatly about the game of hockey and play it with passion. We care about our coaches, we care about our school and we care about our fans. And after beating a good Jerome team that had beaten us twice during the regular season, this is the best feeling you could ever have in your sport.

"I was so excited just to play, to step on the ice in that game, so you can imagine how excited I was when I skated down the ice after I realized that Marshall had scored the game-winning goal. There has never, ever been a more satisfying moment for me in sports."

Looking ahead to the match against St. Francis, Arcy said, "It will be another awesome experience. We all know they are a terrific team, but our defense has been outstanding in the postseason and our offense is getting the job done. Now we get to play on the same ice that the Columbus Blue Jackets and the rest of the NHL players play on. What a thrill it will be and I really can't believe we made it there, but our team confidence right now is out the roof and I think that will help us a lot."

Discussing his role as his team's last line of defense, Arcy said, "My job is simply stopping the puck. I have played the goalie position since I was 6 years old and I think I have been in almost everyone situation possible and I have played some pretty high-level games, which will help on Saturday.

"As a goalie, I have learned that you have to block out all the external things going on during a game and just focus on playing my game with a smile on my face. I love the game of hockey and I love the competition.

"I understand my role as goalie can control the outcome of any game, but am excited to be in that position. Playing this position with my teammates has truly boosted my confidence as a young person and made me believe in myself, and that goes a long way in all aspects of my life. I can't wait until Saturday."

These are the moments that sports provide for a lifetime. For Arcy and his teammates, the district championship will be lodged in their minds forever.

I'll see you at a game.

Wednesday, March 2
Patriots attaining 'new heights'
 Wednesday, March 2, 2011  
ThisWeek Community Newspapers  

The Olentangy Liberty High School hockey team will continue its foray into new territory when it faces a league rival for a trip to a state semifinal.

The Patriots reached a district quarterfinal for the first time and defeated Olentangy 5-3 on Feb. 26 at the Dispatch Ice Haus. The next day, they beat Dublin Coffman 3-0 in a district semifinal to reach the district final, where they will play Dublin Jerome at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Ice Haus.

Liberty and Jerome shared the Capital Hockey Conference title this season.

"This is a lift to our program, because from this weekend out, everything was new for us," said coach Jack Hoogeveen, whose team is 26-8-1. "It brings our program to new heights."

Coffman was missing three players — defenseman Gunner Gruehl and forwards Nick Kreber and Kevin Putnam — who were suspended for violating team rules. Liberty was missing two recently injured players in forwards Nick Ramsey (leg) and Ryan Slinger (neck).

The Patriots had one goal in each period against Coffman with scores by Jimmy Ruska, Christopher Bergmesca and Marshall Oja. Goaltender Eddie Arcy had 17 saves.

Liberty seized control in the second period when it killed a 5-on-3 power play by the Shamrocks to hold its two-goal lead.

"The second period was a clinic on the way we need to play," Hoogeveen said. "We had everyone stepping up and do what they need to do."

Jerome beat Moeller 1-0 in overtime on Feb. 27 to reach the district final. The Celtics are 28-6-1.

The Celtics beat Liberty twice this season, winning 4-2 on Dec. 10 in the Adam Allgeyer Memorial Tournament and 3-2 in a CHC contest on Feb. 2.

In the first meeting, Gus Olmstead and Ramsey scored for Liberty and Brian Finneran had 26 saves. Jerome got two goals from Alex Cathis, one goal apiece from Rob Dudaney and Joe Davidson, and 24 saves by Josh Howell.

In the league game, Matt Burke, Chase Compton, James Eastep all scored for Jerome and Howell had 34 saves. For the Patriots, Ruska and Bergamesca both scored and Finneran had 26 saves.

In the win over Olentangy, Drew Ash scored two goals, Bergamesca, Ruska and Ethan Hollingsworth all had one apiece, and Arcy had 25 saves.

"We knew Olentangy was going to come right after us," Hoogeveen said. "They played a great game."

Wednesday, March 2
Liberty icers are heating up in the postseason


Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Olentangy Liberty hockey team has been on a postseason tear, winning the Blue Jackets Cup and beating three teams on its way to a Division I district tournament final.

The Patriots (26-8-1) dealt a first-round 5-0 loss to Troy Feb. 19 at the Ice Haus before facing area rival Olentangy in the next round Saturday, Feb. 26, also at the Ice Haus.

The Braves scored three on Liberty but the Pats pulled through in the final period to win 5-3 and advance.

Drew Ash scored two goals and Eddie Arcy made 25 saves.

Dublin Coffman proved no big hurdle in Liberty's dash to the state tournament as the Shamrocks lost 3-0 Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Ice Haus.

Jimmy Ruska, Christopher Bergamesca and Marshall Oja each scored a goal. Arcy saved 17.

One of the goals set for the team in the beginning of the year was to get further in the postseason tournament than last season.

"We achieved that," coach Jack Hoogeveen said, as the win over Coffman pushed them past last year's finish. "We're pretty happy about where we are right now. It's a great position to be in."

The No. 2 seed Pats face No. 1 Dublin Jerome in the district final Saturday, Mar. 5, at 5 p.m. at the Ice Haus. The winner advances to the state final four.

Wednesday, February 16
Patriots win Blue Jackets Cup

Patriots win Blue Jackets Cup

Wednesday, February 16, 2011  11:32 AM

Wednesday, February 16
Pats conquer Coffman for Blue Jackets Cup

Pats conquer Coffman for Blue Jackets Cup

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 3:31 PM EST
No longer is the Columbus Blue Jackets Cup a resident of Dublin.

For the last six years either Jerome or Coffman have been the bearer of the trophy but with a 3-2 win over the Shamrocks Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Ice Haus, the Olentangy Liberty hockey team has brought the prize home to Powell.

"Unbelievable," coach Jack Hoogeveen said. "Everybody's elated. Being dominated in the first period and surviving and pulling it out with seconds to go, it doesn't get any more dramatic than that."

Coffman scored first during the second period and held the lead until the third when the Patriots tied it up. The 'Rocks took the lead back but Liberty persevered and brought the score even again. Then, with under a minute left in the game, the Pats made a desperate charge at the Coffman net. Christopher Bergamesca's shot was blocked but deflected and Jimmy Ruska chipped it in for the go-ahead goal with 28 ticks left on the clock.

"They attacked the net," Hoogeveen said. "We did a last minute thrust. It was a rebound shxot and it went in."

Goalie Eddie Arcy made 35 saves against the Shamrocks and had 62 over the tournament.

"Eddie was the story of the day," Hoogeveen said. "It could just as easily been four or five to nothing if it wasn't for him."

Liberty (20-8-1) beat Olentangy Orange 3-0 Thursday, Feb. 10, in the opening round at the Ice Haus and put away Upper Arlington 3-2 Friday, Feb. 11, at the Ice Haus to move to the final.

After becoming co-champs in the Central Hockey Conference and winning the CBJ Cup, the Patriots earned a No. 2 seed in the Division I district tournament and has a first-round bye. They face the winner between Troy and DeSales Sunday, Feb. 20, at the Ice Haus.

"What we hope to do is work hard and get ready for our opponents," Hoogeveen said. "We'll play as hard as we can."

The coach believes his players, especially his seniors, have the right motivation to fight for a state title.

"They've got the incentive to make this the best year of the program," he said.

Tuesday, January 4
Liberty stamping itself as among the local ice elite
By JOHN REIDENBAUGH  Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 3:22 PM EST
Olentangy Liberty's hockey team had a busy holiday taking on four opponents over four days.

The Patriots won all four over the stretch and increased their record to 16-3 overall and 7-0 in the Capital Hockey Conference, good for a first-place spot in the league rankings.

"We've been playing well and stuck to our systems," assistant coach Nick Kormanyos said. "Everything was clicking."

The team kicked it off with an 11-0 win over Bishop Watterson at Chiller North Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Ethan Holligsworth and assistant captain Jimmy Ruska each scored three goals. Goaltender Bryan Finneran had six saves.

Thomas Worthington fell to the squad 4-1 Thursday, Dec. 30.

Eddie Arcy had 17 saves in goal.

Rival Olentangy came next on Friday, Dec. 31, and the Patriots handily put them away 12-2.

Ruska sank four goals and Holligsworth and Marshall Oja each scored two. Finneran saved 25.

Olentangy Orange was Liberty's next victim as the Patriots beat the Pioneers 6-3 on New Year's Day.

Oja scored two goals.

Ruska and Holligsworth each had seven goals over the four-game span.

"They've been great," Kormanyos said. "They're finding spots on the ice where it's tough to score goals. They're creating pressure for their teammates and they're getting rewards for that."

Liberty heads to Cleveland Friday, Jan.7, through Sunday, Jan. 9, for the Gilmour Academy-hosted Brother James Memorial tournament.

"It's going to be a great weekend for us to see where we're at," Kormanyos said.

Thursday, December 9
Patriots look to defend CHC title
Wednesday, December 8, 2010  11:22 AM

The Olentangy Liberty High School hockey team started 1-7 last season but went on to win the Capital Hockey Conference regular-season title.

The Patriots have continued their winning ways this season. They won their first two league games and are 6-1 overall before playing Friday through Sunday in the Adam Allgeyer Memorial Tournament.

Liberty defeated Dublin Scioto 10-0 last Friday in the league opener before winning 3-0 at Centerville last Saturday in a non-league game. Then, the Patriots defeated perennial-CHC power Dublin Coffman 4-3 last Sunday at Chiller Dublin.

"Overall, we have been playing well and we have had some good weeks of practice," said coach Jack Hoogeveen, who begins his fourth season leading the program. "It was important to get this one (against Coffman) because this is a tough place to play. They have some students who really get into the game and we were happy that we had a good group of students here to support us and match their enthusiasm for the game."

Scoring against the Shamrocks in a standing room-only Chiller Dublin were junior forward Nick Ramsey, junior forward Reed Slinger, sophomore forward Ethan Hollingsworth and sophomore forward Michael Oja. Senior goaltender Bryan Finneran had 20 saves.

"We have to be more disciplined and stay out of the penalty box," said Hoogeveen, whose team finished 16-14-1 overall last season after losing to Oxford Talawanda 2-1 in overtime in the second round of the district tournament. "We play well 5-on-5 and we have really been playing well when we have been a man down, but that will catch up with you after a while. You'll have to pay for that with tired legs later in the season."

Last season, Liberty was 11-1 in the CHC with 22 points to edge Cincinnati Moeller at 10-2-1 (21 points). The Patriots did not play their league finale with Watterson because of bad weather. Several other teams did not play 13 league games because of weather-related cancellations.

Coffman was third at 10-2 (20), followed by St. Charles at 9-4 (18), Dublin Jerome at 8-2-1 (17), Olentangy Orange at 7-5-0-1 (15), Gahanna at 7-5 (14), Upper Arlington at 6-4-1-1 (14), Thomas Worthington at 5-5-1-1 (12), Olentangy at 5-7-0-1 (11), Worthington Kilbourne at 3-9 (6), DeSales at 1-10-1 (3), Scioto at 1-11-1 (3) and Watterson at 0-12 (0).

The top returning scorer for the Patriots is senior Jimmy Ruska, who had 14 goals last season. Ruska is the team's assistant captain. Wearing the captain's letter is senior defenseman Anthony Bergamesca.

Other seniors include defenseman Keaton Allmaras, defenseman Robert Koehler, forward Matt Mullier, defenseman Alec Vidrick and forward Grant Woods. Senior forward Mitch Helton will miss the season with a knee injury.

Juniors also include goaltender Eddie Arcy and forward Drew Ash. Forward Noah Allmaras, defenseman Pete Leonetti and defenseman Gus Olmstead round out the sophomore class. Forward Christopher Bergamesca is the lone freshman on varsity.

In the 10-0 win over Scioto, Christopher Bergamesca scored three times and Ruska added two goals. Hollingsworth, Koehler, Mullier, Ramsey and Vidrick all scored once and Finneran had two saves.

In a season-opening tournament at Miami University, the Patriots defeated Zionsville (Ind.) 7-3 on Nov. 26 before losing to Parma Padua Franciscan 5-3 and beating Sylvania Southview 10-0 on Nov. 27. Then, Liberty beat Amherst Steele 6-0 on Nov. 28.

Wednesday, December 8
Patriots look to build off first league championship
Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 2:58 PM EST

The Olentangy Liberty hockey team got of to a rocky start last season.

The group began 1-7 but was able to make some adjustments and finished 16-14 on the way to winning the Capital Hockey Conference and ending Upper Arlington's and Dublin Coffman's dominance of the league.

"The future didn't look that bright, but some kids stepped up and we managed to have a successful year," coach Jack Hoogeveen said.

It's a feat the Patriots would love to repeat as well as improving their showing in the playoffs.

"Just about everybody's first team goal is to win the league again," Hoogeveen said. "We'd also love to get to the final four (in the state tournament)."

Now in its fourth year, Liberty hockey is seeing the results of player development.

"We've got a lot of young players coming along well," Hoogeveen said. "We have six or seven seniors and they're playing up to their capabilities."

Captain Anthony Bergamesca and assistant captain Jimmy Ruska return to the team and will provide guidance to the rest of the players.

Senior Alec Vidrick is new to the squad this season and is already being looked to for support.

"Even though this is his first year, he's a strong defenseman," Hoogeveen said. "We're looking for him to provide leadership, as well."

Vidrick and Ruska are the current team leaders in points. Each has 13 (six goals and seven assists). Christopher Bergamesca has 12 points (five goals, seven assists).

Hoogeveen is especially happy with his players who protect the net.

"We've had really good goaltending so far," he said.

Bryan Finneran is 4-0 in the crease with two shutouts. Eddie Arcy is 2-1 with two shutouts.

Even though his team has started the season 6-1, Hoogeveen sees room for improvement.

"We need to cut down on our penalties," he said. "Despite the fact we've had some shutouts, we need to improve our defensive play too."

The Patriots kicked off the season with a strong showing at the Oxford Tournament at Miami University Nov. 26, 27 and 28.

They handily beat Amherst Steele (6-0), Sylvania Southview (10-0) and Zionsville (Ind.) (10-0) before falling to Parma Padua Franciscan 5-3.

"We played very well," Hoogeveen said of his team's tourney play. "Padua is a good team. That game was even up until the last minutes."

Liberty crushed Dublin Scioto 10-0 at Chiller North Friday, Dec 3.

Christopher Bergamesca scored three goals against the Irish and Ruska added two.

The team topped host Centerville Saturday, Dec. 4, before meeting local powerhouse Dublin Coffman Sunday, Dec. 5, at Chiller Dublin.

"The players were a little nervous going into Coffman," Hoogeveen said.

The 'Rocks took an early 1-0 lead in the first period before Liberty answered to tie. The two groups traded scores again before the Patriots were able to secure a lead.

"We went ahead 4-2 and they snuck back on us," Hoogeveen said. "It was a wild last minute-and-a-half, but we prevailed."

The coach was excited to beat such a strong team but won't dwell on the victory.

"You're happy you won it, but you get out of there and move to the next one," he said.

Liberty will participate in the annual Allgeyer Tournament Friday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 12. It faces off against Dublin Jerome, St. Charles and Solon in the hopes of making it to the championship match.

"We're looking forward to the tournament," Hoogeveen said. "We'll continue to emphasize discipline on our special teams a little bit."

"Just about everybody's first team goal is to win the league again. We'd also love to get to the final four (in the state tournament)."

-- Jack Hoogeveen

Monday, March 7
Hockey: Oja lifts Liberty to state Final Four

Monday, March 7, 2011

Staff reports

Liberty picked up the most recent of what has become a historic string of wins as Marshall Oja scored 1:50 into the second overtime to lift the second-seeded Patriots past top-seeded Dublin Jerome 3-2 in Saturday’s District Championship at the Dispatch Ice Haus.

The Patriots (31-8-1), who were in the final for the first time in program history, become the first Capital Hockey Conference squad to win the league championship, the Blue Jackets Cup and a District title.

Oja, who assisted on a power-play goal by Noah Allmaras to give Liberty a 1-0 lead in the opening period, played the role of hero after receiving a pass from Ethan Hollingsworth early in the second OT. Surrounded by a slew of other players just feet from the goal, Oja flicked the puck past Jerome (32-7-1) goalie Josh Howell to seal the win and send Liberty to the state Final Four and a matchup against the winner of the Sylvania District March 12 at Nationwide Arena.

The Celtics made things tough on the Patriots when Joe Davison tied things in the second, but Chris Bergamesca helped Liberty regain the lead with a tally at the 6:50 mark of the period.

Alex Cathis made it a 2-2 game with seven minutes to go in regulation, setting up the thrilling finish.

Liberty goaltender Eddie Arcy stopped 30 shots in the win while Howell made 29 saves for Jerome.