Jackson Polar Bear Hockey: My Site News

Thursday, December 18
Jackson Tops North Royalton 6-2



Jackson won the battle of the Bears at Center Ice Wednesday night.  Alex Dent put Jackson on the board first with a goal at 9:17 in the first period, assisted by Clayton Evans and Zach Blumer.  Robert Dysart drew a penalty on a short-handed break away at 6:13 and then made the penalty shot.  North Royalton scored at 1:16 to make it 2-1.  Jackson added three more in the second period.  Blumer scored at 13:40, assisted by Tristan Browne.  Zach Wilson scored at 7:28, assisted by Blumer.  And, Evans scored at 3:39, assisted by Dent and Matt Mayle.  North Royalton got their second goal at 14:04 in the third period. Blumer had Jackson's final goal at 12:59, assisted by Dent.  With the win, Jackson improves to 3-2 in the NCHSHL.

The Polar Bears travel to Wooster on Sunday.  The puck drops at 5:30. 



Sunday, December 14
Bears Lose 2-1 to Riverside



The Bears lost another close game at home Sunday.  Riverside scored first at 12:19 in the first period.  A Jackson goal by Robert Dysart, assisted by Matt Pollock and Matt Mayle, at 2:25 tied it up.  Riverside scored again with just 11 seconds to go in the second to pull ahead 2-1.  Both teams were scoreless in the third. The Bears drop to 2-2 in the NCHSHL.

North Royalton comes to town on Wednesday.  The puck drops at 7:10.   



Sunday, December 7
Bears Come Up Short Against Medina



Three unanswered goals in the third period weren't enough to catch Medina as Jackson suffered its first loss of the season 5-4 on Sunday at Center Ice.

Jackson struck first on a goal by Zach Blumer, assisted by Ricky Miller, at 10:58 in the first period.  Medina answered less than 30 seconds later.  A pair of power-play goals late in the period put Medina up 3-1.  Medina added two more in the second to lead 5-1.  The Bears rallied back in the third.  Alex Dent scored at 7:04, assisted by Clayton Evans.  EJ Martzolf added another at 4:51, assisted by Matt Mayle.  The Bears went with six skaters on a power play and Dent scored again at 2:27, assisted by Martzolf.  But, time ran out with the Bears still down by one.

Jackson is now 2-1.  The Bears host Riverside on Sunday morning.  The puck drops at 11:00. 



Saturday, December 6
Bears Roll to 9-1 Victory in Exhibition Game at Ohio City



Clayton Evans and Zach Blumer with 2 goals and an assist each and Michael Mayle with a goal and 4 assists led Jackson scorers in a lopsided victory over league newcomer Ohio City on Saturday.

The Bears host Medina on Sunday.  The puck drops at 3:40. 



Wednesday, December 3
Bears Come Out On Top In Home Opener



The Bears outlasted Wooster to win their home-opener 4-3 Wednesday night.  The first period was all Jackson.  Zach Blumer got the Bears' scoring started with a goal at 12:06, assisted by the Mayle brothers, Michael and Matt.  Robert Dysart added two more, the first unassisted at 5:48 and the second at 1:21, assisted by Ricky Miller.  Wooster scored the only goal of the second period.  The Bears went up 4-1 at 11:18 in the third on a goal by Matt Pollock, assisted by Dysart. Successive penalties had Jackson a man down and Wooster took advantage with back-to-back power play goals with eight minutes to go.  Wooster pulled their goalie in the final minute but was unable to score.   

The Bears are now 2-0.  They travel to Brooklyn on Saturday to face Ohio City and host Medina on Sunday.



Sunday, November 30
Start of The 2014-15 Season



The Defending Buckeye Cup Champion Polar Bears kicked off their 2014-15 season with a 4-1 North Coast Hockey League victory at Fremont Sunday. Alex Dent scored the first of his two goals at 7:19 of the first period, assisted by Zachary Blumer. Fremont tied it up with a power play goal at 10:38 in the second. Jackson answered with two more goals in the second to take the lead for good. Dent scored a powerplay goal at 7:43, assisted by the Mayle brothers, Michael & Matt. Clayton Evans also scored on a powerplay at 1:45, assited by Dent and Blumer. An empty-netter by EJ Martzolf with :53 seconds to go in the final period sealed the win. He was assisted by Matt Pollock and Robert Dysart. Goalie Andrew Saltarelli had 24 saves. Jackson outshot Fremont 45 to 25.

Jackson faces Wooster this Wednesday in their home opener at Center Ice. The puck drops at 7:10. 



Tuesday, September 4
2011-12 Season
2012 Buckeye Cup State Playoff Tournament

Come watch the NCHSHL Champion Jackson Polar Bears compete in the 2012 Buckeye Cup in Columbus. (Additional NCHSHL qualifiers are the Fremont Ice Wolves, the Medina Bees, and the North Royalton Bears)

Jackson's Preliminary Games:

3/9/12 Jackson 9 - Northeast Storm 2

The Polar Bears bested by Northeast Storm by a score of 9 to 2 and took all 5 game points. The Polar Bears were sparked by Adam Fratczak's 5 goal performance and a Matt McGervey hat trick. Aaron Stover rounded out the scoring with a single tally. Geoff Saltarelli was solid in the net in the win.

3/10/12 Jackson 5 - Butler County 2

The Polar Bears beat the Butler County 5 to 2 and took 4-1/2 game points. Nolan Jones, Colby Hart and Matt McGervey lit the lamp to keep the Polar Bears on the winning streak. Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli secured his second win of the tournament.

3/10/12 5:00 PM vs Westerville at the Chiller North

Semi-Finals:

3/11/12 8:00 AM/10:00AM at the Chiller North

Championship:

3/11/12 4:00 PM at the Chiller North

Good Luck Bears!!!!

2012 North Coast HS Hockey League Champions!!

2/25 – 3/4/12 NCHSHL Playoffs

The Polar Bears entered the tournament as the 2nd seed due to the lone regular season loss to Fremont. The playoffs were all held at Hoover Arena in Strongsville.

2/25/12 – Jackson 8 – VASJ 2

The first game in the bracket pitted the Polar Bears against VASJ. Brandon Loader walked in from the point and deked to score a power play goal with an assist to Paul Wischt just 3 minutes into the game. Brandon scored his second goal not 3 minutes later with a seeing-eye goal to the top left, this one assisted by Beau Dent. Nolan Jones finished up the 1st period scoring with a tip in started by Colby Hart and Taylor Clendenin to give the Bears a 3-0 lead after the end of the first period. 18 seconds into the 2nd period, Charlie Williams popped one in on a scramble in front of the net with assists to Matt McGervey and Eric Jones for a 4 goal lead. VASJ scored with 7 minutes left in the 2nd, however, Beau Dent blocked a shot in our end on a 3 on 4 PK, skated down the length of the ice and deked and scored an unassisted short-handed goal with 2:21 left in the 2nd period. One minute into the final period showed Austin Ahbe tipping in a perfect feed from Beau Dent with the second assist to Adam Montague for another short-handed goal to give a 6-1 lead in the game. VASJ was not finished, scoring again with 9 minutes left in the game. Beau Dent answered again, tipping in a rebound from a Brandon Loader blast with the second assist to Colin McDevitt with 8 minutes remaining. Charlie Williams finished out the scoring 30 seconds later with a toe-drag fake burying his second goal of the game with assists to Austin Ahbe and Nick Barbieri. Goaltenders Geoff Saltarelli and Alex Bailey shared duties and stopped 13 of 15 shots while the Polar Bears threw 51 shots at VASJ. The win keeps us in the winners bracket for a match against our friends from Medina tomorrow night.

2/26/12 – Jackson 5 – Medina 2

The 2nd round of the playoffs gets a little tougher with the Polar Bears facing off against the Medina Bees. Both teams traded shots until 6:23 remaining in the first, when Nick Barbieri shot a blast from the point into the back of the net with assists to Eric Jones and Adam Montague. The 1-0 lead was all the Bears could muster up on 9 shots at the opposing goaler. The Bears finally solved the opposing netminder with Matt McGervey putting in a rebound of a blast from Taylor Clendenin with second assist to Austin Ahbe just 2 minutes into the 2nd period. With 5 minutes left in the period, Nolan Jones skated it from center ice, through both defensemen and scored with assists to Paul Wischt and Colby Hart. Adam Fratczak scored 40 seconds later, carrying it in past both defenders with an assist to Brandon Loader. So the Bears take a 4-0 lead into the locker room for the ice cut. Medina rallied in the 3rd period, scoring with 8:50 remaining, then scoring again with 7:52 remaining in the game. The precarious 4-2 lead showcased multiple, spectacular saves by goaltender Geoff Saltarelli. Captain Alex Shepley calmed everyone’s anxieties scoring an empty net goal on a blast from outside our blue line with 16 seconds remaining in the game. Geoff stopped 26 of 28 in the win while the Bears fired 32 at Medina. The win keeps us in the winner’s bracket with a rematch against Fremont.

3/1/12 – Jackson 4 – Fremont 1

Finally, a chance to avenge the lone stain on a perfect league record… the loss to Fremont (in Fremont). And also, finally, a chance to meet them on neutral ice. The first period was tilted toward the Polar Bears, with the Polar Bears firing a dozen shots on goal and allowing only 4 shots through to Geoff Saltarelli. The second period was more of the same, until Aaron Stover backhanded a shot in with assists to Brandon Loader and Adam Fratczak with 12:43 left in the 2nd. Then, with 2:37 remaining in the 2nd, Austin Ahbe scored off his chest with assists to Eric Jones and Alex Shepley for a 2-0 lead. The lead was short-lived as Fremont battled back and scored with a minute and a half left in the period. That set the stage for a tense 3rd period as a battle was brewing. Alex Shepley blasted a shot from the point to score with assists to Colby Hart and Paul Wischt for a two goal lead with 10:36 remaining. Then Adam Fratczak rounded out the scoring with a top shelf goal from the right side with 6:37 remaining with assists to Aaron Stover and Beau Dent. Geoff Saltarelli was nearly perfect in the win, stopping 14 of 15. Although Fremont was hampered with a short bench, they found the drive to win the consolation bracket for a rematch on Sunday morning.

3/4/12 – Jackson 4 – Fremont 1 - NCHSHL League Championship

Another date with Fremont with the league trophy in the balance… and Fremont was showing battle scars with several more injuries to get back to the Championship. The Bears came out fired up and shot 12 times at the Fremont net in the 1st period, one problem, the Fremont goalie prevailed all 12 times. Finally, with 11:17 remaining in the 2nd, Eric Jones redirected a shot from Adam Montague with an assist to Austin Ahbe gave the Bears a 1-0 lead. And 4 minutes later, Aaron Stover scooped up a rebound, carried it around the goaler and deposited it in the empty net with assists to Matt McGervey and Colin McDevitt for a 2-0 lead. The Bears took the 2-0 lead into the locker room for the ice cut. If you thought that Fremont was done, think again… they scored to bring the game to 2-1 with 9:20 remaining. Alex Shepley knew it wasn’t over and scored on a blast from the point on a power play with assists to Paul Wischt and Colby Hart with 8:03 remaining. Then Beau Dent followed with a goal assisted by Aaron Stover and Brandon Loader with 7:07 remaining for a 4-1 lead. Then Eric Jones rounded out the scoring popping in a rebound with assists to Austin Ahbe and Matt McGervey with 2:32 remaining. Geoff Saltarelli was again nearly perfect, stopping 11 of 12 in the win. The Bears paraded the trophy around the ice and stopped for pictures, knowing full well the real goal in the back of their minds is next week in Columbus at the playoffs at the Buckeye Cup State Tournament.

1/14-15/12 Jeff Musat Memorial Hockey Tournament

1/14/12 –Jackson vs. VASJ Vikings, Eastwood vs. North Royalton, VASJ Vikings vs. Eastwood

The Polar Bears hosted the tournament at Center Ice, seeking to defend their title from the past two years. The round-robin style tournament featured the Polar Bears, the VASJ Vikings from Euclid, the Eastwood Eagles from Toledo, and the North Royalton Bears from the NCHSHL. A point is awarded for each period and two points for the game for a total of 5 points per game.

The opening game of the tournament saw the Jackson Polar Bears skate against the VASJ Vikings. Matt McGervey backhanded a rebound of an Eric Jones shot with Alex Shepley also assisting with 12:20 left in the first period. Alex Shepley rounded out the scoring in the first with a goal assisted by Matt McGervey and Blake Youngblood with 4 minute left in the first.

The second period scoring started with Paul Wischt scoring 1 minute into the period with assists to Youngblood and Evan Fenstemaker. Nolan Jones followed 2 minutes later with a goal off the right post with assists to Shepley and Colby Hart. Three minutes later Adam Fratczak went high blocker side on a backhand for an unassisted goal. Then with 6:28 remaining in the period, Youngblood buried a one-timer from the slot on a feed from Beau Dent on a penalty kill. With 4:21 remaining in the period Fratczak scored again tapping in a pass from Austin Ahbe. Then Colby Hart scored a buzzer beater with 3 seconds remaining in the period, set up by Taylor Clendenin skating the puck through the entire team on a power play. With all this scoring, we can just mail in the results and take all 5 points?

That is what the Polar Bears thought, getting only 3 shots in a tense period. Then with less than a minute remaining, Fratczak skated down the left wing and buried it in the upper right on a feed from Shepley and Geoff Saltarelli back in our end. Alex Shepley received game MVP honors in the 4 point performance as the Polar Bears won 9 – 0 and took all 5 points with the solid goaltending and assist from Geoff Saltarelli (stopped all 9 shots in the shutout).

The second game of the tournament saw North Royalton best Eastwood by a score or 4 to 3 with North Royalton getting 4 points and Eastwood getting 1 point. This single point will make a difference late in the tourney.

In the third game of the tournament, Eastwood defeated the VASJ Vikings by a score of 5 to 2 with Eastwood taking all 5 points.

1/15/12 –Eastwood vs. Jackson, North Royalton vs. VASJ Vikings, Jackson vs. North Royalton

The Polar Bears faced off against Eastwood for the first game of the day. Nolan Jones started the scoring popping in a rebound with assists to Brandon Loader and Paul Wischt just 20 seconds into the game. That was the only score of the period. Adam Fratczak went top shelf short side on a give-and-go with Austin Ahbe and Beau Dent with 8:30 remaining in the second. Then Beau Dent went dipsy-doodle on a fake and go to the stick side with assists to Fratczak and Ahbe with 7:42 remaining in the period. Eric Jones scored the lone goal of the third period with assists to Nolan Jones and Adam Montague. The Polar Bears again took all 5 points in winning 4 to 0. He shutout was secured by Geoff Saltarelli (2nd shutout in as many days, stopping all 15 shots).

North Royalton shut out the VASJ Vikings 7 to 0 in taking all 5 points. With Jackson at 10 points and North Royalton at 9, the final game is winner take all!

The Polar Bears faced off against North Royalton in the final game with North Royalton drawing first blood on the power play with 4:35 left in the first. Beau Dent scored the lone goal of the second period (no he didn’t swim) with assists to Adam Fratczak and Alex Shepley. MVP Geoff Saltarelli was solid in the pipes stopping 11 of 12 in the 2-2 tie, and razor thin tournament victory.

Final Results:

1st Place: Jackson – 12 ½ points

2nd Place: N. Royalton – 11 ½ points

3rd Place: Eastwoood – 6 points

1/8/2012 – Jackson 7 – Wooster 1

The Wooster Generals hosted Polar Bears for an NCHSHL league match. The Polar Bears scored first with Matt McGervey sniping the top shelf with assists to Aaron Stover and Alex Shepley with 7:07 left in the first period. Eric Jones buried a short-handed goal with an assist to Matt Mayle to give the Polar Bears a 2-0 lead after the first period. Wooster scored a power play goal to cut the lead in half at the start of the second period. From there on out, it was all Polar Bears with Aaron Stover scoring with assists to Austin Ahbe and Matt McGervey. Then Eric Jones scored an unassisted goal. Aaron Stover scored the last goal of the second period with assists to Austin Ahbe and Matt McGervey to give the Bears a 5-1 lead. The third period showcased Colby Hart on a breakaway, beating the goalie to the top right on a penalty kill. Before the game was over, Blake Youngblood to the top left with assists to Alex Dent and Eric Jones. Geoff Saltarelli was nearly perfect, stopping 29 of 30 attempts by the Generals. The win improves the Polar Bears league record to 4-0.

1/7/2012 – Westlake 0 - Jackson 4

The Polar Bears hosted the Westlake Demons at Center Ice for a non-league match. The festivities included Senior Recognition for the seniors on the team. Seniors Aaron Stover, Paul Wischt, Matt McGervey, Nolan Jones, Taylor Clendenin, Colby Hart, and Alex Shepley and all their parents were honored at center ice. The night was also the First Annual “Pink the Rink” night hosted by the Jackson Local Schools Interact Club which raised awareness for breast cancer. The Polar Bears played in special pink jerseys that, according to more than one parent, had a “calming effect” on the Polar Bears. The Polar Bears set a “Lady Byng” record in receiving only one minor penalty for the entire game. Now to the play-by-play…

The game started slowly with the Demons netminder stoning the Polar Bears, saving all 16 shots fired at him in the first period. Senior Colby Hart was the first to crack the goaler, burying a rebound of a Senior Nolan Jones shot off a pass from Senior Paul Wischt with 8:38 remaining in the second period. Next was Adam Montague scoring on the blocker side off a Senior Matt McGervey centering pass that was started off by Senior Alex Shepley with 6:04 left in the second. Then with 3:54 remaining in the second, Senior Matt McGervey scored from the slot off a feed from Senior Aaron Stover. The Bears rounded out the scoring with 2:16 remaining in the second period with Adam Fratczak burying a rebound of a Senior Aaron Stover shot with a second assist to Senior Alex Shepley.

Polar Bear goaltending was stellar again recording the fifth shutout of the year in a combined effort with Geoff Saltarelli (first two periods) and Alex Bailey (final stanza).

Click here to go to the "Pink the Rink" website.

1/4/2012 – North Royalton 2 - Jackson 4

The Polar Bears hosted the North Royalton Bears at Center Ice for an NCHSHL league match. The Polar Bears played catch-up in the first two periods. Adam Fratczak went top shelf with assists to Colin McDevitt and Aaron Stover to knot the game at one in the first on a shortie. Beau Dent beat the goalie on the short side to tie the game at two after the second. Aaron Stover scored the go-ahead goal in the third, tapping in a rebound with assists to Fratczak and Matt McGervey. Then Adam Fratczak got the insurance goal with 3 minutes remaining, top shelf again, with an assist to Nick Barbieri. Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli got the win, saving 20 of 22, while the Polar Bears threw 39 shots at the opposing goaler. The Polar Bears record in league is perfect at 3-0, and their overall record is 16-3-1 for a 0.800 winning percentage.

Cleveland Heights Holiday Tournament 12/27 - 29/2011

The Polar Bears travelled to Cleveland Heights to participate in the Cleveland Heights Holiday Tournament. The Bears were without several regulars due to Christmas vacations.

12/27/11 Jackson 6 - Elyria Catholic 7

After an early EC goal, a Charlie Williams wrap-around assisted by Alex Dent knotted the game at 1 each. Then late in the first period, a goal by Matt McGervey with assists to Beau Dent and Aaron Stover followed by a Beau Dent tally assisted by McGervey and Stover gave the Bears a 3-1 lead. Second period penalty problems gave EC 3 unanswered power play goals to lead 4-3. However, tallies by Paul Wischt with assists from Colby Hart and Nolan Jones then Nolan Jones from Hart and Wischt within 20 seconds put the Bears up 5-4. A final tally by EC in the second period tied the game at 5. Goaltender Alex Bailey kept the Bears in it saving all 9 shots in the third (for 27 saves on 33 shots), however, with no third period scoring, the game went to a shootout. A single score in the shoot-out by Matt McGervey was not enough to win the match and the Bears were relegated to the consolation bracket.

12/28/11 Jackson 7 - Cleveland Heights 3

Austin Ahbe drew first blood scoring 6 minutes into the game with an assist to Beau Dent. After two Heights goals, Matt Mayle evened the score with Brandon Loader’s assist to end the first period tied at 2. Polar Bear tallies by Paul Wischt (assisted by Nolan Jones and Colby Hart) and Beau Dent (assisted by Matt McGervey and Austin Ahbe), both goals in the last minute of the second period gave the Bears a 4-2 lead. A score 30 seconds into the third period by Logan Clendenin (assisted by Alex Dent and Charlie Williams) was matched by Heights a minute later. But Adam Montague got into the action, scoring with a helper by Connor Danish, then Nolan Jones scored the final goal with 6 minutes left in the game. Netminder Alex Bailey stopped 11 of 14 in the win.

12/29/11 Jackson 5 - VASJ Vikings 0

The Bears shut-out the Vikings to take the Consolation Championship of the Tournament. Scoring was started in the first period with a blast from the point by Evan Fenstemaker with the assist from Paul Wischt. The Bears followed up with a power play goal by Paul Wischt with assists from Colby Hart and Aaron Stover. In the second period, the same line connected again with Aaron Stover scoring and Wischt and Hart assisting. This was followed by a short-handed, unassisted tally by Brandon Loader. The third period featured a Matt McGervey goal to seal the win with assists going to Beau Dent and Loader. Alex Bailey was solid between the pipes stopping all 7 attempts to record the Bears fourth shutout of the year. The trophy was hoisted and the Bears skated off the ice to celebrate.

12/21/2011 – Jackson 9 – Hoover Vikings 1

The Polar Bears faced the Hoover Vikings, a perennial foe, for local bragging rights. The Vikings drew first blood with a top shelf goal past netminder Geoff Saltarelli and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. Although several Polar Bear parents questioned whether or not the goal was inside the pipes, it showed on the scoreboard anyways.

The 15 minute talk by the coaches must have inspired the Bears as they scored 9 unanswered goals in the second and third periods. The scoring was started with 12:29 remaining in the period with Eric Jones burying one assisted by Logan Clendenin and Matt McGervey. 22 seconds later Nolan Jones scored with assists to Austin Ahbe and Brandon Loader. Then 27 seconds later Adam Fratczak scored an unassisted goal. With 6 minutes to go in the second, Evan Fenstemaker scored from point on a pass from Colby Hart. Then with 8 seconds remaining in the period, Colby Hart scored with assists to Matt McGervey and Nolan Jones to take the 5-1 lead for another break. (Mr. Danish won the large chuck-a-puck payout with an undisputed toss inches from the target, way to go Bob!)

The third period was also tilted away from the Bears end starting with a score by Logan Clendenin assisted by McGervey and E.Jones with 12 minutes to go. Nolan Jones popped his second goal in with assists to Paul Wischt and Hart with 6:39 remaining. Then Matt McGervey scored, assisted by E. Jones. Adam Fratczak rounded out the scoring with an unassisted powerplay goal with 1:48 remaining for his second of the game. Netminder Geoff Saltarelli turned back 15 of 16 shots in the victory and gave the Polar Bears a 7-4 lifetime series lead over the Vikings.

12/18/2011 – Ft. LeBoeuf 3 – Jackson 7

The Polar Bears hosted the Ft. LeBoeuf Bisons from Erie, Pa at home at Center Ice. The Bears started slowly and found themselves trailing by a goal until Paul Wischt evened the score with 4:11 left in first, assisted by Nolan Jones and Colin McDevitt. Adam Fratczak put the Bears up 2-1 with a power play goal assisted by Nick Barbieri with 3 minutes left in the first period. The second period saw back and forth action until Brandon Loader lit the light with 1:14 remaining, assisted by Fratczak. Brandon Loader wasn’t done (2/3 of a natural hatty), scoring again 1 minute into the final stanza with assists to Nolan Jones and Colby Hart. Ft. LeBoeuf scored a goal that Beau Dent countered 18 seconds later with assists to Blake Youngblood and brother Alex Dent. After another Bisons goal, Eric Jones scored on a bang-bang play with assists to N. Jones and Paul Wischt. Then Blake Youngblood finished the scoring on an unassisted goal with 4 minutes remaining. The solid goaltending of Alex Bailey (9 of 10) and Andrew Saltarelli (9 of 11) sealed the win.

12/17/2011 – Jackson 7 – Rocky River 0

The Bears sledded up to Rocky River on a snowy night to face the Rocky River Buccaneers in a NCHSHL league match. The Buccaneers couldn’t handle the heat as the Bears shot on net 54 times in the game. First period goals were scored by Nolan Jones (Taylor Clendenin and Paul Wischt assisting) and Austin Ahbe (Beau Dent and Eric Jones assisting). Second period goals were scored by Eric Jones (Austin Ahbe and Beau Dent assisting) and Adam Montague (Nick Barbieri and Connor Danish assisting). Third period goals were scored by Aaron Stover (Brandon Loader and Adam Fratczak assisting), N. Jones again (Wischt and Colby Hart assisting) and Beau Dent (Alex Shepley assisting). Netminder Geoff Saltarelli was perfect, saving 13 of 13 for his third shutout of the year, giving the Bears a perfect 2-0 league record.

Columbus Overnight Away Weekend 12/10 - 11/2011

The Polar Bears travelled to Columbus to play 3 of the Columbus club hockey teams that they are likely to meet in this year’s Buckeye Cup.

12/10/11 Jackson 2 – Newark 1 In a “Thriller at the Chiller”, the Polar Bears faced off against the Newark Generals. Newark scored just 1:12 into the game and held the lead into the second period. A minute and a half into the second period, Matt McGervey evened things up with a powerplay goal assisted by Adam Fratczak. The game stayed tied at one each deep into the third period. With 1:50 remaining in the game, Nolan Jones streaked down the left wing and fired a blast to the upper right corner that rang the pipes throughout the arena. The referee signaled GOAL even though fans and players alike were not sure if it crossed the line. However, it is recorded as a shorthanded goal and the stingy netminding of goaltender Geoff Saltarelli secured the razor-thin victory in saving 21 of 22 shots.

12/11/11 Jackson 6 – Westerville 3 The next morning, the Polar Bears face the Westerville Warcats at the Columbus Fairgrounds Arena. The first period was tilted heavily toward the Bears with the Bears outshooting the Warcats 7 to 1 in the period. The seven shots produced 2 goals, the first by Adam Fratczak with an assist to Alex Shepley and the second by Colby Hart with an assist to Adam Fratczak. The second period was pretty evenly matched with each side getting 9 shots and each scoring two goals. Second period goals by Eric Jones (unassisted) and Adam Fratczak (assisted by Austin Ahbe) had the Polar Bears up 4-2. The third period was also pretty even with the Polar Bears scoring 2 while the Warcats could only get 1. Third period goals were scored by Evan Fenstemaker (assisted by Matt McGervey and Taylor Clendenin) and Paul Wischt (assisted by Nolan Jones). Netminder Geoff Saltarelli stopped 14 of 17 shots in securing the win.

12/11/11 Jackson 7 – Northeast Storm 2

The Polar Bears faced the Northeast Storm in the nightcap at the Columbus Fairgrounds Arena. The Polar Bears didn’t show any fatigue in scoring 3 goals in the first period. The first goal was scored by Adam Fratczak with assists to Nolan Jones and Paul Wischt. The second goal was on a power play, scored by Austin Ahbe with an assist to Nick Barbieri. The third goal had Paul Wischt tipping a blast from Blake Youngblood into the net to take a 3-1 lead in the game. The second period had the Bears scoring two unanswered goals, the first by Aaron Stover with assists to Alex Dent and Nick Barbieri and the second on the power play scored by Nolan Jones with assists to Paul Wischt and Matt Mayle. In the third period, Nolan Jones scored his second goal (unassisted) and Austin Ahbe scoring his second goal with assists to Brandon Loader and Beau Dent, while the Storm could only muster up a single tally. A combination of Alex Bailey and Andrew Saltarelli stopped 25 of 27 in the win.

2011-12 Season...



Wednesday, May 25
2010-11 2nd Half

3/20 Alumni Game

The Polar Bears celebrated their 9th Annual Alumni Game Sunday with great competition between players, parents, alumni & friends - it was an awesme conclusion to a wonderful season... 

Buckeye Cup State Championship – 3/11/11 to 3/13/11  

3/11/11 Jackson 6 – Bellbrook 1 

The Polar Bears hosted the state playoffs at Center Ice and Wooster Alice Noble Arena.  The Polar Bears faced off against Bellbrook at Center Ice Arena.  Alex Shepley opened the scoring with a power play goal with 10:15 remaining in the first period with an assist to Brad Ahbe.  There was no more scoring until Kevin Marsh took an interference penalty in the second period.  Bellbrook probably would have rather not taken that penalty, as the Polar Bears scored two short-handed goals.  The first was scored by Colby Hart with assists to Paul Wischt and Nick Barbieri, and the second was scored 25 seconds later by Nolan Jones, assisted by Dylan Loader.  The Polar Bears power play yielded another goal with 13:16 remaining in the game when Tyler Houmard scored, assisted by Alex Shepley.  Bellbrook finally scored with 9 minutes remaining in the game, however the Polar Bears scored twice with less than two minutes remaining.  Brad Ahbe scored an unassisted goal with 1:44 remaining, and Nolan Jones scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Alex Shepley with 58 seconds remaining.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli was solid between the pipes, stopping 13 of 14 shots in the win. 

3/12/11 Jackson 4 – Hilliard 3 

The Polar Bears faced Hilliard in the second game of the state playoffs at Center Ice Arena.  Hilliard scored the lone goal of the first period to lead 1 – 0 after the 1st.  Beau Dent evened the score with 11:50 remaining in the second period, assisted by Brad Ahbe.  Hilliard then scored two goals in the 2nd period to take a 3 – 1 lead into the locker room during the ice cut.  After a talk from Coach Bill Houmard between periods, the Polar Bears came out and scored three unanswered goals in the third period.  Brad Ahbe started the third period rally, scoring with 9:55 remaining, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Eric Jones.  Eric Jones scored 13 seconds later, with assists to Tyler Houmard and Brad Ahbe.  Austin Ahbe scored the game winner with 4:45 remaining, assisted by Alex Shepley and Tyler Houmard.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli saved 15 of 19 shots in the win. 

3/12/11 Jackson 7 – Butler County 1 

The Polar Bears faced Butler County in the third game of the state playoffs at Center Ice Arena.  Colby Hart opened the scoring with 13:13 left in the 1st period, assisted by Paul Wischt and Brandon Loader.  Brad Ahbe scored with 5:54 remaining in the 1st, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Eric Jones.  Eric Jones scored 10 seconds later, with assists to Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard.  Butler County scored their lone goal of the game with 4 minutes remaining in the first period, then Eric Jones scored again with 50 seconds left in the period, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard to take a 4 – 1 lead after the 1st period.  The second period saw one Polar Bear scored, with Matt McGervey scoring with assists to Taylor Clendenin and Nolan Jones.  The 3rd period scoring was started by Nick Barbieri on a power play with assists to Matt McGervey and Paul Wischt.  The final goal of the game was scored by Eric Jones (hat-trick), with assists going to Tyler Houmard and Brad Ahbe.  Geoff Saltarelli saved 11 of 12 in the win, and the 3 wins in the preliminary round puts the Polar Bears and the State Semifinals. 

3/13/11  Jackson 1 – NE Storm 2 

In the State Semi-final, the Jackson Polar Bears faced the NE Storm from Columbus.  In an evenly matched game, there was no scoring in the first period.  The NE Storm scored first in the second period with 10:12 remaining.  However, Tyler Houmard evened things up with 9:44 remaining, scoring with assists to Brad Ahbe and Beau Dent.  The NE Storm scored again with 4:26 remaining in the game.  The Polar Bears could even the game in the final four minutes and lost the game 2-1.  Geoff Saltarelli saved 17 of 19 shots, while the Polar Bears shot 27 at the opposing netminder. 

The 3 – 1 record in the Buckeye Cup gives the Polar Bears 3rd PLACE IN THE STATE and brings the Polar Bear’s record to 28 – 9 – 2.

 

The Polar Bears have emerged from the preliminary round of the Buckeye Cup with the 2nd seed in the Championship Round on Sunday. The Bears will square off against NE Storm at 10am, following the Newark/Medina game.    Go Bears!!

 

NCHSHL Playoffs 2nd Weekend – 3/3/11 to 3/6/11 3/3/11  Jackson 1 – Medina 3 

Jackson faced perennial foe Medina on Thursday night in Strongsville.  The Polar Bears scored with 22 seconds remaining in the 1st period with Brad Ahbe scoring, assisted by Tyler Houmard.  Medina scored twice in the 2nd period, at 11:20 and 2:44 remaining.  The Polar Bears tried to even it up in the third period, but could not put the puck in the net.  Medina scored an empty netter on a power play with 47 seconds remaining to win the game 3 – 1 and put the Polar Bears into the loser’s bracket.  Geoff Saltarelli saved 24 of 26 shots while the Polar Bears fired 15 shots at Medina. 

3/5/11  Jackson 3 – Riverside 1 

Jackson faced Riverside at Hoover Ice Arena in Strongsville.  Riverside scored first with 11:26 remaining in the 1st period.  The Polar Bears evened it up less than 3 minutes later with Colby Hart scoring with Beau Dent assisting.  Colby Hart struck again for his second goal of the game with 1:26 remaining in the 1st period, scoring with assists going to Beau Dent and Alex Shepley.  After a scoreless 2nd period, Tyler Houmard scored the lone goal in the third period with 3:26 remaining for a 3 – 1 Polar Bear victory.  Geoff Saltarelli stopped 15 of 16, while the Polar Bears had 29 shots.  The victory gives the Polar Bears a chance to win the tournament, however, they must beat Medina twice tomorrow to do that. 

3/6/11 Jackson 6 – Medina 2 

Jackson faced Medina at Hoover Ice Arena in Strongsville.  The Polar Bears were in a do or die game, needing to beat Medina twice to take the NCHSHL Playoff Championship.  The Polar Bears were fired up and Beau Dent opened the scoring with 8:06 remaining in the 1st, with assists to Paul Wischt and Colby Hart.  Eric Jones scored with 9:24 remaining in the 2nd, assisted by Alex Shepley and Brad Ahbe on a power play.  Medina brought the game closer, scoring with 3:21 remaining in the 2nd.  However, Taylor Clendenin put the Bears up by two, scoring with 2:46 remaining in the 2nd, assisted by Brad Ahbe on a power play.  The third period was also tilted toward the Polar Bears, with Jackson scoring 3 times.  Eric Jones scored just 30 seconds into the period, with assists to Tyler Houmard and Brad Ahbe.  Alex Shepley scored with 10:18 remaining in the game, assisted by Eric Jones and Brad Ahbe.  Tyler Houmard scored with 7:49 remaining in the game, assisted by Nolan Jones.  Medina could only muster up a power play goal with 5 minutes remaining, with the Polar Bears forcing a deciding game in the afternoon by winning 6 – 2.  Geoff Saltarelli was stellar, saving 21 of 23, while the Polar Bears shot 27 shots on Medina. 

3/6/11  Jackson 2 – Medina 3 

Jackson faced off against Medina for the championship game of the playoffs at Strongsville Arena.  The game was evenly matched with no one scoring in the first period.  Medina scored with 13:40 remaining in the 2nd period and stretched the lead to 2, scoring again with 9:19 remaining in the 2nd.  Brad Ahbe scored the first Polar Bear goal, with 2:46 remaining in the 2nd, assisted by Dylan Loader.  The Polar Bears evened it up in the 3rd period, with Paul Wischt scoring, assisted by Brandon Loader and Taylor Clendenin.  The Polar Bears tried everything they could in the final period, but could not get another puck past the Medina netminder.  Medina scored a power play goal with 1:57 left in the game to win 3 – 2.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli stopped 16 of 19 shots while the Bears shot 31 at the opposing team. The loss in the championship gives the Polar Bears 2nd place in the tournament, and with the 1st place in the regular season, give us the #1 seed going into the Buckeye Cup State Championship.  It also brings the Polar Bear record to 25 – 8 – 2 for the season.

 

NCHSHL Playoffs 1st Weekend – 2/26/11 to 2/27/11 2/26/11  Jackson 10 – Rocky River 0 

Seeking to avenge the loss in the tournament of the previous weekend, the Polar Bears wanted to make a statement against Rocky River in the first round of the playoffs.  Paul Wischt opened the scoring with 9 minutes left in the first with a shot off the back of the goalie from behind the net with Beau Dent assisting.  A minute and a half later, Beau Dent chipped it to Matt McGervey in our end and Matt scored on a wrister to the glove side.  Then 24 seconds later, Brad Ahbe stole the puck on their blue line, walked in and scored on the top shelf.  Tyler Houmard scored on a low shot on a power play with assists to Brad Ahbe and Alex Shepley to finish out the first period scoring for a 4-0 lead.  The second period got started by a Brad Ahbe top shelf goal with 10:23 remaining in the 2nd with assists to Eric Jones and Alex Shepley.  Then 43 seconds later Alex Shepley scored a power play goal with assists to Tyler Houmard and Matt McGervey.  With 7 minutes left in the 2nd, Eric Jones pounded in a Tyler Houmard rebound with another assist to Brad Ahbe.  Then Brandon Loader scored a power play goal with 5 minutes left in the period and assisting were Eric Jones and Paul Wischt.  The Polar Bears took an 8-0 lead into the locker room for an ice cut and some coaching strategizing.  One minute into the final period Brad Ahbe scored on an end-to-end rush and deke with Taylor Clendenin assisting was followed by a Tyler Houmard goal 30 seconds later with the assist to Brad Ahbe.  The shots were lopsided with the Polar Bears outshooting Rocky River 35 to 7.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli was stingy saving all 7 shots for his 4th shutout of the year. 

2/27/11 Jackson 5 – North Royalton 4 

The Polar Bears faced off against North Royalton in the second round of the tournament.  North Royalton drew first blood scoring on a wrap-around with 11:30 left in the 1st.  Tyler Houmard evened it up skating all around the net with a shot from the deep slot, assisted by Eric Jones and Alex Shepley.  Then with 1:30 left in the 1st, Colby Hart went end-to-end on a breakaway and faked out the goalie with a deke to the glove side for an unassisted goal and a 2 to 1 lead after the 1st.  The 2nd period was brutal on the fans with North Royalton scoring 3 unanswered goals.  Then Brad Ahbe stopped the bleeding by stealing the puck in the neutral zone, deke to backhand to score an unassisted goal to bring the Polar Bears back to 3 to 4 with a minute to go in the 2nd.  Then Colby Hart scored his second goal of the game on a high shot to the glove side with assists to Nolan Jones and Brandon Loader with 12 minutes left in the contest.  Then Tyler Houmard put the Polar Bears up 5 to 4 putting a Brad Ahbe rebound to the back of the net with 8:29 remaining.  Geoff Saltarelli saved 17 of 21 shots and the Polar Bears stayed in the winner’s bracket.  

Vikings Presidents Day Tournament, 2/19 – 2/20/11 

The Polar Bear coaching staff viewed the tournament in Euclid as a time to just play hockey sharing time with all players to have a little fun before the grueling playoff series starting the following weekend.  Ironically, the tournament pitted Jackson against three league rivals: Riverside, Rocky River, and Medina. 

2/19/11  Jackson 9 – Riverside 2 

The Polar Bears scored quickly, just 14 seconds into the game with Eric Jones and Brad Ahbe giving a lead pass to Tyler Houmard who scored from the right wing.  Brad Ahbe scored the second goal with an end-to-end wrister to the top corner started by Alex Shepley back in our end on a power play.  Then Matt McGervey scored 2 power play goals 12 seconds apart, the first assisted by Colby Hart and the second assisted by Brad Ahbe and Alex Shepley.  Before the first period was done, Alex Shepley walked in from the left point and scored from the high slot with an assist to Tyler Houmard and Austin Ahbe.  After an early second period score by Riverside, Paul Wischt scored a working man’s goal from a scrum in front of the net with Beau Dent assisting.  After the second Riverside goal, Eric Jones took matters into his own hands, scoring on a fast break with an assist to Brad Ahbe, then Eric scored again 9 seconds later with assists to Tyler Houmard and Brad Ahbe.  The 3rd period featured a short handed goal by Brad Ahbe assisted by Tyler Houmard.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli saved 33 of 35 shots in the game while the Bears threw 47 shots on the other net. 

2/19/11 Jackson 2 – Rocky River 4 

After a rather large lunch break at Panini’s, the Polar Bears looked noticeably slower in the nightcap.  The Polar Bears could not register a goal in the first period even though they had 32 shots in the first period.  Tyler Houmard scored on a no-angle shot from the right side with the assist to Brad Ahbe with 5 minutes remaining in the second period.  Rocky River evened it up with 4 minutes remaining in the 2nd then went ahead 11 seconds into the 3rd period.  In the final period, Tyler Houmard evened it up scoring on a drop pass from Brad Ahbe with 3:50 remaining in the game.  Rocky River scored with two minutes left, and then on the empty net with 57 seconds remaining to hand the Polar Bears a 2-4 loss.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli saved 15 on 18 shots while the Rocky River goalie turned aside 60 of 62 Polar Bear shots. 

2/20/11 Jackson 2 – Medina 6 

Even with the loss to Rocky River, the Polar Bears were not eliminated from the championship, but needed to win 2 periods and tie a 3rd and with convincingly to make the finale.  In the early morning game, the Polar Bears got on the scoreboard first with 34 seconds remaining in the period with a score by Eric Jones, assisted by Kevin Marsh.  After two Medina goals in the second period, Matt McGervey evened it up on a goal assisted by Brad Ahbe.  Medina went ahead for good with 1 minute left in the period and then followed it up with 3 third period goals.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli and Alex Bailey shared duties in the game. After the tournament, the Polar Bear record stands at 21 – 6 – 2.  The Polar Bears look forward to the NCHSHL Playoffs to start next week.  

2/11/11  Jackson 10 – Archbishop Hoban 0 

The Polar Bears traveled to Center Ice for an away game with the Archbishop Hoban Knights, the alma mater and former team for two Polar Bears, Paul Wischt and Connor Danish and former team of Taylor Clendenin and Matt McGervey.  The league mercy rule was invoked two minutes into the final period with a ten goal margin of victory.  The Polar Bears had 40 shots on the net and lit the lamp 10 times.  Brad Ahbe had 4 goals and one assist.  Tyler Houmard had 2 goals and 3 assists.  Matt McGervey scored one goal and 2 assists.  Paul Wischt, Connor Danish and Kevin Marsh also scored a goal in the game.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli had his third shutout of the season (fifth Polar Bear shutout) stopping all 5 shots fired at him.   The victory brings the Polar Bear league record to 10-0-1.  That record is good enough for first place in the league and an automatic berth into the Buckeye Cup State Championship!!  Go Polar Bears!!

2/7/11  Jackson 11 – Mooney/Ursuline 2   

The Polar Bears traveled to Boardman to play the Mooney Ursuline Thunder in a league game.  On a snowy Friday night, several Polar Bears missed the “one-hour early rule” due to the inclement weather.  The Bears also started cold on the ice, giving up a goal on a shot from the point less than 2 minutes into the game.  Taylor Clendenin evened it at one each with 3:34 left in the period when he banged in a rebound on a power play with Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard assisting.  The Thunder struck again with another shot from the point with less than 2 minutes left in the 1st to lead by a goal after the first period. 

The Polar Bears dominated the 2nd period, starting with Paul Wischt pounding in a rebound with assists to Matt McGervey and Kevin Marsh at 9:37 remaining in the 2nd.  Then Matt McGervey scored 21 seconds later on a drop pass in the slot from Paul Wischt.  Then with 7 minutes remaining in the period, Alex Shepley scored a PP goal with assists to Matt McGervey and Brad Ahbe.  This was followed by a score off a face-off when Tyler Houmard picked it up, walked in and buried it, with an assist to the center, Brad Ahbe.   Before the period was out, Taylor Clendenin walked in from the point and scored another power play goal on a rebound, with Matt McGervey and Alex Shepley assisting.  That gave the Polar Bears a comfortable 6 to 2 lead after 2 periods.  And the 5 unanswered goals in the period had several Polar Bear fans hoping for an early finish.   

The final period showcased Tyler Houmard with a score on a fast break on a shot to the low stick side with assists to Eric Jones and Brad Ahbe less than a minute into the period.  This was followed by another Tyler Houmard score on a wrap-around with 9-1/2 minutes left in the game, assisted by Eric Jones and Paul Wischt.  Then Tyler Houmard completed the “natural hatty” by dribbling an unassisted, short-handed snap shot under the goalers pad with 6-1/2 minutes left in the game.  With 3:38 remaining, Colby Hart dug the biscuit out of the corner, walked it in and scored with the assist going to Beau Dent.  Then with 18 seconds remaining, Brad Ahbe carried it around the net and popped it in on the top shelf with assists to Matt McGervey and Paul Wischt.  Netminder Geoff Saltarelli was stingy between the pipes, saving 14 of 16 shots for the win.  Polar Bears had 42 shots.  The 10 unanswered Polar Bear goals were not enough to end the game early, but led to a decisive 11-2 victory and a league record of 9 – 0 – 1.  Coach Bill Houmard wisely invoked a 5 minute rule and hurried the Bears out of the locker room to try to beat the weather home.    

1/30/11  Jackson 3 - Medina 3  

The Polar Bears travelled to Strongsville to play the Medina Bees.  There was no scoring in the first period even though the Polar Bears outshot the Bees 13 to 5.  The Polar Bears got on the scoreboard first when Tyler Houmard put one in on the top shelf half a minute into the 2nd period with assists to Brad Ahbe and Alex Shepley.  The Polar Bears scored again six minutes later on a tic-tac-toe play as Eric Jones put it in the empty net on a finesse passing play from Tyler Houmard and Brad Ahbe. 

What is the most important thing to do when you get a 2 goal lead?  Stay out of the penalty box!  Make the other team beat you, don’t beat yourself.  Well the Polar Bears successfully killed a 5 on 3 short-hander, but before the 5th man could get out of the box, Medina slipped a rebound past netminder Geoff Saltarelli.  And to make matters worse, Medina scored again before the end of the period on another power play.  So it is 2-2 at the end of 2 periods. 

The between period pep talk by Coach Houmard fired up Matt McGervey, as he scored 3 minutes into the 3rd period on a top-shelf wrister from the right wing, assisted by Nick Barbieri.  However, it was another power play goal by Medina with 50 seconds left in the 3rd period that evened the game at 3 goals each.  Both goaltenders shut the door in the 8 minute overtime period with each goalie perfect on 6 shots apiece.  Geoff Saltarelli had 31 saves on 34 shots, while the Polar Bears had 37 shots on Medina.   The tie puts a minor blemish in the Polar Bear league record at 8 – 0 – 1 (overall record 18 – 4 – 2), but assures the Polar Bears first place in the regular season with wins against  Mooney-Ursuline and Archbishop Hoban.  

1/21/11  Jackson 12 – Wooster 2 – Senior Night  

Tonight we honored the Polar Bear Seniors and hosted the Wooster Oilers at Center Ice.  Seniors Kevin Marsh, Dylan Loader, and Brad Ahbe escorted their parents and presented floral arrangements prior to the start of the game.  It didn’t take long for our seniors to get on the scoresheet, with Seniors Brad Ahbe and Kevin Marsh assisting Eric Jones on a goal 35 seconds into the game.  Senior Brad Ahbe scored the second goal, assisted by Senior Dylan Loader and Taylor Clendenin just 3 minutes into the game.  The Polar Bears extended the lead to 4-0 with Eric Jones’ second goal of the game, assisted by Brad Ahbe, and Paul Wischt’s goal, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Colby Hart.  After Wooster scored to make it 4-1, Chris Murphy scored, assisted by Matt McGervey and Nolan Jones and Brad Ahbe scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Nick Barbieri to lead the game 6 to 1 at the end of the first period. 

After an Oilers goal early in the second period, Tyler Houmard scored with an assist to Brad Ahbe.  Then Beau Dent scored twice, the first assisted by Nolan Jones and Taylor Clendenin and second assisted by Colby Hart and Paul Wischt.  Brad Ahbe scored his third goal of the game, assisted by Eric Jones and Taylor Clendenin, but the Polar Bears could not end the game early, as it was 10 to 2 after 2 periods of play.  After an ice cut, Tyler Houmard said “Let’s get this party started early” and scored his second and third goals early in the 3rd period, both assisted by Brad Ahbe and Eric Jones, to invoke the league “mercy rule” with a 10 goal lead in the 3rd period.  Goaltenders Geoff Saltarelli had 4 saves on 5 shots and Alex Bailey had 6 saves on 7 shots in the win.  In case you weren’t counting goals and assists, Senior Brad Ahbe had 3 goals and 5 assists, then had the entire team (plus families) join for a party at the Ahbe residence.  Thanks again to the Ahbe’s.

1/15-16/11 Jeff Musat Memorial Hockey Tournament 

1/15/11 –Eastwood vs. Mooney, Jackson vs. Harborcreek, Harborcreek vs. Eastwood 

The Polar Bears hosted the tournament at Center Ice, seeking to defend their title from last year’s tournament.  The round-robin style tournament featured the Polar Bears, the Eastwood Eagles from Toledo, the Harborcreek Hockey Club from Erie, and the Mooney-Ursuline Thunder (special thanks to the Thunder for filling out the tournament with a late scratch of another team).  A point is awarded for each period and two points for the game for a total of 5 points per game. 

The opening game of the tournament saw the Eastwood Eagles best the Mooney Thunder by a score of 11 to 3 with Eastwood securing 4 ½ points and Mooney getting ½ point. 

In the second game of the tournament, the Polar Bears faced off against the Harborcreek Hockey Club.  Harborcreek came ready to play and scored in the first minute of play.  They followed that with a short-handed goal five minutes later in the first period.  Tyler Houmard scored the first Polar Bear goal with an end to end rush on a power play with the assists going to Brad Ahbe and Geoff Saltarelli.  Harborcreek defended steady pressure from the Polar Bears and took the first period point with the 2 – 1 goal advantage. 

Tyler Houmard struck again in the 2nd period and tied the score at 2 each with 4:23 remaining when he deked the goalie and backhanded the puck in the net with the assist going to Austin Ahbe.  Taylor Clendenin assured the 2nd period point with a power play blast from the left point that saw nothing but net, with assists from Brad Ahbe and Eric Jones.  The Polar Bears got the 3rd period point with a lone goal from Brad Ahbe on a wrist shot from the deep slot on a penalty kill.  The Polar Bears out shot Harborcreek 40 to 19 with a solid performance by goaltender Geoff Saltarelli in stopping 17 of 19 shots.  The Polar Bears took 4 of 5 tournament points while winning 4 to 2.   

In the third game, the Harborcreek Hockey Club and Eastwood Eagles deadlocked at a 4 - 4 tie, with the tournaments points also split evenly at 2-1/2 points each. 

1/16/11 – Eastwood vs. Jackson, Mooney vs. Harborcreek, Jackson vs. Mooney 

 In the first game of the day, the Eastwood Eagles played Jackson in a rematch of the Christmas tournament game.  This time the Polar Bears couldn’t find the back of the net until Eric Jones scored a buzzer beater with 2 seconds left in the 1st period, assisted by Tyler Houmard to take the first period point.  The Eastwood Eagles gained momentum and scored on a two man advantage to tie the game with 6 minutes left in the 2nd period.  The Eagles kept the momentum and scored two more times 17 seconds apart with less than 4 minutes to go in the period.  Then Beau Dent scored from the slot, assisted by Colby Hart and Paul Wischt, with 3 minutes left in the period, but that wasn’t enough as the Eagles took the 2nd period point and led the game 3 – 2.   

The third period remained scoreless until Tyler Houmard evened the score at 3 with a shot from behind the goal line, banked off the opposing goalie for unassisted power play goal with 8 minutes left.  Then with 1:07 remaining in the game, Tyler Houmard put the Polar Bears up for good with his patented deke to the backhand for a score assisted by Brad Ahbe.  The Polar Bear MVP goaltender Geoff Saltarelli had a busy game, stopping 28 of 31 shots (Eagles had 30 shots) as the Polar Bears won the game 4 – 3 and took 4 of 5 tournament points.  

In the second game of the day, the Harborcreek beat Mooney 2 to 1 and took 3-1/2 points.  Only Mooney stands in the way of the Jackson Polar Bears winning the tournament. 

The final game of the tournament pitted the Jackson Polar Bears against the Mooney-Ursuline Thunder.  Eric Jones opened the scoring with a goal one minute into the game with assists going to Brad Ahbe and Taylor Clendenin.  With 9 minutes left in the period Eric Jones scored on an end-to-end play finished with a deke and shot that was assisted by Alex Shepley back in our defensive end.  Chris Murphy followed one minute later with a short-handed goal after he chipped it past the defense, skated it down and put it in the net, with assists going to Brandon Loader and Matt McGervey.  The 3-0 first period advantage earned the Polar Bears the 1st period point.   

Chris Murphy scored his second goal of the game with 10-1/2 minutes left in the 2nd period, this time from close range, assisted by Matt McGervey and Austin Ahbe.  Mooney fought back and scored with 2-1/2 minutes left in the period to split the 2nd period point at 1/2 each. 

The third period remained scoreless until 5:24 left in the period when Brad Ahbe tapped in a pass from Eric Jones with Tyler Houmard getting the second assist.  25 seconds later, Brad Ahbe redirected an Alex Shepley low shot from the point with Tyler Houmard getting the second assist.  Mooney scored again to bring the game to 6 - 2, then Chris Murphy stole the show.  With 54 seconds left, Murphy streaked down the left wing with the puck and buried it on the far post with assists to Matt McGervey and Austin Ahbe at the other end of the rink.  Then with 8 seconds left, Murph scored again, assisted again by Matt McGervey and Austin Ahbe.  The “hat-trick plus one” performance from Chris Murphy easily earned him the Polar Bear MVP honors.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli had another solid performance turning aside 19 of 21 shots while the Polar Bears took 4-1/2 of 5 points while winning the game 8 to 2. 

With wins in all three of their games, the Polar Bears improved their season record to 17 - 4 - 1 and took home the first place trophy with the official results of the tournament shown below: 

First Place - Jackson Polar Bears - 12-1/2 points

Second Place - Eastwood Eagles - 8 points

Third Place - Harborcreek Hockey Club - 7 points

Fourth Place - Mooney-Ursuline Thunder - 2-1/2 points 

Check My Site News for Archived Game Summaries From the 1st Half of the 2010-11 Season...



Tuesday, February 15
2010-11 Game Summaries

1/9/11  Jackson 8 – Brunswick 0  

The Brunswick Blue Devils hosted the Jackson Polar Bears at Hoover Arena in Strongsville in a league game.  The scoring started slowly with a lone first period power play goal by Tyler Houmard, assisted by Brad Ahbe.  The margin stayed at a single goal until Alex Shepley doubled the lead, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Eric Jones on another power play goal with 8:30 remaining in the period.  Then the flood gates opened with four more unanswered goals before the end of the period.  The first was an unassisted, short-handed goal by Nolan Jones, followed by another power play goal by Eric Jones, with an assist to Austin Ahbe.  The final two goals of the period were in the last minute of the period with Matt McGervey scoring, assisted by Colby Hart and Beau Dent with 50 seconds remaining, and then Eric Jones beating the buzzer on another power play goal assisted by Tyler Houmard with only 7 seconds remaining in the period.  The third period showcased Beau Dent scoring 14 seconds into the period, assisted by Colby Hart, then following it up 9 seconds later with another goal, this time assisted by Paul Wischt for an 8-0 victory.  You probably read the words power play and short-handed a lot in the scoring summary, as the Polar Bears were penalized 11 times in the game.  Fortunately, the Blue Devils were in the box more frequently with 14 penalties in the game.   Alex Bailey stopped all 10 shots fired at him for his second shut-out of the season (4th Polar Bear shut-out).  The victory gives the Polar Bears a league record of 7 – 0 and an overall record of 14 – 4 – 1.  

1/8/11  Jackson 6 – Rocky River 3  

The Jackson Polar Bears hosted the Rocky River Buccaneers in a league contest at Center Ice.  The game started slowly with a hush over the crowd as the Polar Bears did not score in the first period, even though they fired 12 shots on the goal.   To make matters worse, the Buccaneers opened the scoring in the 2nd period.  Brad Ahbe evened the score 18 seconds later on an unassisted goal.  That score put some life into the crowd, and then 4-1/2 minutes later, Brad Ahbe scored again, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Taylor Clendenin.  Tyler Houmard stole the puck in the offensive zone and deked the goalie on an unassisted tally to put Jackson up 3 – 1.  Late in the period, Rocky River scored, but Eric Jones scored 10 seconds later, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Alex Shepley.  So, the Polar Bears took a 4 to 2 lead into the locker room for an ice cut and some strategizing from Coach Bill Houmard.  The crowd was again silenced in the 3rd period when Rocky River scored to bring the score to a single goal at 4 to 3 with 10 minutes left in the game.  Polar Bear fans breathed a sigh of relief when Alex Shepley scored on a power play goal with 2:33 remaining, assisted by Taylor Clendenin.  Then Paul Wischt scored the final goal with a minute left, also on a power play, assisted by Colby Hart and Alex Shepley.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli stopped 14 of 17 in the win and the Polar Bears outshot the Buccaneers 56 to 17 and improved their league record to 6 – 0.   

1/7/11  Jackson 4 – North Royalton 2  

The North Royalton Bears hosted the Jackson Polar Bears at Hoover Arena in Strongsville for a league match.  Bears vs. Polar Bears… wonder which bear is better on ice?  The Polar Bears dominated the first period scoring 4 goals on 11 shots.  Colby Hart drew first blood, with a goal assisted by Beau Dent.  Eric Jones scored next, assisted by Tyler Houmard and Kevin Marsh.  Charlie Williams scored the third goal assisted by Brad Ahbe.  Then Connor Danish scored 20 seconds later, assisted by Charlie Williams and Geoff Saltarelli.   The four goal lead was all the Polar Bears needed to win the game, as the second and third periods saw a combined 10 shots by the Polar Bears.  North Royalton scored power play goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods to bring the game within two goals.  But, the Polar Bears prevailed in the end, with Geoff Saltarelli securing the win by saving 12 of 14 shots.  The win keeps the Polar Bears record in the league perfect at 5 – 0. 

1/2/11  Jackson 12 – VASJ Vikings 0  

The Polar Bears rang in the new year by hosting the VASJ Vikings (Euclid) at Center Ice.  The game featured the largest offensive performance of the season with seventeen (17) different Polar Bears scoring or assisting on goals in the first game of the new year.  Bear with me (pun intended) for a recap of the scoring…  Austin Ahbe got the Polar Bears on the scoreboard, scoring with assists from Colby Hart and Kevin Marsh.  Then, in a span of a minute and a half, the Bears scored three unanswered goals, the first scored by Eric Jones, assisted by Dylan Loader and Brad Ahbe.  Then 36 seconds later, Brad Ahbe scored, assisted by Tyler Houmard.  Paul Wischt finished the barrage, scoring 55 seconds later, assisted by Nick Barbieri and Nolan Jones.  Later in the period, Beau Dent scored, assisted by Austin Ahbe and Taylor Clendenin, and then Nolan Jones finished off the 1st period scoring, assisted by Chris Murphy and Paul Wischt.  The Polar Bears threw the puck at the net 21 times in the period and were successful 6 times for a 6 to 0 lead after the 1st period.  The second period featured more Polar Bear dominance, starting with Eric Jones scoring his second goal of the game, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Taylor Clendenin.  Then Tyler Houmard scored, assisted by Brandon Loader.  Matt McGervey scored next, assisted by Charlie Williams and Connor Danish.  Tyler Houmard scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Eric Jones and Kevin Marsh.  Then 21 seconds later Paul Wischt scored his second of the game, assisted by Chris Murphy and Nolan Jones.  Beau Dent rounded out the scoring with his second goal of the game, this time assisted by Austin Ahbe and Colby Hart.  The Polar Bears had 22 shots on net in the period and scored 6 more goals for a 12 to 0 lead in the game.  The twelve goal differential after two periods ended the game early by league rule.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli was perfect and turned aside all 5 shots from VASJ giving him his second shut-out of the year (3rd Polar Bear shut-out of the season).  The victory keeps the Polar Bear league record perfect at 4 – 0. 

12/31/10 – Happy New Year – 1/1/11  

It’s time to ring in the new year.  A summary of games in 2010…  Overall, the Polar Bears are 10-4-1 with a 70% winning percentage.  In league play, the Polar Bears are a perfect 3-0.  The Polar Bears have nearly doubled the scoring of their opponents, scoring 83 goals and allowing only 42 goals against with a goaltender save percentage of 86%.  The Polar Bears took 2nd place in both the Bruce Anderson and the Jim Vordran Memorial Tournaments.

12/26-27/10 Jim Vordran Memorial Holiday Invitational Tournament (2nd Annual)  

12/26/10 – Hoover vs. Medina, Jackson vs. Eastwood, Eastwood vs. Medina  

The Polar Bears hosted the tournament at Center Ice, seeking to defend their title from last year’s inaugural tournament.  This year featured a round-robin style tournament with the Polar Bears, the Eastwood Eagles from Toledo, the Medina Bees (our perennial rival from the NCHSHL), and the Hoover Vikings (our geographic rival, reuniting many old friends that grew up in the CAHA organization).  Welcome back to period by period scoring to determine strength of wins, with each period of each game being a mini-game.  

The opening game of the tournament saw the Hoover Vikings and Medina Bees skate to a 5 to 5 tie, with a slight edge going to Medina taking 3 of 5 points by winning 2 of the 3 periods.  

In the second game of the tournament, the Polar Bears faced off against the Eastwood Eagles.  Chris Murphy opened the scoring with a goal, assisted by Nolan Jones and Nick Barbieri.  Brad Ahbe sealed the first point of the tournament scoring minutes later, assisted by Alex Shepley and Tyler Houmard. 

The second period saw the Eagles jump to an early lead scoring 5 minutes into the period, however, Beau Dent had other plans.  Beau evened the period scoring 2 minutes later, assisted by Matt McGervey.  If that wasn’t enough, Beau put the biscuit in the basket again, assisted by Matt McGervey and Colby Hart.  (Rumors have been heard that Beau had a hat-trick with his third goal being disallowed, but there was no video proof to confirm it.)  Tyler Houmard finished the scoring in the 2nd period, assisted by Eric Jones and Brad Ahbe, another point for the Polar Bears. 

In the 3rd period, Kevin Marsh blasted a rocket from the point to open the scoring on a short-handed goal with 5:30 remaining, assisted by Brad Ahbe.  A 3rd period insurance goal by Eric Jones with 1:30 remaining, assisted by Alex Shepley and Brad Ahbe sealed the final period point. 

Geoff Saltarelli flashed some leather in the game stopping 17 of 18 shots, and the Polar Bears took 5 of 5 tournament points while winning 7 to 1.  The opposing goalie, Nick Horseman, saw a lot of action and was awarded his team MVP in stopping 31 of 38 Polar Bear shots.  Beau Dent was awarded the Polar Bear MVP for scoring 2 goals (hat trick, pending uncontrovertible video proof).  

In the third game, the Medina Bees beat the Eastwood Eagles and took 5 of 5 points with a 5 to 1 win.  This set up an early morning show-down between the Medina Bees and the Polar Bears.

12/27/10 – Medina vs. Jackson, Eastwood vs. Hoover, Jackson vs. Hoover  

“The Polar Bears don’t play as well early in the morning.”  This has been often heard murmured in the stands during long, drawn-out, games in the wee hours of the morning, however, there is no factual evidence to support it. 

Medina opened the scoring with a goal two and a half minutes into the 1st period and Brad Ahbe evened it up with a goal five minutes later, assisted by Taylor Clendenin.  Unfortunately, the Bees took the point for the period, scoring again late in the first period. 

The Polar Bears fired a lot of rubber at the net in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but, Medina MVP goaltender, Brad Herbert put up a wall and blanked the Polar Bears in saving 32 of 33 shots.  Geoff Saltarelli put up a valiant effort in saving 16 of 19 shots, however, the Polar Bears lost 3 to 1 and took only 1/2 point for tying the 3rd period. 

Brad Ahbe was awarded the Polar Bear team MVP.  The highlight reel also showed coach Bill Houmard bare-handing an errant puck aimed at the Polar Bear bench - way to protect them Bears, coach!  

In the second game of the day, the Eastwood Eagles bested the Hoover Vikings 8 to 4 and took 4-1/2 points.  This set up the final game against our geographic rival for the finish of the tournament.  

The final game of the tournament pitted the Jackson Polar Bears against the Hoover Vikings.  Hundreds upon hundreds showed up to root for their favorite team.  An empty space could not be found in the parking lot or in the stands. 

Matt McGervey opened the scoring 1 minute into the game, assisted by Beau Dent and Colby Hart.  Colby Hart scored late in the 1st period, assisted by Matt McGervey and Nick Barbieri to assure the first period point. 

Matt McGervey scored his second goal of the game early in the second period, assisted by Colby Hart and Nick Barbieri.  After a Hoover goal, Tyler Houmard scored on a pass from Nick Barbieri to put the Polar Bears ahead in the period.  Eric Jones then scored twice (20 seconds apart) with Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard assisting the first and Tyler Houmard and Dylan Loader assisting the second to assure the second period point. 

Brad Ahbe opened the third period scoring with 4 minutes left in the game on a goal assisted by Tyler Houmard and Taylor Clendenin.  Connor Danish slipped one under the goalie on a tally assisted by Charlie Williams and Austin Ahbe, thereby sweeping the period play and winning the game taking 5 points on an 8 to 1 victory.  Goaltender Geoff Saltarelli was nearly perfect, saving 9 of 10 shots. 

Hoover netminder Ethan Bishop was awarded his team’s MVP for 39 saves on 47 shots, while Tyler Houmard was awarded the Polar Bear MVP for his goal and playmaker (3A).  

Some historical information on the Polar Bear – Viking rivalry:  The Polar Bears won the last 3 games in a row and before that Hoover won 3 games in a row, while the overall series bragging rights favors Jackson with 6 wins and 4 losses.  

The two wins and one loss were not enough to win the tournament, as the Polar Bears took a close second place with the official results shown below:  

First Place – Medina Bees – 12-1/2 points

Second Place – Jackson Polar Bears – 10-1/2 points

Third Place – Eastwood Eagles – 4-1/2 points

Fourth Place – Hoover Vikings – 2-1/2 points    

12/19/10  Jackson 8 - Fremont 2  

The busy weekend finished up with a league game at home at Center Ice.  The Polar Bears were seeking to keep their league record unblemished.  Two goals each by Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard and single tallies by Alex Shepley, Colby Hart and Paul Wischt put the Polar Bears up by an insurmountable score of 7 to 0 by the end of the 2nd period.  Fremont didn’t throw up the flag in the final period, however, getting two scores to get the game to a five goal deficit.  Then, Chris Murphy put the exclamation point on the victory with 4 minutes left with a tally assisted by Paul Wischt and Colby Hart.  A combination of Geoff Saltarelli and Alex Bailey between the pipes was too much for the Fremont team.   

12/18/10  Jackson 3 - Westerville 3  

The Polar Bears hosted the Westerville Warcats in Wooster.  The Warcats started quick, getting a 2-0 lead in the first period.  The teams traded goals in the 2nd period with a tally by Tyler Houmard (assisted by Eric Jones and Matt McGervey) to make the score 3 to 1 after 2 periods.  After the ice cut, the Polar Bears threw everything they had at the Warcats, out-shooting them 17 to 1 in the final period.  The 17 shots yielded 2 goals, the first by Colby Hart, assisted by Eric Jones and Alex Shepley and the second from Tyler Houmard, assisted by Colby Hart.  The Warcat goalie made 28 saves on 31 shots to preserve the tie, while Geoff Saltarelli was solid in the net with 15 saves on 18 shots.   

12/17/10  Jackson 3 - Solon 0  

Solon hosted the Polar Bears at Gilmour Academy.  After a scoreless first period, Solon didn’t know what hit them in the 2nd period.  Tyler Houmard opened the scoring, assisted by Eric Jones and Taylor Clendenin.  Then 8 seconds later, Tyler lit the lamp again, assisted by Eric Jones.  Solon couldn’t get back into the game, with Eric Jones finishing out the scoring in the 3rd period, assisted by Brandon Loader.  Geoff Saltarelli was perfect in the net with 24 saves in the shut-out.  

12/12/10 Jackson 7 - Riverside 4   

The Polar Bears bested Riverside 7 to 4 in come-from-behind fashion to keep their League Record unblemished at 2 – 0.  Taylor Clendenin returned from the IR to tie the score at 4 late in the second period with two goals (one of which was a laser shot to the top shelf).  That rally started a Polar Bear run of 5 unanswered goals after a 2-4 deficit.  Other scores were by Tyler Houmard (2G, 2A), Brad Ahbe (1G, 1A), Eric Jones (1G, 3A), Colby Hart (1G), and Nolan Jones (2A).  Geoff Saltarelli returned to his familiar place between the pipes and was solid with 29 saves and, get this, a 1st assist to the Clendenin laser goal.   

12/8/10  Jackson 6 – Aurora 1  

In a non-league home game at Center Ice, the Polar Bears faced a tough goaler, Ronnie Schwartz from Aurora.  Schwartz turned aside the first 10 shots before Eric Jones figured him out with 31 seconds left in the period, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Brandon Loader.  The second period was also a showcase of the opposing netminder with 15 saves until Eric Jones lit the lamp on a power play with 2 minutes left in the period, assisted by Alex Shepley and Tyler Houmard.   

Aurora slipped one past netminder Alex Bailey 11 seconds into the final period to bring the game to 2 - 1.  Sometimes this game is not fair, how can you outshoot an opponent 27 to 3 and only be up by a single goal?  Brad Ahbe answered that question a minute later by driving one home, assisted by Eric Jones and Tyler Houmard.  Coach Bill Houmard then saw some fire from the fourth line, first Charlie Williams scored, assisted by Connor Danish.  Then Connor Danish scored assisted by Brad Ahbe and Nick Barbieri.  Finally, Charlie Williams scored again, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Connor Danish.  Final tally, Jackson 6 – Aurora 1, shots on goal Jackson 47 – Aurora 5.   

12/5/10  Jackson 5 – Northeast Storm 4   

Northeast Storm hosted Jackson at the Chiller North.  First period goals by Brad Ahbe and Tyler Houmard, assisted by Eric Jones and Colin McDevitt, respectively, put the Bears up 2 to 1 after one period.  A goal by Tyler Houmard, assisted by Brad Ahbe, and a goal by Brad Ahbe assisted by Eric Jones and Alex Shepley put the Bears up 4 to 2 after two periods.  Matt McGervey scored an insurance goal (that turned out to be the winning goal), assisted by Nolan Jones in the third period put the Bears up 5 to 3 with 7:23 remaining in the game.  Although the Polar Bears never trailed in the game, Northeast Storm fought back to bring the game to a single goal deficit with 16 seconds left in the game.  Goaltender Alex Bailey preserved the win making 18 saves on 22 shots.   

12/4/10  Hilliard 6 – Jackson 3   

Hilliard hosted Jackson at the Chiller Ice Works in Westerville.  Don’t let the name fool you, this Chiller has the distinction of being the coldest rink in the area.  Unfortunately, the Polar Bears never got warmed up either.  Tyler Houmard scored early, assisted by Brad Ahbe to take a 1-0 lead.  Two goals by Hilliard forced Brad Ahbe to even the score at 2 to 2 with 38 seconds left in the first period, assisted by Alex Shepley.  Four unanswered tallies by Hilliard in the second and third periods were only answered by Chris Murphy’s goal with four minutes left in the game, assisted by Brandon Loader.  Goaltender Alex Bailey tried to keep the Bears in it with 14 saves on 20 shots.   

12/3/10  Jackson 9 – Lakewood 0   

 It is finally here – our first NCHSHL League Game.  Jackson hosted the Lakewood Club Rangers at Center Ice, but were not the nicest hosts.  The Polar Bears threw a barrage of shots (42 in total) at the opposing netminder and won handily.  The only thing even in the game was the penalties at 7 per side.  But, being short-handed didn’t slow down the Bears, with 3 short-handed goals.    

Announcer Dave Hart had his busiest night of the year with fifteen (15) different Polar Bears getting their names broadcasted on the PA system.  Scoring were:  Brad Ahbe – 1 G, 4 A, Eric Jones – 1 G, 2 A, Tyler Houmard – 2 G, Alex Shepley – 2 G, Dylan Loader – 2 A, Nolan Jones, Chris Murphy, and Beau Dent each scored a goal, while Colby Hart, Austin Ahbe, Paul Wischt, Brandon Loader, Colin McDevitt, Kevin Marsh, and Nick Barbieri each assisted on a goal.  Goaltender Alex Bailey had quite possibly his best game of the year, recording his first shutout of the season turning away all 15 attempts from Lakewood.  League record 1 – 0, Go Bears!! 

Off & Skating...  

The Bears launched the regular season this weekend in the Parma Normandy Bruce Anderson Memorial Tournament with a 5-1 victory over the Normandy Invaders. Brad Ahbe lead the offense with three unassisted goals and another on an assist from Dylan Loader. Beau Dent posted another, assisted by Taylor Clendenin. Geoff Saltarelly stopped 19 of 20 shots from the Invaders.  

The Bears had a tough time with the Elyria Catholic Panthers on Saturday, losing 7-6 in a battle that see-sawed throughout the 2nd & 3rd frames. Tyler Houmard led Jackson scoring with three goals and two assists. Brad Ahbe posted two goals and three assists. Alex Shepley had one goal and one assist, and Eric Jones rounded out the offensive day with an assist. Alex Bailey made his varsity debut in net, stopping 21 of 28 from the Panthers.      

The Polar Bears bested the Brecksville Bees 9 to 4 to make it into the championship game.  Tyler Houmard scored 4 goals, Colby Hart scored twice, and  Brad Ahbe, Nolan Jones and Matt McGervey had a goal each.  The Polar Bears outshot the Bees 39 to 22 with Alex Bailey making 18 saves. 

With a little help from the Parma Normandy Invaders over the Elyria Catholic Panthers, the Bears made it to the Championship!!!   Championship game vs. Shaker Heights…  The Polar Bears made the Championship, but the fourth game in four nights inevitably wore down the team.  Shaker Heights outshot the Bears 32 to 16.  Behind solid performances by Alex Bailey in the pipes (27 saves on 32 shots) and a Tyler Houmard hat-trick, the Bears fell 5 to 3 to Shaker Heights.   

2nd Place in the Parma Normandy Bruce Anderson Memorial Tournament is an exceptional start to the year considering the strength of the teams entered in the tournament...    

Go Bears!!  

 



Wednesday, May 5
2009-10 Highlights

NCHSHL Playoffs

The Jackson Polar Bears have earned a place in the 2010 Buckeye Cup Tournament hosted by the Cincinnati High School Hockey League.  The long and grueling march to this invitation culminated last week when the Polar Bears played in the NCHSHL team playoffs.  Playing six games in seven nights, all of which were played in Strongsville's Hoover Arena, Jackson won 4 of 6 and claimed the number 2 seed for the Northeast Ohio teams competing for the Buckeye Cup.  They will travel this coming weekend to Cincinnati for the three day tournament.  The first game will be 7:20 pm on Friday evening March 5th at the Northland Ice Rink.  Their opponent will be the third seeded NKY Raiders from Kentucky.

En route to the number two seed, Jackson handily beat Rocky River twice, Mooney Ursuline and the Viking Hockey Club (Cleveland).  Their only two losses came to their league rival, the Medina Bees.  In both games, the hitting was hard and scoring low.  The first game ended 2-1 and the second 2-0.  Even though Jackson outshot Medina 56 to 34, the Bears could not find the back of the net.

Notable performances during the marathon week included captain Alex Royer's seven goals, including a hat trick, Brad Ahbe's five goals and eleven assists, and Zack Hart's hat trick and three assists.  The Bear's offense heavily outshot the competition 169 to 110.  The combined defense and goaltending of Adam Lubic and Geoff Saltarelli posted an 88% save percentage, stopping 97 of 110 shots.  The Jackson season record now stands at 26-11-1 (11-5 for league play).

February 13th-15th.  Vikings Presidents' Day Tournament

The Jackson Polar Bears participated in the annual Presidents' Day Tournament hosted by the Viking Hockey Club at Euclid’s Orr Arena.  After winning the first 3 games of their schedule, they lost a heart-breaker in overtime to the Michigan Blues. 

The first game of the Bear’s schedule was against the Viking team.  Jackson’s offense proved too much for the tournament hosts, beating them convincingly 10-3.  The Vikings started the scoring with 5:34 to go in the first period on a breakaway goal by P. Egan.  I would be the last time the Vikings led the game.  From this point on, the Bears would dominate.  Eric Jones tied the game with a nifty backhander from near the corner of the Viking net.  The next 3 consecutive goals were the Bears.  Out-muscling the Viking defense in front of the net, Nick Hart neatly tucked in a shot from his brother Zack.  Brad Ahbe added two consecutive goals, the first a backhand wrap-around and the other from the top of the circle, putting Jackson up 4-1.  The team swapped goals before the end of the period, making the score 5-3 after two.  The Third period was a Jackson score-fest.  Nolan Jones, Royer, Z. Hart, N. Hart and Fratzak tallied scores in a variety of ways.  Jackson put 36 shot on goal, while Lubic stopped 16 of 19.  The Bears garnered all 5 available tournament points.

The second win came at the expense of the Medina Bees.  The final score was 5-2.  The game got close early in the third period when the Bees scored, closing the margin to one goal.  But at 10:58, E. Jones picked up a rebound from just outside the crease and banged it in.  The final goal was put in by Alex Royer, his second.  Shots were just about even with a slight edge going to Medina, 36-35.  Geoff Saltarelli stopped 33.

After a cross town journey and quick lunch break, game three was played at North Olmstead against the Beaver Badgers from Beaver County, Pa.  The game started ominously with a Bear penalty in the first 5 seconds of the game.  After successfully killing the penalty, the Bears relaxed a bit in their own end and it cost them.  A quick pass from behind the net to the slot resulted in a badger lead at 12:35 in the first.  It wasn’t until 4:16 that Jackson got on the board when Brad Ahbe walked out from the corner and fed Alex Royer for the tying score.  With just 42 seconds left in the first, Fratczak put the Bears up 2-1 with a pretty goal.  Zack Hart opened the scoring in the second period when he skated in from the right corner, worked the puck around two defenders and neatly slid the puck through the five hole for a goal.  The combo of Ahbe to Royer added another at 10:10.  The Badgers countered with a goal, that would be negated by a late Royer goal that gave the team captain a hat-trick for the game.  The final score was Bears 5, Badgers 2, earning Jackson a seat at the championship game.  Jackson outshot Beaver 36-15.  Lubic stopped 13.      

The  tournament championship was played against the Michigan Blues on Presidents Day.  The Blues had an identical point total as the Bears.  The Blues jumped out to a quick start, scoring twice in the first three minutes.  Wisely, the Bears acting coach, Matt Dixon called time out and regrouped.  It paid off.  The scoring stopped and the Bears settled down, eventually tying the score late in the second period.  Earlier in the second period, Jack Vorndran scored on a wicked slap shot that somehow eluded all of the traffic in front of the goal, and later Adam Fratczak capitalized from a nice goal crease feed from Brad Ahbe.  Period three was scoreless, and the game went into overtime, 2-2.  The overtime period ended when Garret Benoit launched a hard shot from the right circle with 38 seconds left in the OT period that found its way into the goal.  Shots were heavily in favor of the Blues.  Saltarelli stopped all but 3 of the 46 that he faced.    

February 3rd.  Mooney Ursuline

In a back and forth affair, the Jackson Polar Bears lost to Mooney-Ursuline by a score of 6-7 on Wednesday night.  It was an exciting high scoring game that saw the lead change 4 times and the winning goal scored with less than one minute to play.  If you blinked, you missed something important to the outcome of the contest.

 

The Thunder got off to a quick start with an opportunistic goal created by their rush.  A lose puck left in the goal crease was easily poked in by Mooney winger Alex Figuly.  The Bears countered with two goals, both by Zack Hart.  Hart scored on a huge blast from near the blue line ringing the iron as it went by the goalie.  His second came with 41 seconds in the period when he took a Nolan Jones pass all alone in the slot and ripped the puck into the upper right-hand corner. The Bears were riding high, leading 2-1 after the first period.

 

The second period scoring was dominated by Mooney.  They were able to get two quick scores with impressive slapshots from the top of the circle, both clanging the iron with authority.  The lead was gone and the momentum was on Mooney’s side.  Mooney capitalized again with the all-to-often successful tactic of putting the puck in the slot and watching what happens. This time, Alex Figuly dished a touch pass from directly behind the Jackson net to an awaiting team mate just outside the crease, who directed the puck neatly into the goal.  The Thunder were now ahead 4-2.  Jackson started to climb back with an important late second period goal by Brad Ahbe, keeping the Bears within striking distance with one period to go.

 

The Bears came out of the locker room stoked for the third period.  They forced play into the Mooney end early and were rewarded with a tying goal at the 12:00 mark.  Jack Vorndran got the score after taking the puck in neutral ice, skating it up the boards and eventually working through the entire Mooney defense, before wristing it into the goal.  Moments later, the Bears thought that they had taken the lead when Eric Jones banged in a juicy rebound, but an early whistle caused the would-be goal to be waved off.  The tie remained until Nolan Jones took the faceoff to the left of Mooney goaltender, Allen Brennen, midway through the period.  He won the draw cleanly to a waiting Nolan Sullivan who one-timed it past the goalie.  The Bears regained the lead.  Undaunted, Mooney returned a volley, scoring twice in two minutes with both goals coming from close range after capitalizing on broken plays in front of the Jackson net.  Mooney led the game 6-5. 

 

With less than two minutes to play, Jackson’s Adam Fratczak patiently waited at the Mooney blue line as Brad Ahbe skated the puck into the offensive zone.  Ahbe spotted Fratczak on his right breaking towards the net and placed the puck on his stick.  Fratczak scored from the left circle on a miraculous shot that entered and exited the goal so fast that it was hard to determine if it truly went in.  The referee pointed to the net and the Bears had tied the game with 1:35 left to play. 

 

At this point, both teams were skating and hitting at top speed.  A number of collisions knocked equipment off players.  After the Bears nearly scored, and with less than a minute play, the puck was chipped out of the Mooney defensive zone and behind the Bear defense.  Mooney winger, Styers, was off to the races.  He pushed the puck a bit too far in front and Lubic challenged the attempt by skating out from the crease and poke checked the puck away.  It looked as though the Bears had dodged a bullet.  As Lubic scrambled to get back into position, the puck careened around the boards behind the net.  Everyone raced to the puck and somehow Mooney forward, Brian Styers, passed the puck to an open slot where Alex Figuly drove home the winning goal.  With only 28 seconds remaining, the Bears were unable to muster a counter punch.  Time expired with Jackson outshooting the Thunder 35-27, but losing 6-7.

 

Jackson’s record now stands at 19-8-1 and 7-3-0 in league play.         

January 31st.  Hoover Vikings

In a replay of an earlier game this year, the Jackson Polar Bears defeated the North Canton Hoover Vikings by a score of 7-2.  The rematch showcased a Jackson offense that scored four unanswered goals before Hoover could get their game on.

First period scoring started when Jackson captain Alex Royer pounded home a short range shot, getting his own rebound and making it count.  At  5:45 in the period, a scuffle near the Jackson blue line resulted with a five minute major penalty being assessed to Hoover.  The Bears capitalized on the major penalty, scoring twice during the powerplay.  Eric Jones took a crisp centering pass from Brad Ahbe and one-timed it past the Hoover goaltender.  Jackson kept the pressure in the offensive zone allowing Zack Hart the time to tee up a slapshot that found its way through the padding of Ethan Bishop, the Viking goalie.  But, with seconds left in the first period, Hoover came alive when captain Kevin Deane stormed in from the left circle.  His close-in wrist shot seemed destined for the upper corner.  In what would surely have been a momentum shifting goal, Lubic denied the shot.  While the Hoover team looked for the puck in the back of the net, Lubic calmly ejected the puck from his glove and the period ended with Jackson leading 3-0.

Jackson kept the puck in the Hoover defensive zone for most of the second period and capitalized when Royer found the puck in the circle and blasted it low along the ice to make the score 4-0.  With 2:37 remaining in the period, Hoover got on the scoreboard when Deane backhanded a shot from the dot, beating the stick side of Lubic.  The unassisted powerplay goal cut the Bear's lead to three.  But, in less than a minute, Jackson regained a four goal advantage when Z Hart found a loose puck and scored his second of the evening, unassisted.

In the third period, Hoover scored on an early powerplay with a pretty backdoor shot by Piero, but again Jackson's Sullivan roared back in less than a minute to neutralize the goal.  Ahbe would end the scoring with a late goal.  In all, Jackson took 34 shots.  Lubic turned away 25 of 27 Hoover attempts, including more than one point-blank shot.  Jackson improved its record to 19-7-1.  

January 29th.  Archbishop Hoban Knights

There is something about the number eight.  For the third consecutive game, the Bears put 8 tallies on the scoreboard, this time beating the Hoban Knights.  The Knight's only score came late in the contest, making the final 8-1.

The first Jackson score came on a deflected point shot with 3:11 remaining in the first period.  E Jones got the score off the Vorndran shot.  Fifteen seconds later, Barbieri scored again, and the combination of Hart-to-Hart made the score 3-0 before the end of the period.  N Jones added a short handed goal in the second for Jackson.  The Bears dominated in the third period, with goals by Royer (2), C Hart and Ahbe.

Jackson out-shot Hoban 35-13 and like so many recent games, the Bears goal tending and defense shut-down the opposing team's offense.  In this game, the Bears successfully killed eight Hoban power plays, frustrating the Knight's in their own defensive zone with a clinic of passing and puck control.  The win takes Jackson to 18-7-1 and league play at 7-2.  The next game is the Stark County rematch with the Hoover Vikings at 3:40 on Sunday afternoon.  In their first match, the Polar Bears prevailed 4-1. 

January 27th.  Aurora Green Men

The Jackson Polar Bears extended their winning streak to 3 games, beating the visiting Aurora Green Men by a score of 8-2.  Jackson jumped out of the gate, scoring 4 times in the first 8 minutes of the game.  At 11:34, Adam Fratczak started the scoring by collecting a loose puck that was initially blocked by an Aurora defenseman and beat the Aurora goaltender on the stick side.  Less than one minute later, Nolan Jones redirected a Jack Vorndran slapshot from the point into the net and Jackson led 2-0.  The next Jackson goal looked too easy.  Brad Ahbe skated in from the left corner unchallenged and dished a pretty pass to a waiting Alex Royer who directed it by the Aurora goalie from close range.  With half the period to go, Eric Jones found a ricochet and launched a shot from the right circle to give Jackson a commanding 4-0 lead.  Aurora countered with two quick goals, but was never able to get closer.  The Bears scored twice more in the first period, including a Royer goal with 6 seconds left.  Jackson added two more in the second period, and the third period was played without a goal from either side.  Jackson outshot Aurora 55-12 and now boasts a 17-7-1 record.  They will face Hoban in a league game on Friday night at Center Ice.

January 24th.  Fairview Tigers

On a night for honoring the Jackson Polar Bears Seniors, the team displayed one of their best skating, passing and scoring performances of the year.  Outscoring the Fairview (Erie, Pa) Tigers 8-1, the Bears improved their season record to 16-7-1.  

Before the game started, seniors Ben deForest, Nick Hart, Zack Hart, Adam Lubic, Alex Royer and Jack Vorndran were joined on the ice by their parents as part of the Senior Recognition Night.  After a stirring rendition of the national anthem was performed live by Mary Lubic, the puck was dropped and the Bears were off and skating.  Within the first three minutes, Fratczak found the back of the net after taking a pass in stride from Ahbe.  The Bears were making passes and getting to loose pucks all night.  Successive goals by Marsh, Royer, N Hart (2), Ahbe and Sullivan put Jackson up 7-0 with 9:50 to play in the game.  The Bears shut-out was thwarted by a late Fairview breakaway goal that was offset by Barbieri's goal with 4:34 left to play.  Jackson sent 54 shots at the Tiger goaltender, while the Bears' Lubic saw 13.  

January 23rd.  Brunswick

Back to their winning ways, the Bears soundly beat the Brunswick High School hockey team at Hoover Arena in Strongsville on Saturday afternoon by a score of 7-1.  After two close periods, the Bears opened up their offense on a tiring Brunswick team and scored 6 unanswered goals.

Jackson took a 1-0 lead with 3:09 left in the first period when E Jones dished a pass to a wide open C Hart who slammed it home from just outside the paint.  Early in the second period, Brunswick evened the score when J Musal cashed in on a breakaway.  With the score tied late in the second period, Murphy collected a pass halfway up the boards in the Brunswick end and fed a pass to N Jones parked in the slot.  Jones wristed the puck high and to the glove side of the goaltender and Jackson led 2-1.

The third period started fast for Jackson.  With less than a minute into the period, McCarthy held the offensive zone by chipping the puck off a Brunswick player near the blue line.  N Jones alertly picked up the pass in the slot and backhanded a shot through the five hole.  Barbieri would be next to score, taking a feed from N Jones at the top of the circle where he one-timed it for a 4-1 lead.  Brunswick made a goaltender change at this point and the Bears welcomed her with three more goals.  Fratczak would score from close-in on a feed from Murphy.  Marsh scored long-range on a screen shot, and E Jones roofed the final goal while falling backwards near the left circle.  All in, the Bears outshot Brunswick 45-8 and improved their record to 15-7-1.

January 20th.  Vikings

The Bears hosted the Viking Hockey Club on a rare Wednesday night game at Center Ice.  Jackson entered the match riding a eight game unbeaten streak, and needing a win to keep pace with the league leading Medina Bees.

The scoring started early with both teams trading goals within the first two minutes of the game.  It was evident that the Viking team that showed up on this evening was much different than that of the first meeting when the Bears dominated.  They handed out their share of big hits and consistently beat the Bears to loose pucks, leading to oddman breaks and a 4-1 lead after one period of play.

Although the Bears had quality chances in the second period, the puck would not get in the net.  The Viking scored early to make it 5-1 and the only Jackson tally would come with 5:17 to go in the period when N. Hart would sneak one by the Viking goal keeper.

The Bears had dug a deep hole, trailing 5-2 at the beginning of the third period.  Two quick Jackson goals, the result of some hard corner work by the Hart brothers, Dent and Ahbe, closed the gap to a single goal.  Jackson appeared to be on the verge of yet another comeback, missing several close calls, including two posts and a cross bar.  But, the wobbling Vikings still maintained a one goal advantage with less than 4 minutes to play.  With the Bears pressing hard to score the tying goal, the Viking's Kreiner was able to get behind the Bear defense and scored on an unassisted breakaway, crushing the Jackson chance for a late comeback.  The unbeaten streak would come to an end with the final score: Vikings 7, Jackson 4.  Jackson was able to put 43 shots on goal.  Jackson's Saltarelli saw 24 shots and more than a normal share of odd man rushes.  The Jackson record is now 14-7-1 overall and 6-2 in league play.

January 16th and 17th.  Jeff Musat Memorial Tournament

The 2010 Jeff Musat Memorial Tournament trophy went to the Jackson Polar Bears.  The journey to this tournament win started with a 6-4 victory over the Harborcreek Huskies (Erie PA) on Saturday morning.  The Bears started slow, spotting Harborcreek 3 goals well into the second period.  The game seemed to be in Harborcreek's control.  But, a string of Jackson goals began at 11:15 in the second when Brad Ahbe connected to make the score 1-3.  Before the period was over, Vorndran, E Jones and Z Hart would light the lamp to give Jackson the lead going into the third period. The teams traded goals before the end of the game, but Jackson walked away with the win and 4 of the 5 available tournament points.  Geoff Saltarelli kept the Harborcreek Club at bay, stopping 18 of 22 shots.  Zack Hart was awarded MVP for the game for his scoring and hard offensive play.

Next on the Jackson tournament schedule was the Lakota East varsity team from Cincinnati.  Having played two games on Saturday, the tattered Lakota team regrouped to face the Bears on Sunday morning.  The Bears started sluggish again, and the Thunderhawks scored the first two goals of the game.  The first, a sneaky shot from close-in that found the gap between Lubic and the post.  After a Thunderhawk breakaway score with 2:16 to go in the first, Lakota led 2-0.  The period was winding down when the Bears finally found a spark.  After a scrum in front of the Lakota crease, the puck found its way to Ahbe's stick at close range.  He didn't miss: putting puck past the goaltender with 1 tick left in the period, allowing the Bears to go into the locker room trailing by only one goal.  The second period was scoreless.  The game and tournament points would hinge on the 3rd period.  Jackson's Ahbe came roaring back with two more goals in the third period.  Z Hart finished the scoring with 3:07 left in the game, making the final score 4-2 Jackson.  After allowing two Lakota goals in the first period, Lubic shutdown the Thunderhawks, making 15 saves on 17 shots.  Ahbe's impressive offensive display resulted in him being named game MVP.  The Bears garnered another 3-1/2 tournament points for their efforts.

As expected, the tournament would hinge on the third game.  Fittingly, the Bears recent rival, the Medina Bees would be their adversary.  This would be the 4th time that the two teams would meet already this year, and they were obviously familiar with one another.  The game started with some hard hits being doled out by both teams.  The physical game coughed up its first penalty to Jackson's Sullivan at 8:14 in the first.  After some aggressive forechecking during the power play, Ahbe found himself with the puck and surprised the Medina goaltender with a nifty move from close in.  The short handed, unassisted goal put the Bears up 1-0.  But, not for long.  A minute later, the Bears could not clear the zone and the puck wandered about in the slot as Jackson and Medina traded swats at the biscuit.  Finally, Medina's C Galvin swept an ice level shot that found Lubic's five hole and the game was tied.  The first period ended 1-1.  Early in period 2, Medina's Armbruster owned the game.  He put the Bees ahead by busting to the net with a Polar Bear hanging on his back, still able to work the puck around Lubic who had the post covered.  The puck delicately slid past an outstretched goal pad and the goal line, putting Medina up 2-1.  Moments later, he lasered a shot from the top of the left circle, ringing the post and making the score 3-1.  But, the never-say-die Bears rallied back with a gutsy play by Nolan Jones.  Jones was applying a forecheck when he gloved a Medina pass inside the Bees' blue line, placed the puck on the ice and proceeded to beat the Bees' goaltender cleanly for the second unassisted, short handed goal by the Bears.  The score was now 3-2.  As time expired in the second period, Medina was assessed a slashing penalty and the Bears would come back with a powerplay to start the third and decisive period.  Like so many Jackson vs. Medina games of late, everything was at stake in the final 15 minutes.  After trading some quality scoring opportunities, Colby Hart stole a Medina pass and out-skated the defense.  From a seemingly impossible angle, he shot and the puck and the game was tied with the third unassisted effort by a Bear forward.  Even with a tie in hand, the Bees pulled their goaltender with more than 2 minutes left in the game as a desperation move to capture the trophy.  The 6-on-4 effort, aided by a penalty, was thwarted by Jackson and the game ended 3-3.  But, the final tournament point total assured that Jackson would walk away with the Musat trophy.  In an all too familiar battle, the shots and goals were dead even at 21 saves on 24 shots for both teams, and the tournament points of the game were split 2-1/2 to 2-1/2.  Brad Ahbe was awarded MVP of the game, his second of the tournament.

The Bears are now 14-6-1 and 6-1-0 in league play.

January 10th.  Lakewood Club Rangers 

The Bears traveled to the Winterhurst Ice Rink to play the Lakewood Club Rangers on Sunday January 10th.  The North Coast Hockey League game was dominated early by the Bears, outshooting the Rangers 15-0 in the first period.  The scoring began halfway through the first period when the Polar Bears’ Nick Hart whacked in a rebound from a Chris Murphy wrist shot taken from the right circle.  The second period was scoreless with the Bears again outshooting the Rangers 17-4.  The second Jackson goal came with only a minute gone in the third period.  With a Jackson power play winding down, Eric Jones found a loose puck in front of a sprawling Lakewood goaltender.  He lifted the biscuit over the outstretched glove of the spread eagle goalie and found the back of the net.  The two goal lead seemed comforting until midway through the third period.  After Lubic made the initial save on Lakewood’s Sam Morse, the puck came loose and seemed to linger timelessly in the Jackson crease.  It was easy pickings for the Ranger’s Jack McCarthy who swept it into the goal.  But the Bears’ defense locked down, and the rest of the period belonged to Jackson.  The Polar Bears win by a final score of 2-1, extend their winning streak to 6 games, and now have 12-6 record.

January 9th.  Wooster Hockey Club

The Jackson Polar Bears visited the Wooster Hockey Club on January 9th and unleashed a barrage of offense that ended with 10 goals in less than 38 minutes.  The dominating 10-0 win brings the Jackson overall record to 11-6.  Goal scorers included Fratczak, Murphy, Ahbe (2), Z. Hart (2), Royer (2), E. Jones, and Dent.  Saltarelli turned away all 10 shots that he faced.

January 2nd.  Fremont Ice Wolves

The Bears hosted the Fremont Ice Wolves on Saturday evening.  This was first meeting of the two clubs this year and Jackson prevailed by a convincing 9-2 score.  Fremont started the scoring when they capitalized on a 2-on-1 break midway through the first period.  Then, with resolve, Jackson tied the game 11 seconds later with a tic-tac-toe goal by Ahbe from Z Hart and Royer.  Just before the first period ended, Ahbe took the puck coast-to-coast and scored unassisted.  The Bears never trailed again in the game.  Fremont was only able to tally one more goal during the second period when they banked a shot off the Bears’ defenseman and into the goal.  Meanwhile, Ahbe (2), Murphy, Royer (2), Hart and McCarthy added to the offensive storm.  Geoff Saltarelli minded the Bears’ goal and turned away 14 of 16 shots.  The Bears improved their overall record to 10-6.

December 26th through 30th.  Jim Vorndran Memorial Tournament

The first game of the tournament pitted the Medina Bees against the Bears.   Medina has had the Bears’ number over the years and this night was no different.  Although the Bears out shot the Bees 33 to 18, Medina prevailed on the score sheet 3-1.  The only goal that the Bears could muster was a Zack Hart power play goal early in the third period.   Kevin Marsh was recognized as the Bears’ MVP for the game.


The Viking Hockey Club was next on the Bears’ list of tournament opponents.  The ice was definitely tilted towards the Viking end most of the evening.  The Bears controlled play and out-shot the Vikings 41 to 10, scoring a total of 9 times on two different goalies.  Jackson goal scorers included Ahbe (2), Royer (2), N. Jones, Dent, Barbieri, Murphy, and C. Hart.  Nolan Jones’ hustle was rewarded by being named the Jackson MVP for the game.
Game three was similar to game two.  The Bears dominated the Rocky River club scoring 6 unanswered goals.  Meanwhile, Lubic, the defense and a back checking offense kept Rocky River from scoring.  Final score, 6-0.  Jackson tallies were recorded by Dent, Murphy, E. Jones, Royer and Ahbe (2).  Adam Lubic turned away all 22 Rocky River shots and earned the Jackson game MVP. 


The final tournament game between Medina and Rocky River was cancelled due to a short bench for the Buccaneers. By mutual agreement, Medina and the Polar Bears squared off for a winner-take-all Championship Game to determine the outcome of the tournament.  Having lost the opening game to the Bees, Jackson was pumped up to play well on this final game of their tournament. The final game started conservatively with both teams being cautious in their own end.  With 4:08 remaining in the first period, the combination of Loader, to Z. Hart, to Royer cashed in with a pretty score to put Jackson ahead.   But the lead didn’t last two minutes, as Medina snuck one between the post and Lubic’s pads to tie the game. 


The second period was simply wild.  Medina went on a scoring binge that seemed to take the game out of Jackson’s reach.  In the span of less than three minutes, the Bees scored 4 times making the score 5-1 with only half the period gone.   A lesser team would have given up.   At the 7:32 mark in the second period, Medina’s Urs Fischer was called for interference.  The first line stepped up and scored less than a minute into the power play when Zack Hart roofed a shot past the glove hand of the Medina goalie.  Royer and Ahbe got the assists and you could sense the momentum turning and crowd getting back into the game.   The next goal really lathered up the fans when Nick Hart scored from Vorndran and Murphy.  Medina was on their heels and the Bears took advantage of it by scoring twice more.  After Murphy missed on a breakaway, he got even by putting one by the goal tender with 3:14 left in the second.  Royer tied the game at 2:06.  Like the first, the second period ended in a tie, 5-5.  Jackson peppered the Medina goal tender, Ramone Fischer, with 16 shots and numerous other attempts that just went wide of the net.

Period three was intense.  At 11:48 Medina went ahead when Casey Galvin scored his third goal, hustling through a Lubic poke check and ramping the puck off the goalie’s stick an into the net.   But the never-die Bears patiently worked the puck into the Bee’s zone, consistently putting pressure on the Medina defense.  Finally the Medina defense cracked when Alex Shepley took the puck in the neutral zone and skated from left to right, evading two defensemen.  From the right circle he launched a shot that found its way home.  The unassisted goal tied the game at 6, and that is where the regulation game ended.In true championship style, the teams agreed to play an 8 minute overtime period.  But this wasn’t enough to settle the match, so a second overtime period was played.  Halfway through the overtime, the puck came to the point where Vorndran gloved it out of the air and kept the attack on-sides.  He slid an accurate pass to Zack Hart in the corner where he one-timed it to Eric Jones crashing the slot, who slammed it home, making for one of the longest and best comeback efforts in Jackson history.  The team and crowd celebrated the victory and claimed the Jim Vorndran Memorial Trophy after the match.The game MVP’s were fittingly given to the Medina goaltender, Ramone Fischer who saw 55 shots, and Jackson’s Jack Vorndran who had two assists, including the game winner.        

December 19th  Harborcreek Game Cancelled

The game with Harborcreek has been cancelled due to a problem at the Erie Civic Center. The Bears are at home tomorrow (Dec 20) with the Rocky River Buccaneers in a critical League contest.  
 

December 16th.  Hoover Vikings

The annual hockey battle of Stark County took place on Wednesday night, December 16th when the Hoover Vikings hosted the Bears at Center Ice. As expected, it was a tense and hard fought battle to the end. The Bears prevailed by a score of 4-2 in front of a standing room only crowd, many of whom were dressed in designer snuggies bearing the Jackson colors and their favorite player’s number. It was a game that featured “highlight reel” scoring, power plays and clutch goal tending. 


Jackson fell behind early in the first period when Kevin Deane slipped a backhand shot by Lubic from the slot. The Bears countered when Brad Ahbe took an Adam Fratczak pass and skated the puck to the net, scoring at 8:20. The first period ended 1-1. 


The second period was marked with penalties on both sides.  In total, 7 two minute minors were handed out, and both teams had a 2 man advantage during the period. Neither could capitalize.  It wasn’t until 9:49 in the period when Brad Ahbe took a neutral zone pass from defenseman Jack Vorndran during a Viking power play and got behind the Hoover defense. Short handed, he skated into the Viking end unescorted and beat the goal tender cleanly, giving the Bears a 2-1 lead. You could sense the urgency in the Viking team and they immediately turned up their game, putting 13 shots on goal, challenging the Bear’s defensemen who were equal to the challenge.  deForest, Sullivan, Shepley, Marsh and Loader stood tall, keeping many of the Hoover shots from even reaching Lubic.  Marsh took a wicked slap shot in the knee, but only missed one shift as result. For those shots that did make it through, Lubic was up to the task making more than one clutch save. The period ended with the Bears clinging to a one goal lead.


Both teams stayed conservative in the third period, hindered by penalties. With 9:34 left in the period, the Vikings tied the score with a bang-bang goal by captain Kevin Deane. About a minute later, Colby Hart took an innocent looking turnover near center ice and proceeded to crash the net, scoring unassisted with 8:35 left. Soon after taking the lead on the Hart goal, the Bears were faced with killing off consecutive penalties. More than once the puck came loose in front of the Jackson goal, but the defense cleared the zone, or Lubic managed to get in front of it. The final goal came with 1:58 to go in the game when Fratczak took a pass from Shepley to all but end the game.  Jackson Polar Bears win 4-2. 


Jackson assists were recorded by Fratczak, Vorndran, Shepley and Ahbe. Lubic stopped 29 of 31 shots and the Bears record improved to 5-5 for the season.  
 

December 13th.  Riverside

The Jackson Polar Bears have not so quietly turned their season around, winning their last two games in grand fashion.  The Bears beat the Riverside team in a league game held Sunday night December 13 at Center Ice.  The final score was 5-1. 


First period scoring opened when Zack Hart skated the puck into the Riverside end on a 2-on-1 break.  Using the Riverside defenseman as a screen, and his breaking winger as a decoy for a pass, Hart lasered the puck through the defenseman’s legs and past the goal tenders stick side high making it 1-0. 


Early in the second period, Alex Royer took a precision pass from Brad Ahbe through the crease for a pretty goal that put the Bears up 2-0. The game felt closer than it should have been midway through the 2nd period when Riverside winger Trey Hopkins banged home a loose puck in the slot at 5:04, making the score 2-1 in favor of Jackson.  Then, a flurry of Jackson  goals began that sealed the outcome.  Two goals by Adam Fratczak, and another by Brad Ahbe closed the deal.   
Lubic stopped 20 of 21 shots, making key saves during a first period Riverside surge.  The most notable coming from a wicked face-off shot that was sticked aside when the game was close.

December 9th.  Lakewood High School 

The Bears crushed the Lakewood High School team on Wednesday night by a score of 10-0.  The game was called with 7:52 left in the third period.  It took a while for Jackson to get the first goal, but at 8:08 Chris Murphy connected after taking a pass from Nick Barbieri, and the flood gates opened.  Murphy followed with his second of the game, an unassisted goal 25 seconds later.  Other goals were tallied by Z Hart (3--Hat Trick!), Toth, E Jones, C Hart and Royer.  Nolan Sullivan ended the game with a slapshot from top of the right circle that seemed to go straight through the Lakewood goaltender, into the back of the net.  It was a powerplay goal and the third whack that Sullivan had after being setup by Matt Bruch from the opposite corner.  Bears goaltender, Geoff Saltarelli saw 3 shots and turned them all away.  Bears record 3-5. 
 

December 4th through 6th.    Medina, Harbor Creek and North Royalton

The Bears had a three game weekend with their perennial foes:  Medina, Harbor Creek and North Royalton.  The Friday bout was with Medina at Center Ice.  The Medina Bees took it to the Bears, scoring twice on odd-man breaks and once on the powerplay.  The Bears countered with an early goal in the second period and another in the third, but it wasn't enough.  Jackson goals were recorded by Royer (from Ahbe and Z Hart) and Ahbe (from Royer and Shepley).  Lubic stopped 20 of 23 shots.  Final score:  Medina 3, Jackson 2.


On Saturday night, Harbor Creek of Erie, PA visited Center Ice and saw the Bears go on top early with a powerplay goal by Adam Fratczak, assisted by Vorndran and Ahbe.  Jackson controlled the first period, but saw the game slip away in the second.  In a game that saw 19 penalties, there were plenty of special teams opportunities for each side, and Harbor Creek capitalized in the second period with a powerplay goal of their own to tie the score.  They went on to score again early in the third period to take the lead for good.  Saltarelli faced 23 shots, making 21 saves, most coming in the second half of the game.  Final score: Harbor Creek 2, Jackson 1.  


Sunday night the Bears faced North Royalton in Strongsville at Hoover Arena.  Here, Jackson posted their first league victory with a 7 - 0 romp.  Goals came often with the offense clicking on all lines.  In all, 49 shots were taken on the NR goalie.  Goal scorers included C Hart, Shepley, Barbieri, Ahbe (2), Loader and Fratczak.  There was never a question in the outcome.  Lubic turned away all 10 shots that he saw, including a breakaway.


Parma Normandy Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament

The Tournament proved to be a real test for the Bears.  On Friday night, Jackson lost to Parma-Normandy 6-3.  Outshooting the Invaders 44 to 16 wasn't enought to win the opener.  The Invaders had some quality scoring chances during their ten power play opportunities, and they cashed in, sliding the puck by Lubic four times on the powerplay.  The Bears made what looked to be a third period comeback, scoring in the first seconds of the period.  But, this only held up for 1/2 point in the tournament standings.  Goals were scored by Z Hart and Ahbe (2); with Sullivan, Shepley (2) and Z Hart getting assists.


On Saturday morning, the fast skating North Olmsted team beat Jackson 8-3.  Learning from the previous evening, the Bears managed to stay out of the penalty box, taking only one infraction for the entire game.  The Eagles outshot the Bears 22 to 18, getting six behind Saltarelli, before Alex Royer could score unassisted midway through the 2nd period.  It was a hard hitting affair with Shepley making some huge hits, keeping the Eagles on their toes in neutral ice.  But, the Bears were only able to muster a 1/2 point in a third period tie, with the key goal coming from Royer assisted by Ahbe with 2:02 to play.  Other assists were recorded by deForest and Z Hart.
On Saturday evening, the Bears came to play. 

After taking body blows from Parma Normandy and North Olmsted, the Bears regrouped and mounted a comeback against the Brecksville Bees.  Jackson carried play for the entire first period, but was unable to score on two power play opportunities.  The first period ended 0-0.  Brecksville broke the scoring drought early in the second period with a goal at 14:02.  The Bears rallied back with some of their best skating and passing of the entire tournament, scoring three unanswered goals in less than two minutes, and ending with a pretty tic-tac-toe goal by C Hart from N Jones and N Hart.  The 2nd period flurry of goals incuded beauties by Sullivan and Ahbe.  The Bears entered the 3rd period up 3-2 and saw it grow to 5-2 with goals by Z Hart and Ahbe.  But, the Bees made things interesting by dominating play in the final 10 minutes of the period.  With the score 5-4, the Bears' Lubic held off several net-crashing attempts to tie the game with key saves.  During one of the scrums, the Bears' Ben DeForest was injured in the corner attempting to dig out a puck and clear the zone.  He was taken off the ice to the locker room.  After some anxious moments, the Bears sealed the victory 5-4.  Shots were 26-17 in favor of the Bees.  Jackson assists were awarded to Z Hart (2), Royer (2), N Jones (2), Sullivan, N Hart and deForest.  The Bears earned 4 tournament points for the win.


Early on Sunday morning, the Bears were back at it again, this time against Elyria Catholic.  This was one of the most difficult back-to-back games of the tournament.  The late Saturday night game seemed to have just ended and Jackson was playing again at 7:15 the next morning on less than normal rest.  But, that didn't keep the Bears from busting out of the gate, scoring four times in the first period.  Shepley (powerplay), C Hart, Ahbe (shorthanded) and E Jones were wide awake after scoring and Saltarelli stopped all 10 chances that Elyria threw at him.  In the second period, Elyria woke up.  The Elyria captain scored four times and Jackson was held to only five shots.  The late night and early morning start were beginning to show on the Bears' play.  It was 4-4 after two periods of play.  The third period stated strong with an unassisted goal by Shepley at 11:29.  With Jackson leading 5-4, Elyria picked up the pace and controlled play during the final 10 minutes of the game.  They shot 18 times in the 3rd period alone, registering 2 goals with several quality chances that were stopped by Saltarelli to keep the game close.  The Bears were unable to answer and lost 6-5.  Jackson assists were given to Loader, Shepley (2), Vorndran and Z Hart.  Shots favored Elyria 41-27.


The tournament ended with the Bears garnering 6 points, and winning 1 of 4 games.  Their first home game is this Friday, December 4th at Center Ice when the Bears take on Medina at 5:50 pm.
 

Preseason Summary

The Bears finished up their pre-season, outplaying the Lakewood, Fairview and Aurora varsity teams by a wide margin.  In all three events, Jackson out-hussled and out-muscled the opposing teams.  Summing up the four pre-season scrimmages, the Bears outshot their opponents 104-60 and outscored them 26-3.  In period play, they were 9-2-1.  A great start...but none of this counts, and will be forgotten as fast as the Cool Whip on your pumpkin pie.  The real deal starts at 9:15 pm this Friday, November 27th at Parma Ries Arena.  The Bears will take on Parma-Normandy in the first round of the Thanksgiving Tournament.  Go Bears!!
 

Preseason Scrimmage vs. PRPC

Late Sunday afternoon, November 8th, the puck was dropped on another Jackson Polar Bear Hockey season.  Facing a formidable PRPC team from the Columbus area in a full scrimmage, the Bears would get a chance to shake off the cobwebs and test their new talent for the 2009-2010 campaign.  After a shaky first period, where PRPC forced the play in Jackson territory, the Bears seemed to settle into some pretty good hockey.  The final score was 5-2 in favor of PRPC.  Polar Bear goals were scored by Fratczak and Z. Hart.  The combined goaltending of Lubic and Saltarelli saw 16 shots.  The next game is with Lakewood HS - Saturday, November 14th at Winterhurst.
 

The Polar Bears Have Lost Another Friend...

The Jackson Hockey family has lost another dear friend. Jovechan "Jove" Desphy passed from us suddenly on October 5th, while playing in the Men's Hockey League at Center Ice. Jove was the father of JP Desphy, one of the members of the Icebreaker Team & 2005 graduate, and (hopefully) future Polar Bear Jakhari, who is currently playing with the Canton/Akron Penguins. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carly, JP, and their family as they endure this painful time...
 

The Polar Bears Have Lost a Friend...

Senior Defenseman Jack Vorndran's father, James "Jim" Vorndran, passed away Thursday, August 6, 2009 after a courageous battle with Leukemia. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jack and his family as they face this difficult time.



Sunday, March 22
2008-09 Highlights

February 16th - Vikings Presidents' Day Tournament Championship Game

The Championship game of the Presidents’ Day Tournament did not disappoint the fans who attended the 11:00 AM showdown at Euclid Ice Arena.  Jackson came into the final game with a tournament leading 10 points, followed by their rival VASJ with 9-1/2 points.  The teams have squared off before 4 other times this year, so there were no secrets about what to expect.

 

The game started with tight defense and close checking.  Midway through the first period, Colby Hart skated the puck out of his own end, evading two Viking defenders and rattled the pipe with a shot that just missed being the opening tally.  With 5:20 left in the period, the puck seemed to be headed out of the Bears’ zone when a Viking player caught the puck in his chest and played it onside while Jackson was changing lines.  The Viking enjoyed a 2-on-0 opportunity close in, and scored.  The period ended with VASJ leading 1-0.

 

The second period started shaky, with three unanswered Viking goals in the first 5 minutes, 2 unassisted.  The Bears were in an all too familiar situation being down 4-0, reminiscent of the playoff game played earlier this year.  Jackson mounted a impressive rebound to make the score 4-3 with 4:40 left in the game.  Goals by Alex Royer, Jack Vorndran, and Brad Ahbe made for an exiting end.  Vorndran’s power play goal late in the 2nd period ignited the team, as he took a pass from the opposite point and slammed home a slap shot that the Viking’s goaltender never saw because of Nolan Jones’ screen.  Vorndran was hit hard on the play and stayed down for several minutes, but after some smelling salts and quick check from the trainer, returned to the game in the 3rd period.

 

The third period was intense.  Jackson’s Ahbe scored on a hustle play to make the score 4-3 Vikings.  The momentum shifted to Jackson.  As the time clock wound down, the Bears pressed by pulling the goalie, just missing goals with a 6-on-5 advantage.  The best chance came when Royer and Ahbe attacked the net, watching the puck bounce over the goal.  After a face-off in the Viking end, the puck was played out to the point where a Viking player chipped the puck, while sprawling on the ice, into the Jackson open goal.

 

At the end of the game, Jackson out-shot VASJ 24 to 22.  Lubic stopped 18 of 22 shots.  

 

Jackson record 15-15-4.  Their last game of the season is Saturday, February 21st at 3:40 pm at home against Harborcreek. 

February 14-15 Vikings Presidents' Day Tournament

What a difference a day makes!  After losing the opening game on Saturday, February 14th, the Bears came storming back to capture two wins on Sunday, February 15th earning the right to play the VASJ Vikings in the Championship game of the Presidents’ Day Tournament.  The game will be played at 11:00AM on Monday, February 16 at the Euclid Ice Rink.

 

The Saturday game against Lakewood featured a second period unassisted go-ahead goal by Nick Hart.  Hart intercepted a clearing attempt by the Lakewood goalie and worked the puck past the sprawling net-minder as he tried to recover.  Jackson held what seemed to be a comfortable 2-1 lead going into the final 44 seconds of the third period.  Then things went badly.  Lakewood pulled their goaltender after getting a face-off deep in the Bears’ end.  After winning the face-off, Lakewood pushed the puck against the boards behind the goal.  The ensuing scrum produced a pass that popped out into the slot for an awaiting Lakewood winger who one-timed it into the goal.  Game tied at 2 a piece.  You could sense the wind coming out of the Jackson sails.  With less than a minute remaining, a tie seemed eminent.  The teams exchanged passes in the neutral zone, until the puck skipped toward the Bears’ end.  Two Lakewood players were pounding down on the Bears’ goal with 4 seconds left to play.  The initial shot from the left circle was stopped by Lubic, but the rebound was ridden into the goal by the crashing Lakewood player, never touching his stick.  The referee signaled goal as the buzzer sounded.  Jackson loses 3-2 in a heart breaking turn of events. 

 

 

Jackson Record 13-14-4

 

The first Sunday game against Rocky River was never in doubt.  Having every reason to be discouraged by the loss against Lakewood, the Bears played with determination and purpose.  Jackson scored the first 4 goals of the game.  First period goals by Brad Ahbe and Colby Hart gave the Bears a lead that they would never relinquish.  Colby Hart scored again in the second, along with Eric Frazier.  Rocky River staged a comeback in the third period that was shutdown by the defense, including a counter punch goal by defenseman Jack Vorndran.  Jackson placed 33 shots on goal during the game.  Final score:  Jackson 5 - Rocky River 2. 

 

 

Jackson Record 14-14-4

 

Later Sunday, the Bears squared off against Euclid, a team they had never faced during the regular season.  Again, the outcome was never in question, even though the score was tied 1-1 after the first period.  Alex Royer got things started with a power play goal in the first.  Second period goals by Ahbe and Alex Shepley gave the Bears a commanding 3-1 lead.  The third period was played wide open with Jackson winning the shootout with goals by Royer, Nick Hart, Vorndran and Zack Hart.  All totaled, 31 shots were taken by the Bears, 7 finding the net.  Lubic faced 21 shots, saving 17.  Final score, Jackson 7 - Euclid 4.  

 

Jackson Record 15-14-4

 

 

After three games played, the Bears have 10 tournament points.  Scoring point leaders are  Brad Ahbe (8), followed by Alex Royer (5), Colby Hart, Nick Hart, Jack Vorndran (3), Ian McCarthy, Zack Hart, Eric Frazier, Alex Shepley (1).  Goal tender Adam Lubic has stopped 44 of 53 shots for 83.0 save percentage.   

NCHSHL League Awards

Congratulations to Brad Ahbe - North Coast High School Hockey League Scoring Leader for 2008-09 with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points.
  
Way to Go, Brad !!
  
Brad is the first Jackson player to achieve this honor - Tom Schleichert missed it by one point in 2004-05. We're all very proud of this accomplishment !!

February 2 - NCHSHL Playoff Game L5 - vs. Viking Hockey Club

The Bears were eliminated from the playoffs last night, falling to the Vikings 5-4.  The Bears fought hard to the finish, but could not come back from an early 4-1 deficit.  Four first period Viking goals against the Bears’ single tally (Brad Ahbe from Nick Hart and Nolan Jones), made for a steep climb the rest of the way. 

 

The second period opened with, arguably, the Bears’ best skating and sustained pressure all season.  With 5 on 5, they were able to keep the puck in the Viking end and put 12 shots on goal.  After a Viking penalty, Zack Hart, with assists from Ahbe and Alex Royer, was able to slide the puck into the net to make the score 4-2.  The Vikings were notably on their heels when Nick Pearson intercepted a pass near center ice and skated in on a breakaway only to hit the post and be denied the chance to tighten the score.  The Bears’ frustration was apparent as a two-on-two developed and led to an unlikely Viking goal.  After Adam Lubic made the initial save, the rebound bounced to the right, allowing the attacking winger to rake the puck into the goal while lying on the ice.  This would be the winning goal. 

 

In the 3rd period, the Bears came out hard and scored two more goals.  Scoring both goals, Ahbe, with assists by Jack Vorndran and Ben deForest, brought the team within one goal of a tie.  With 1:10 to go, the Bears pulled their goalie to gain another attacker and were able to gather one more rush.  They crashed the net as time expired…the puck safely under the Viking goaltender’s pads.

 

The next Polar Bear game is during the VASJ Presidents’ Day Tournament on Saturday, February 14th at 12:10 am in Euclid vs. Lakewood.        

February 1 - NCHSHL Playoff Game L2 - vs. Wooster Generals

Having lost the opening playoff round to Rocky River on Friday, Jackson was in a must-win situation entering their game with the Wooster Generals on Sunday afternoon at IceLand USA.  The game started slow with both teams unable to score.  Jackson kept pressure in the General’s zone early and often, but the Wooster goalie was able to successfully turn away 16 shots.  Then, as fast as an Alberta Clipper approaching Northeast Ohio, Jackson scored 3 times.  With 1:15 left in the period, Alex Royer picked up an errant pass in the neutral zone, shuffled it by the defender at the blue line and skated in, beating the goaltender on his stick side.  With 0:25 left on the clock, Zack Hart and Brad Ahbe combined with some pretty passing to make it 2-0.  And, with only 4 seconds left to go in the period, Nolan Jones took a pass from Nick Pearson and Colby Hart to make it 3-0. 

The Generals opened the 2nd period showing that they were not ready to throw in the towel.  They scored a wraparound power play goal early in the 2nd period resulting from some good hustle behind the Bears’ net.  But then, the flood gates opened and Jackson went on to score 7 unanswered goals.  The only other serious scoring chance the General’s could muster was a break-away that Adam Lubic turned away, 7 minutes into the period.  Goals by Ahbe, the Hart Trio, Royer, Morgan Toth, and Pearson made the score 10-1 at the end of the 2nd period.  The game was ended with only 53 seconds gone in the 3rd period after Ian McCarthy scored on a slap short from the point through a screen of Jackson players.  Final score, Jackson 11, Wooster 1.    

With the win, the Bears earned another chance at the VASJ Vikings on Monday night at 8:20.  In previous bouts with the Vikings, the Bears are 1-2-1.    

Jackson's Record:  13 - 12 - 4

 

 

January 30 - NCHSHL Playoff Game F - vs. Rocky River

The regular season has ended and the Playoffs have begun.  Last night the Polar Bears took on the Buccaneers at IceLand USA.  The Bears came out strong, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for most of the first period.  However, the stalemate was broken after Chris Brabenec of the Buccaneers escaped from a scrum in the right corner and chipped a shot into the goal with 2:16 remaining in the period.  The Bears managed to tie the score with a laser shot from Zack Hart (assisted by his brother Nick and winger Nick Pearson) with only 36 seconds left in the period. The momentum shifted in the second period.  Close-in shots by the Buccaneers got by Lubic and Rocky River went up 3-1.  The Bears started the third period with a power play advantage.  Ben DeForest just missed an end-to-end opportunity when he had the Buccaneer goaltender leaning the wrong way.  His shot was barely turned away with a toe save.  Deep in the third period, another chance occurred when Pearson pinged the post from the left circle.  Unfortunately, the Bears were never able to get on the board.  The game ended 3-1. 

The Bears will regroup and prepare to face the Wooster team on Sunday, February 1, at 4:00pm at Iceland USA.

Jackson's record: 12 - 12 - 4 


December 27 - Jackson vs. Mooney Ursuline    

Not a strong or cohesive effort by the Polar Bears, and Mooney Ursuline took advantage.  The game was even through the first.  The Bears weathered a number of penalites in the second, coming out of the period with a 4-2 advantage.  But the mistakes continued, and Mooney scored 3 in the third to take the game.  Nolan Jones was a bright spot for Jackson, scoring 2 for the second straight game.  Nick Pearson and Morgan Toth also added goals.  Final, Mooney Ursuline 5 Jackson 4.

Jackson's record:  8-5-2.

Next in the Christmas Holiday tournament: Sunday, December 28, 4:00pm vs. Vikings (VASJ) 

December 26 - Jackson vs. North Royalton

In what is annually a clean, hard-fought game, Jackson took its Holiday Tournament opener against the North Royalton Bears in fine fashion, winning 4½ of a possible 5 tournament points for the game. The Polar Bears struck twice in the first, once in the second, and twice again in the third, while North Royalton scored a pair in the third. A pair of goals each by freshman Nolan Jones and junior Alex Royer led the way, while Brad Ahbe also netted a goal.  Solid goaltending work was put in by Adam Lubic and Ethan Post.

Jackson's record:  8-4-2.

Next in the Christmas Holiday tournament: Saturday, December 27, 4:00pm vs. Mooney Ursuline

December 21 - Jackson vs. Newark

It was a weary bunch of Polar Bears that traveled to Newark to take on another state power.  Four games and 2 practices in 6 days finally caught up with the boys.  Jackson held with them for most of the game, trailing 2-1 late into the third period.  The Bears ran out of steam, with the final score of Newark 5 Jackson 1.

Jackson's record: 7-4-2.

Next is the Christmas Holiday tournament at Center Ice. First game: Friday, December 26, 6:00pm vs. North Royalton

December 20 - Jackson vs. Harbor Creek (PA)

Jackson traveled to Erie, PA to take on Harbor Creek.  In this seesaw battle, the Bears took an early 1-0 lead in the first, only to have Harbor Creek storm back to take a 3-1 advantage. The Bears came right back, scoring two late goals to finish the first tied 3-3.  Harbor Creek scored late in the second and early in the third to take a 5-3 lead.  Jackson came back to make it 5-4, and narrowly missed on several chances to tie the game as the clock ran down.

Jackson's record:  7-3-2.

Next up for the Bears:  At Newark, Sunday December 21 @11:15am 

December 19 - Jackson vs. Archbishop Hoban 

Playing a high energy attack style game, the Polar Bears jumped all over the Hoban Knights at Center Ice, though the game had an eye-opening start.  Hoban scored on the first shot of the game, 13 second in, on a top-shelf snap shot using a Jackson defender as a screen.  From there, it was all Bears, with Jackson up 4-1 at the end of the first.  The Polar Bears added two each in the second and third, for a final of Jackson 8 Hoban 2.  Stellar in the game were Alex Royer with 5 goals and an assist, while Brad Ahbe added a goal and 4 assists.

Jackson is now:  7-2-2.

The Polar Bears travel to Erie, PA (Harbor Creek) for a game Saturday, December 20 at 2:15pm  

December 17 - Jackson vs. North Canton Hoover 

A big crowd was again on hand for this battle of Stark County rivals.  The Polar Bears, playing without several key players, got off to a slow start.  Hoover outplayed the Bears in the first period, carrying a 2-0 lead into the locker room after one period.  The second and third periods were played much closer, but Jackson had to press the issue to try to come from behind.  The result was several chances for Hoover, which they took advantage of.  The lone Jackson goal was a spectacular breakaway play and move by sophomore Brad Ahbe.  Final score, Hoover 5 Jackson 1.

The Polar Bears record stands at:  6-2-2.

Next for Jackson is an "away game" at the home rink vs. Hoban Friday, Dec. 19 at 6pm at Center Ice.

December 14 - Polar Bears vs. Athens

Jackson played perennial rival, and defending Buckeye Cup Champions, Athens tonight to a 4-4 tie.  Playing without captain Eric Frazier, Nolan Sullivan, Kevin Marsh and Ryan Howald, the Polar Bears still held tough with this very good team in a very entertaining, hard fought and clean game.  The Bears struck early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first before Athens tallied with 1:38 to go in the frame.  The Bobcats came out strong in the second, scoring 3 unanswered goals.  The Bears tied it up in the third on a spectacular goal (his third of the game) by sophomore Brad Ahbe.  The teams played an exciting overtime period, with the game ending knotted. 

The Polar Bears record stands at:  6-1-2.

Next up for Jackson is rival North Canton Hoover Wednesday, December 17, 7:10pm at Center Ice 

December 13 - Bears vs. Riverside

The Polar Bears traveled to Mentor to face Riverside, and came away with a 4-1 victory.  Though in control for most of the game, the Riverside goaltender kept it close until the third, when the Bears struck twice early. 

The Polar Bears record:  6-1-1

Next up for Jackson is perennial rival Athens on Sunday, December 14 at 7:00pm      

December 7 - Tough loss to Westerville 

The Polar Bears traveled to Columbus to take on the Westerville Warcats on Sunday evening.  It was a close battle for much of the game, and the Bears outshot the Warcats 34-31 for the game.  Goals by Ahbe, Royer, Frazier and Pearson kept the Bears in the hunt.  However, several bad shifts late in the second period made the difference, with the Warcats getting 3 quick goals to take the lead.  Westerville finished the scoring with an empty net goal to make the final 7-4.      

The Polar Bears are now 4-1-1 

Next up for Jackson is league rival Mooney at Center Ice on Wednesday, December 10 at 7:10pm.

December 3 - Home Opener Victory Against Wooster 

The Jackson HS Club Hockey team, fresh off its Thanksgiving tournament victory over VASJ on Sunday, began its regular season schedule with a victory over the Wooster HS Club Hockey team on Wednesday evening at Center Ice.  The Bears overwhelmed the gritty but under-manned Wooster team, storming to a 4-0 lead less than 4 minutes into the game. Jackson then cruised to an 11-0 victory.  The game was called after two periods under the "10 goal lead" rule.   

The Polar Bears' record now stands at 4-0-1.  

Jackson's next game is on Sunday at 7:00pm in Westerville, OH versus the Columbus League leading Warcats.

November 30 - Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament Champions!! 

The Polar Bears made up for a disappointing tie with the Vikings Hockey Club in the Preliminary Round with a convincing 8-2 victory in the Championship Game today. The Bears last laid claim to the Championship in 2005 -- it's nice to be back!! 

The win moves the Bears to 3-0-1.

Next up -- our Home Opener against the Wooster Generals on December 3.

November 29 - Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament

The Polar Bears improved their Regular Season record to 2-0-1 today, with a 3-2 win over the Lakewood Club Rangers, the first since the Rangers appeared on the scene in 2005!! The victory assured a spot in the Championship Game on Sunday. The Bears will face the Vikings Hockey Club, attempting to finally resolve the 1st round tie on Friday.  

The Polar Bears are off to a good Regular Season start, beginning the tournament with a 7-7 tie with the Vikings Hockey Club and a 3-1 victory over Fremont on Friday. Stay tuned for updates... 

November 19

The Polar Bears tangled with the Aurora Greenmen tonight, finishing in a 5-5 tie. The Bears outshot Aurora 39-13.   Next up -- Away scrimmages with the Athens Bobcats on Nov 22 and the Mooney-Ursuline Thunder on Nov 23.   The Regular Season begins Nov 28 with a repeat trip to the Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament.   

November 14

The Polar Bears began their Preseason tonight with a successful scrimmage against the Hoban Knights. The Bears posted 8 goals on 43 shots, while allowing 4 goals on 12 shots by the Knights.



Monday, December 17
07-08 1st Half

JACKSON HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT - Congratulations to the Amherst Comets on the Tournament Championship!!

 

JACKSON HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT - December 28 - Hoover

  

The Polar Bears came into the rematch of the Jackson-Hoover rivalry tonight with renewed determination, despite a very short bench. As usual though, there was no shortage of excitement...

 

Jake Swift put up the first tally of the game, assisted by Kevin Marsh, on a power play with 9:55 remaining in the 1st Period, and the Polar Bears carried the 1-0 lead into the Locker Room. The 1st Period was a one-sided shooting match (20 shots for the Vikings to 5 for the Bears), and Matt Botura made a stellar showing, stopping all 20 shots from the Vikings.

 

Each team posted 6 shots in the 2nd, but the Vikings were able to even the score with 3:39 remaining in the Period.

 

In the 3rd Period, the Vikings were able to take advantage of consecutive penalties to score two power play goals in less than one minute (12:02 and 11:12) to finish the scoring and secure a 3-1 victory. Despite a slight edge in 3rd Period shots, the Bears were unable to force the issue against a determined Viking defense in the remainder of the game.

 

The series, which began in 2002, now stands at three wins each for the Polar Bears and the Vikings.

 
 
 

JACKSON HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT - December 27 - Amherst

   

The Polar Bears came up on the wrong side of a short-bench struggle with the Amherst Comets tonight, dropping 7-2 in the 2nd game of the tournament.

 

Rhett Durbin posted the first score of the game, on a beautiful power play feed from Kevin Marsh and Nick Pearson at 10:29 in the 1st Period. Amherst answered with 4 goals before Brett Loader could post the 2nd for Jackson with 14:01 remaining in the game, and the Bears were unable to pull out any more tricks. Matt Botura faced 44 shots from the Comets.

 

JACKSON HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT - December 26 - North Royalton

 

The Polar Bears started the Holiday Tournament with the "Other Bears" from North Royalton tonight, and had to be content to battle to a 2-2 tie in regulation time (no overtime period in tournament play).

 

Zack Hart got things going for the Bears 3 minutes into the game, assisted by Brett Loader and Ben deForest. Nick Pearson made it two with a powerplay goal at 13:21 in the 2nd, but North Royalton came back 30 seconds later with their first, and evened the score at 2-2 with 2:46 remaining in the game. The Polar Bears were unable to retaliate before time expired. Matt Botura stopped 24 of 26 shots from the Bears.

 

December 22 - Rocky River Club 

 

The Polar Bears had a tough evening, losing an important league game to the Rocky River Buccaneers, 5-0.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A BUNCH OF POLAR BEARS!!!

   

December 16 - Mooney/Ursuline

 

The Polar Bears braved winter weather today (of course - would you expect less of a Polar Bear?) to travel to Youngstown to tackle the Mooney/Ursuline Thunder in an important league contest. Despite an extremely short bench, the Bears held on to a 6-goal performance in Regulation leading to an exciting Overtime period.

 

Scoring for the Bears came from Brad Ahbe (3), Jake Swift (2), Zack Hart and Alex Royer. Assists went to Rhett Durbin (2), Nick Pearson, Brad Ahbe, Alex Royer, Zack Hart, and Jack Vorndran. 

 

Jake Swift clinched the OT game-winner to put the "W" in the correct column, 7-6, with Taylor Brown holding the net for the Bears, stopping 16 of 26 shots from the Thunder.

 

The win moves the Polar Bears to  6-4-1 overall, and a significant 5-1-0 position in league play, with 3 remaining league games. The NCHSHL is up for grabs at this point, with the Bears in the thick of the playoff race...

   

Now, it's time for a well-deserved Holiday rest. Next up -- the Jackson Holiday Tournament December 26-28 with Amherst, North Royalton, and North Canton Hoover!!

 

It Was an Exciting Weekend...

   

December 9 - Lakewood Varsity

   

The Polar Bears tangled with the Lakewood HS Rangers in a well-matched non-league contest tonight, finishing in a 2-2 tie after an exciting Overtime Period...

   

Brett Loader started things off for the Bears 1:19 into the 2nd, after a scoreless 1st Period, when he knocked one home off a rebound from a shot by Zack Hart which Brett set up.

 

The Rangers came back three minutes later to even things up, but Jake Swift put the Polar Bears back on top with 3:17 remaining in the 2nd, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Brett Loader, to carry a slim lead to the locker room.

 

After ten minutes of scoreless action in the 3rd, the Rangers put one on the Board to tie the game. Despite a power play opportunity in the last two minutes of Regulation, the Bears couldn't find the back of the net, and in spite of outshooting Lakewood 8-2 in the Overtime, couldn't find it then either.

 

Matt Botura stopped 20 0f 22 shots from the Rangers with some nifty acrobatic moves.

 

December 8 - VASJ League Victory!

 

The Polar Bears came out on top of a wild league contest with the VASJ Vikings tonight with a 3-1 victory to move to a 4-1-0 league record.

 

The Vikings got the first mark with 7:54 remaining in the 1st, answered 3 minutes later by Zack Hart on an unassisted goal with 4:24 remaining. After battling to a scoreless 2nd Period, The Bears were rewarded with two in the 3rd. The first came from Zack Hart on a setup from Brett Loader 2:52 into the Period. Brett Loader finished the scoring with 4:45 remaining with help from Brad Ahbe.

 

Matt Botura was a very busy man, stopping 31 of 32 from the Vikings in one of his best performances of the season.

 

December 5 - Hoban Knights...

 

The Polar Bears brought their record to 4-4-0 overall and continued their positive league trend tonight, bringing home a 3-2 victory over the Archbishop Hoban Knights. The win brings the Bears to a 3-1 record in league play. Like last year, it looks like "Anything Goes" in the NCHSHL, so every league win carries serious weight...

  

The Polar Bears outshot the Knights 25-14. Ironically, half of the game total shots (10 shots each) were posted by each team in an awesome, but scoreless "slugfest" of exciting offense & defense in the 2nd Period.

  

Alex Royer got things started for the Bears in the 1st, with a nice shot from the left point, assisted by jake Swift, and Rhett Durbin at 4:52. Just 49 seconds later, Brett Loader knocked one in unassisted, but the Knights answered 20 seconds later to end the 1st Period 2-1.

 

In the 3rd, Jake Swift got the game-winner at 7:41 in the 3rd, assisted by Rhett Durbin and Jack Vorndran. Hoban answered with a short-handed goal with :42 ramaining, but were unable to close prior to the buzzer.

 

Matt Botura stopped 12 of 14 shots from the Knights. 

 

December 2 - Fremont Ice Wolves...

 

The Polar Bears bounced back tonight, with a 5-1 League victory over Fremont. Jackson scoring was well-distributed, with goals coming from Zack Hart, Rhett Durbin, Brad Ahbe, Jake Swift and Nick Pearson. Assist credits went to Brad Ahbe (2), Brett Loader, Zack Hart and Alex Royer. 

 

Matt Botura had a strong night in net, stopping 18 of 19 shots from the Ice Wolves.

 

The win moves the Bears to 3-4-0 overall, and 2-1-0 in NCHSHL league play.

 

December 1 - Riverside...

 

The Polar Bears ran faced a challenge on Saturday from Riverside for the second time this year, losing 3-1 in an important League contest. Brett Loader got things going with a goal in the 1st Period, assisted by Brad Ahbe and Zach Hart. Riverside came back in the 2nd with a goal, leaving things deadlocked at the Intermission, but two unanswered goals in the 3rd put the game out of reach.

 

Matt Botura stopped 22 of 25 from Riverside.   

 

The loss moves the Polar Bears to 1-1-0 in League play.  

 

November 29 - Hoover Vikings...

 

The Polar Bears faced a tough opponent tonight in the form of the North Canton Hoover Vikings, eventually succumbing 6-2...

 

The first two periods were hard-fought contests, with the Vikings carrying a 2-0 lead into the locker room for the 1st Intermission.

 

The Bears fought their way back in the 2nd on a goal from Rhett Durbin 3:19 into the Period, on assists from Brett Loader and Matt Lafferty. They tied the game at 2-2 just 2 minutes later on a shot from Nick Pearson on a setup from Nick Hart. The Vikings were able to get one past the defense with 2:14 remaining to carry a 3-2 lead into the 2nd break.

 

3rd Period scoring was all Hoover, with 2 goals less than 30 seconds apart (8:41 & 8:16) and the final goal at 5:28. The Bears were unable to mount a successful comeback.

 

Matt Botura was a busy man, stopping 39 of 45 shots from the Vikings.

 

The Hoover - Jackson hockey rivalry, which began in 2002, stands in favor of the Polar Bears 3-2.

 

The teams will face each other again on December 28 at 8:00 pm in the Jackson Holiday Tournament, which will also feature the Rorth Royalton Bears and the Amherst Comets.

 

 November 28 - 1st League Game...

 

The Polar Bears got off to a good League start, topping North Royalton 6-2 at Center Ice tonight. Things seemed pretty even in most of the first two periods, with the Polar Bears and the "Other" Bears trading goals, 2-2, but "Our" Bears took advantage of four power play goals to seal the deal through the balance of the game.

 

Brett Loader led the way, with an impressive 4 goal performance. Brad Ahbe and Nick Hart rounded out the scoring. Assist credits went to Brad Ahbe (2), Matt Fratczak, Jack Vorndran, Alex Royer, and Zack Hart. Matt Botura put a firm stop to 15 of 17 shots from the NR Bears.

 

Riverside Thanksgiving Tournament

 

The Polar Bears got off to a tentative start this weekend, finishing 1-2, out of the hunt for championship hardware...

 

The Bears started out with a close 2-1 loss to Riverside. The only Jackson tally came  from Brad Ahbe on an assist fro Jack Vorndran. Matt Botura stopped 24 of 26 Riverside shots.

 

The 2nd game was a different story, as the Polar Bears put two in the net from Rhett Durbin and Nick Hart, assisted by Matt Fratczak, Jake Swift & Brett Loader. Matt Boturs had a great night in net, stopping all 24 shots from the Beavers.

 

In Game 3, the Bears posted a  3-2  2nd Period, but couldn't overcome an evential 4 goal lead by the VASJ Vikings, dropping 7-3 in their last chance at the Championship Game. Jackson goals came from Brett Loader, Ben deForest and Jake Swift. Assists went to Nick Hart and Jake Swift. Matt Botura stopped 21 of 28 shots from the Vikings. 

 

HERE WE GO...

 

The Polar Bears have finished their preseason, and it's time to get started with regular season activity. The Bears start things out with the Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament, followed by the Home Opener with North Royalton on November 28 and a renewal of the cross town rivalry with the North Canton Hoover Vikings on November 29.

 

Don't miss the fun... 



Saturday, November 3

 

GOLF OUTING - ANOTHER SUCCESS!!

The 4th Annual Polar Bear Hockey Golf Outing was a (somewhat wet) success...

 

26 brave souls took on the midwest remnants of Tropical Storm Erin and won - for 9 holes, that is...

 

We all had a great time! Thanks especially to the Browns for coordinating the food offerings from many families, the gratious players & volunteers for standing in the rain to help, our golfers (and wannabes) and most of all to Bill Houmard for his oversight and coordination!!

 

We will be having a kickoff party in early September - keep an eye on the website for details...



Tuesday, May 8
2006-07 Highlights
Our Season Comes to a Close...

Buckeye Cup - Round 3


The Polar Bears' season came to a close this evening, when a 2-0 loss to the Athens Bobcats eliminated their chances for a Buckeye Cup semifinal spot. The Bears can take satisfaction that they battled two of the final four teams, PRPC and Athens, in close games in the preliminary rounds.


Buckeye Cup - Round 2

The Polar Bears came back this morning with a critical 3-1 victory over the Northern Kentucky Chiefs, taking 4-1/2 tournament points while keeping up hope for a 3rd round win to secure a semifinal spot. The Bears outshot the Chiefs 44-19.

Jackson scores came from Erik Frazier (2) and Zack Hart. Assists were credited to Brian Swift, Bret Loader and Pat Schlafer. Matt Botura put the stop on 18 shots from the Chiefs in the Bears' 20th win of the season.


Buckeye Cup - Round 1

The Polar Bears were unable to prevail in their 1st Round game with Tournament favorite PRPC, losing 4-2 and capturing only 1/2 tournament point.

Bryce McCroskey scored the first goal for the Bears in the 2nd Period, assisted by Broc McCroskey. Broc scored the 2nd goal in the 3rd Period on an assist from Brian Swift. Matt Botura had a strong night in goal, stopping 37 of 41 shots from the Prowlers.

Saturday morning holds a matchup with the Northern Kentucky Chiefs.

League Honors!!

Congratulations to Captain Nick Ruth on being selected as League Best Defenseman in the coaches poll. Nick received his award at the All-Star Game Sunday - Way to Go, Nick!!

Additional congratulations to our representatives to the NCHSHL All-Star Game held Sunday. Nick Ruth, Brett Loader, Broc McCroskey and Eric Frazier represented the Polar Bears in the first annual event in Strongsville - it was a good chance to complete the regular season on a friendly note as we make the transition to cheering on our usual competitors as we all take on the Columbus and Cincinnati teams in the Buckeye Cup. Nice Job Guys!!

The Bears -- On the Way to Cincinnati...

The Polar Bears will be heading to Cincinnati the weeknd of March 2-4, for their third appearance in the Buckeye Cup Club State Championship as the 4th seed from the NCHSHL. Preliminary round games will put the Bears in contact with PRPC (Columbus #1), N. Kentucky Chiefs (Cincinnati #3) and Athens (Columbus #2). Good Luck, Bears!!

Villa Angela/St. Joe Presidents Weekend Tournament

The Polar Bears got off to a rocky start in the VASJ Presidential Confrontation, dropping the opener to Medina 6-0 on Saturday...

Sunday was a different story, however. The Bears were able to pull out a 2-0 victory over the NCHSHL Champion Rocky River Buccaneers, taking 4-1/2 of 5 possible tournament points to keep hopes up for a Championship berth on Monday.

Alex Royer put Jackson on the board in the 2nd Period, with assists from Brian Swift and Andy Begue, and Nick Pearson closed the door in the 3rd with help from Zack Hart. Matt Botura held off a determined effort from the Bucs, stopping all 22 shots.

The final game of the tournament left the Bears short of the requisite points needed to make the Championship Game, ending in a 1-1 tie with the VASJ Vikings. The Bears' only goal came from Bryce McCroskey on an assist from Matt Lafferty. Matt Botura had a busy night, stopping 44 of 45 shots from the Vikings

NCHSHL Playoff Semifinal

The Polar Bears dropped out of contention for the League Championship today, with a disappointing 3-0 loss to Medina. The 1st round win proved to be enough to secure a 4th place seed for the Buckeye Cup State Championship the 1st weekend in March - Way to Go, Bears!!


1st Round Playoff Victory!!

The Polar Bears pulled off an exciting 4-3 overtime win tonight over the VASJ Vikings to ensure a berth in the Buckeye Cup Club State Championship in Cincinnati March 2-4. The Bears next see the Medina Bees in the Semifinal Round of the NCHSHL Playoffs on Saturday at 6:50 PM.

Go Bears!!

February 2 - Rocky River Buccaneers - Senior Night

The Polar Bears set out this evening to honor Seniors Nick Ruth, Andy Begue, Bryce McCroskey & Dave Gibson and their parents, and they did so in fine form, bringing home a 4-3 victory over the Rocky River Buccaneers. This was the Polar Bears' final, and perhaps most critical league game of the season, ensuring a third or fourth place seed going into the League Championship Playoffs next weekend.

The Bears got off to a hot start in the 1st Period, scoring two goals within two minutes. The first was knocked in at 12:53 by Broc McCroskey assisted by Brett Loader. The favor was returned at 11:08 by Brett Loader, assisted by Broc McCroskey and Erik Frazier. What looked like a possible runaway settled down into a non-productive 23 minutes of hockey, until the Buccaneers scored two in the last two minutes of the 2nd Frame.

The 3rd Period looked a little better for Jackson when Erik Frazier put one in at 13:59, assisted by the "D" - Alex Royer and Nick Ruth. The Bucs came back one minute later to resume the deadlock. Both teams traded blows through the next 12 minutes, with strong goaltender performances, until the McCroskeys pounded in the game winner with :57 remaining - Broc with the goal and Bryce with the assist.

Matt Botura stopped 23 shots from Rocky River in the win.

Now the waiting game until the playoff picture is clarified on Sunday...


January 31 - Wooster Generals

The Polar Bears took it one step closer to their league goals with an 11-1 win over the Wooster Generals tonight in their next-to-last regular season home game. The Bears led 4-0 after the 1st Period and came out with another 7 in the 2nd Period to end the game on the 10-goal differential after 2 Periods.

Jackson goals came from Kent Newman (2), Brett Loader (2), Bryce McCroskey (2), Nick Hart, Jack Vorndran, David Schlafer,  Dave Gibson and Alex Royer. Assist credits went to Andy Begue (4), Nick Hart (3), Brett Loader (3), Broc McCroskey (2), Zack Hart, Nick  Ruth, Nick Pearson and Rhett Durbin. Matt Botura stopped two of three shots from the Generals in the win.

Friday night's game with Rocky River is the last, and perhaps most critical league matchup of the season, determining placement for the League Championshps, and potentially the potential for a Buckeye Cup Berth.

Go Bears!!

January 27 - Riverside Hockey Club

The Polar Bears kept up the pressure on the way to the climactic League Championship in early February, with a critical 2-1 win over Riverside in overtime today, ensuring the continued log jam of six teams jockeying for position atop the regular season leader board. The Bears lead in shots 32-28.

Riverside held a 1-0 lead after the 2nd Period which was answered with a goal by Broc McCroskey in the 3rd to tie things up. Riverside held off a last minute surge by the Bears to force the overtime. Bryce McCroskey then sealed it with the game winner in overtime. Brett Loader notched the only assist for the Polar Bears. Matt Botura stopped 27 of 28 Riverside shots.

The Bears finish out the seague shedule this week with the Wooster Generals on Wednesday, and the Rocky River Buccaneers (Senior Night) on Friday.


January 24 - Mooney/Ursuline Thunder

The Polar Bears brought home a very important road victory tonight, beating Mooney/Ursuline 3-1. The win keeps the Bears alive in the  tightly contested final week of regular season play in the NCHSHL, with the road to the Buckeye Cup Tournament at stake.

All of the scoring in the game came in the 2nd Period. The Polar Bears struck first on an unassisted goal by Brett Loader at 14:35. The Thunder came back with a short-handed goal at 9:40, which was answered immediately by a power play goal from Loader on an assist from Bryce McCroskey at 9:30. The final score came on an unassisted goal from Brett to notch his hat trick at 6:38. Jackson outshot the Thunder 25-23, with Matt Botura stopping 22.

The Polar Bears are heading into a final week of league matchups - each one a "must-win" for a clean shot at a trip to Cincinnati. Keep a close eye on the NCHSHL web site (link on menu bar at left) to track the sprint to the finish!!


January 21 - Archbishop Hoban Knights

The Polar Bears turned on the jets with five goals in the 3rd Period to break a 2-2 deadlock with the Hoban Knights tonight, to finish the evening with a 7-2 victory. The Bears outshot the Knights 44-8 in the win.

Erik Frazier led the Bears with two goals. Goals came from Andy Begue, Brian Swift, Zack Hart, Nick Pearson and Broc McCroskey. Assists went to Broc McCroskey (3), Alex Royer (2), Erik Frazier (2), Nick Hart, Rhett Durbin, David Gibson,Brian Swift and Brett Loader. Matt Botura stopped 6 of the 8 shots from the Knights.

Next up - an important Leaue game with Mooney/Ursuline Wed Jan 24 at 7:15 pm at the IceZone in Boardman.


January 20 - Lakewood HS Rematch - WIN!!

Despite a short bench, the Polar Bears prevailed in a rematch with the Lakewood HS Rangers tonight, bringing home a 3-1 victory.

Goals for the Bears were posted by Broc McCroskey (2) and Brian Swift, while assists went to Erik Frazier, Nick Hart, Bryce McCroskey and Matt Lafferty. Matt Botura stopped 30 of 31 shots from the aggressive Rangers.

January 17 - League Victory!!

The Polar Bears were able to get sweet revenge tonight for a 7-3 loss to North Royalton in the Holiday Tournament by beating the "Other" Bears 6-2 in a critical NCHSHL league matchup.

Goals were posted by Bryce McCroskey, Broc McCroskey, David Schlafer, Erik Frazier, Brett Loader and Andy Begue. Assists were notched by Alex Royer, Brian Swift, Nick Ruth, Nick Pearson and Rhett Durbin. Matt Botura stopped 13 of 15 shots from North Royalton.

Jeff Musat Memorial Tournament

The Polar Bears hosted one of the most important tournaments of the year - matching 4 of the top 5 teams from last year's Buckeye Cup State Championship in a weekend of intense competition.

Athens

The Polar Bears came up short in a matchup with the Athens Bobcats, losing 3-2 to last year's Buckeye Cup runner-up on Saturday morning. The Bears challenged late, but were unable to connect...

Kent Newman and Bryan Swift scored for the Bears, on assists from Brett Loader, Bryce McCroskey, Kent Newman and Pat Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 19 of 22 from the Bobcats. 

Medina

Saturday evening was a good one for the Polar Bears, seeing them post a 4-1 victory over the Bees - a satisfying feeling after Wednesday's league loss to the Bees. The Bears outshot Medina 30-14.

Goal credits went to Brett Loader (2), Brian Swift and Erik Frazier. Assists went to David Schlafer, Broc McCroskey, Zack Hart, Nick Ruth and Brett Loader. Matt Botura stopped 13 of 14 from the Bees.

Lakewood Club

Disappointment came to the Bears on Sunday morning, when they were unable to get past the Lakewood Club Rangers. The 4-1 loss spelled the end of any aspirations the Polar Bears may have had for a "backdoor" tournament victory.

Jackson's only goal came from Broc McCroskey early in the 1st Period on an assist from Brian Swift. Matt Botura stopped 24 of the 28 shots posted by the Rangers.

January 10 - League Disappointment...

The Polar Bears were unable to get past the Medina Bees in league play this evening, falling 5-3 on an empty net goal at the end of the game. The Bears outshot the Bees by a margin of 39-21, but couldn't prevail in the late 3rd Period rush.

Bryce McCroskey notched two for the Bears, and Jack Vorndran had one, while assists went to Erik Frazier (2), Brett Loader, Broc McCroskey and David Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 15 of the 20 shots he faced from Medina.


Successful Road Trip!!!

The Polar Bears had a successful road trip the weekend of Jan 6-7. The Team had a meeting with Eastwood HS Club at the University of Findlay Arena on Saturday, spent an evening watching the BGSU Falcons take on Western Michigan, then met up with the Fremont Ice Wolves for a NCHSHL league game on the way home Sunday...

The Bears started the trip with a 7-2 victory over Eastwood on Saturday. After taking a 1-0 lead in the 1st, the goals came more freely in the 2nd (4 goals) and 3rd (2 goals) Periods. Goals were posted by Bryce McCroskey (2), Brian Swift (2), David Schlafer, Broc McCroskey and Brett Loader. Assists were credited to Brian Swift, Erik Frazier, Broc McCroskey and Kent Newman. Matt Botura held the line in goal, but this was his mystery win of the year - the Eastwood staff did not record shots/saves.

On Sunday, The Polar Bears improved their overall record to 9-5-1 and their League record to 3-1-0, posting a 6-3 victory over the Fremont Ice Wolves. The Bears got things started early, putting four goals up in the 1st Period, followed by one each in the 2nd & 3rd. Goals came from Nick Pearson (2), Nick Hart, Erik Frazier, Bryce McCroskey and Rhett Durbin. Assists went to Rhett Durbin Jack Vorndran, Pat Schlafer, Nick Ruth, Erik Frazier, Bryce McCroskey and Alex Royer. Matt Botura stopped 17 of 20 shots from the Ice Wolves.


December 29 - Jackson Holiday Tournament CHAMPIONS!!

The Polar Bears 9 point total turned out to be enough to claim the Jackson Holiday Tournament Championship!!

In the final game of the tournament this morning, Rocky River and Hoover battled to a 2-2 tie, leaving the Vikings a full point short of the margin necessary to take the Championship away from Jackson. The final tournament standings were Jackson (9 pts), Hoover (8-1/2 pts), North Royalton (8 pts), and Rocky River (4-1/2 pts). Congratulations to all teams on a fun and competitive tournament!

Happy Holidays!

December 28 - Jackson Holiday Tournament - North Royalton

Sometimes after a good evening, you have a bad one...

The Polar Bears had a flat evening tonight, and despite outshooting the "other" Bears 34-24, sustained a 7-3 loss to North Royalton. The loss sacrificed the outright Championship and made the Tournament Championship dependent on the results of the Hoover v. Rocky River game tomorrow. The Polar Bears finished their games in the Tournament with 9 points - a Hoover victory with 3-1/2 points or more will displace the Polar Bears -- interesting times tomorrow morning...

The Bears had a tough time getting an effective offense against North Royalton, and faced some inspired goaltending from Senior Anthony Pimpas. Brett Loader notched two for the Bears, and Broc McCroskey got the third. Assists went to David Schlafer, Alex Royer, Nick Ruth, Kent Newman and Bryce McCroskey. Matt Botura stopped 17 of 24 shots.

December 27 - Jackson Holiday Tournament - Hoover Vikings

It was a good evening for the Polar Bears...

In a matchup eagerly awaited by both teams, the Bears faced off against the North Canton Hoover Vikings tonight for the first time in three years, in front of arguably the largest crowd in Center Ice history. The renewal of Stark County's only High School Hockey rivalry was everything that could have been expected - constant action, intense effort, great coaching, awesome fan support and constantly changing momentum.

The Bears came out on top in a 3-2 victory, secured late in the 3rd Period, but neither team left anything behind in the "effort" department. Shots were nearly equal (H-18 J-16), penalties were nearly equal (H-8 J-7), and until the last two minutes of the game, the score was equal...

After battling to a 0-0 1st Period stalemate, the Bears came out swinging in the 2nd, with a goal from Alex Royer, assisted by Nick Ruth and Erik Frazier, just 1:11 into the Period. Broc McCroskey followed with an unassisted, diving, 2nd effort goal with 10:00 remaining in the frame. Hoover came back with two unanswered goals in the last 33 seconds of the Preiod to tie things up.

Both teams came out strong in the 3rd Period, trading power play opportunities repeatedly, until Brett Loader put in the "game winner" on a power play with 2:06 remaining in the game, assisted by Alex Royer and Bryce McCroskey. That's when the coaching came to play, with timeouts, goalie pulls, formation changes and last ditch efforts, but the Bears were able to stave off the late pressure from the Vikings to hold onto the win.

In a game where "shots on goal" is a statistic which defines the real control of the game, Matt Botura held the line, stopping 16 of the 18 shots aimed at him by the Vikings.

Brett Loader got the nod from the Hoover Coach, receiving MVP honors for the game - Way to go, Brett!!

The best part of the renewed rivalry occurred after the game, with small pockets of former CAHA players getting together on the ice, and the intermingling of parents & players in the lobby - an undefined mixing of purple/gold and orange/black. The evening was a great example how friends can become opponents, and then become friends again.

The Bears have a chance to claim the outright Tournament Championship Thursday, when they finish with another eagerly anticipated matchup with perennial rival North Royalton...

Nice Job Boys!!!

December 26 - Jackson Holiday Tournament - Rocky River Buccaneers

The Polar Bears got off to a good start in the Jackson Holiday Tournament, with a 6-0 shutout of the Rocky River Buccaneers, a looming rival in the North Coast HS Hockey League. The Bears were able to capture 4-1/2  of 5 possible points in the win, placing them within 1/2 point of the Hoover Vikings, and setting the stage for Wednesday's showdown with their cross town rivals...

It was Polar Bear Hockey all the way, with good performances from multiple lines, and a stellar effort in goal!

Jackson goals came from Brett Loader (2) and Bryce McCroskey (2) - on an incredible back-to-back effort in just 6 seconds, Andy Begue, and Erik Frazier. Assists went to Erik Frazier (2), Brett Loader (2), Brian Swift, Broc McCroskey, and Jack Vorndran. Matt Botura stepped up to stop all 22 shots from the Buccaneers in his 4th shutout of the season. For that effort, Matt was chosen as Game MVP by the Rocky River Coach.

Yeah, Matt!!!

December 22 - VASJ Vikings

The Polar Bears took home an early Christmas present, and moved their overall record to 5-4-1 (League 2-1-0), with a 4-2 win over the Villa Angela/St. Joseph Vikings on Friday night.

Nick Ruth lead the way for the Bears with two goals, and Bryce McCroskey & Brian Swift each grabbed one. Assists were credited to Brian Swift, Erik Frazier, Broc McCroskey and Brett Loader. Matt Botura stopped 12 of 14 attempts from the Vikings.

The win is a nice lead into the Jackson Holiday Tournament Dec 26-29, featuring the Hoover Vikings, The North Royalton Bears and the Rocky River Buccaneers.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!


December 17 - Lakewood Club Rangers

The Polar Bears squared up against their NCHSHL League rival Lakewood Club team today, coming up short in a 2-1 loss. The loss moves the Polar Bears to 4-4-1 overall and 1-1 in NCHSHL League play.

Kent Newman posted the only tally for the Bears, unassisted, in the 3rd Period, while Matt Botura stopped 27 of 29 shots from the Rangers.

League note: A host of teams in the league now have at least one loss, with no undefeated teams, and no dominant team is emerging in the early part of the season. That's perfect motivation for the Bears as they enter the next league matchup with the Villa Angela/St. Joseph Vikings Friday night.

You can learn more about league standings an news by clicking on the NCHSHL link on the left.

Go Bears!!

December 13 - Lakewood HS Varsity Rangers

The Polar Bears had one of their most productive games of the season, posting a 5-0 shutout on Wednesday, to move to a 3-0 lifetime record against the varsity Rangers and a 4-3-1 overall record so far.

The Bears battled back & forth across the neutral zone for most of a period before Brett Loader foung the back of the Lakewood net w/ 1:45 remaining in the period off an assist from Broc McCroskey. Things settled back into the routine, until the Bears put in three in the last 4 minutes of the 2nd, on goals from Erik Frazier, Nick Ruth & Broc McCroskey on assists from Bryce McCroskey, Broc McCroskey, Brett Loader, David Gibson, Andy Begue & Alex Royer. Erik Frazier finished things for the Bears with 10:41 remaining in the game, with the assist going to David Schlafer.

Matt Botura stopped all 12 shots from the Rangers in his 3rd shutout of the regular season.

December 9 - Aurora Greenmen

The Polar Bears had another one of "Those" games with Aurora today - always intense, always close, always class. This time the Bears posted a 2-2 overtime tie with the Greenmen.

After a scorelesss 1st period, Jackson took a 2-1 2nd Period lead on goals by Broc McCroskey and Brian Swift. Assists were recorded by Kent Newman, Brett Loader and Bryce McCroskey. Aurora was able to tie things up in the 3rd, and both teams played a stubborn overtime period to leave with the tie. Matt Botura had a busy game, stepping up to stop 33 of 35 shots from the Greenmen.

Next up, a home matchup with the Lakewood HS Rangers on Wednesday.

December 6 - Win Over the Thunder!!

The Bears continued their recovery from a difficult season start tonight, bringing home a decisive 6-2 victory over the Mooney/Ursuline Thunder, which moved the team to a 3-3 early-season record. The teams traded blows in the 1st & early 2nd, reaching a 2-2 tie with 13:51 to go in the 2nd. From that point, it was Polar Bear Hockey, with four more goals in the 2nd Frame to complete the evening's scoring excitement. The 3rd Period was a 0-0 battle, but the solid performance in the 2nd was enough to hold the win for the Bears.

Jackson goals, as they have done in every game to date, came from multiple lines, for a balanced attack. Goals were credited to Broc McCroskey, David Schlafer, Brett Loader, Kent Newman, Nick Pearson, and Erik Frazier. Assists were notched by Kent Newman, David Gibson, Pat Schlafer, Nick Hart, Nick Ruth, Brian Swift, Alex Royer, and Brett Loader. Matt Botura had 12 saves on 14 shots from the Thunder.

Next up - our regular season, annual head-to-head matchup with the Aurora Greenmen on Saturday at "The Pond".


December 3 - 1st League Game - Victory Over the Ice Knights!!

The Polar Bears kept up the pressure on Nordonia to secure a 3-0 victory in the first NCHSHL League Game of the season. The win brings the Bears to 2-3-0 (1-0-0).

Jackson goals came from Nick Hart, Brett Loader and Pat Schlafer. Assist tallies went to David Schlafer and Zack Hart. Matt Botura got his 2nd shutout, bagging all 22 shots from the Knights.

November 29 - Victory Over the Comets!!

The Polar Bears got back on the positive track with a Home Opener against the Solon Comets, posting a 2-0 victory. The win brings the Bears to 1-3-0 in the regular season.

Jackson Scores came from Broc cCroskey and Brett Loader, on assists from Kent Newman, Bryce McCroskey, Matt Lafferty and Erik Frazier. Matt Botura got his first shutout of the season, stopping all 12 shots from the Comets.


REGULAR SEASON UNDERWAY!!

The Polar Bers got their regular season underway with a disappointing 0-3-0 performance in the Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament. Details are being compiled and will be added ASAP to the Summary.


Sunday, June 4
2005-06 Highlights
BOSTON!!

Special congrats to Matt Botura and Corey McDevitt on their selection to the Boston team after the midwest showcase. A nice way to represent the Polar Bears! Good Job, Boys!! 

POST-SEASON HONORS!!!

Congrats to Tyler Murphy, Corey McDevitt, Matt Dixon, Brett Loader and Matt Botura on their selection to the Hockey Night in Boston Midwest Showcase held in Ann Arbor, Michigan June 22-24. Our guys went toe-to-toe with the best from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconson, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and had a BLAST! We're proud of you, guys!!

Check out the Photos Section for details...

Congratulations to Matt Sauders - voted League Best Defenseman for the North Coast High School Hockey League (shared with Jonathan Buchek of Lakewood) - Way to Go, Matt!!

There's something to be said for keeping your best for the last…

March 11 - Buckeye Cup - Round 3

The Polar Bears finished their fourth season tonight with their best game of the season -- a remarkable team effort in a 4-1 victory over the Pickering/Reynoldsburg (PRPC) Prowlers in their final preliminary game in the 2006 Buckeye Cup State Championship. The win tied the Bears for 4th place with Lakewood in tournament points, but the tiebreaker criteria gave that last semifinal spot to the Rangers based on least goals allowed in the three preliminary games.

Despite the disappointment of not advancing, it was a great finish, moving the Polar Bears to a final season record of 25-12-3.

After a frustrating 6-1 loss to Athens Friday night, and a 13-5 win over Cincinnati Northwest/Colerain Saturday afternoon, the Bears were faced with a do-or-die matchup on Saturday evening with the Prowlers - the #2 seed from the Columbus League. Taking all 5 tournament points would have guaranteed the Bears a spot in the semifinals, but that is a tall order for an encounter with a team like PRPC…

Jackson started off with a 1-0 1st Period lead on a shot from Jake Thomas, assisted by Zack McKendrick. Jackson took it to 2-0 in the 2nd on a shot from Brett Loader, assisted again by Zack McKendrick. The Prowlers came back with a goal with 4:29 remaining which could not be answered in time by the Bears to take the Period. The 3rd Period was all Jackson, with a goal by Justin Brown at 7:49, assisted by Tyler Murphy and Tyler Sojka. Jake Thomas put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal with 1:39 remaining, assisted by Brett Loader.

Matt Botura was stellar in goal, stopping 23 of 24 shots from PRPC.

March 11 - Buckeye Cup - Round 2

The Polar Bears posted a solid 2nd Round victory over Cincinnati Northwest/Colerain today to regain some small chance for advancing to the Semifinal Round. The Jackson shooting fest saw goals from Zach McKendrick (3), Jake Thomas (2), David Schlafer (2), Matt Dixon, Nick Ruth, Brian Swift, Brett Loader, Kent Newman, and Justin Brown. Assists went to Jake Thomas (5), Zack McKendrick (3), Brett Loader (3), Matt Sauders (2), Matt Dixon (2), Tyler Sojka (2), David Schlafer, Corey McDevitt, Tyler Murphy, Jameson Kackley, and Brian Swift. Matt Botura stopped 12 of 17 shots from the Knights.

March 10 - Buckeye Cup - Round 1

The Polar Bears got of to a very bad start today in the 2006 Buckeye Cup Championship, with a 6-1 loss to the Athens Bobcats. The Bears drew first blood in a very evenly matched 1st Period, on a goal from Justin Brown at 11:51, assisted by Broc McCroskey. A goal by Athens with 2:19 remaining in the Period took the Polar Bears off stride. For the remainder of the game, the Bears were frustrated by a very aggressive offensive effort by the Bobcats.

Matt Botura stopped 20 of 26 shots posted by Athens.

February 19 - Presidential Confrontation -- CHAMPIONS!!


The Polar Bears finished the regular season in the best way possible tonight - with a 2-1 Tournament Championship victory over Medina. The win moves the Bears to a record of 23-11-3 as they enter the Buckeye Cup Tournament in three weeks.

Both of Jackson's goals came in the 2nd Period, and both came from Tyler Murphy - the first on a power play on assists from Ben Morhac and Matt Dixon, and the second on an unassisted breakaway slapshot. Matt Botura stopped 12 of 13 shots from the Bees.

Matt Botura received the All-Tournament Goaltender Award, and Tyler Murphy received the All-Tournament MVP Award -- Congrats Matt & Tyler!!
 

February 19 - Presidential Confrontation -- Round 3...

The Polar Bears had a good day today, defeating the VASJ Vikings 5-2 to advance to Monday's Championship Game with Medina (the Bees defeated Riverside 4-1 to secure the second seed with 10 tournament points). The Polar Bears amassed 11-1/2 tournament points to secure the lead and the home team advantage for the Championship.

Tyler Murphy led Jackson Scorers with two goals. Additional tallys came from Brett Loader, Matt Dixon and Zach McKendrick. Assists went to Matt Sauders (2), Jake Thomas (2), Ben Morhac, Broc McCroskey and Zach McKendrick. Matt Botura stopped 14 of 16 shots from the Vikings.

February 18 - Presidential Confrontation -- Round 2...

The Polar Bears continued to make it interesting today, with a 9-1 win over Rocky River in the 2nd preliminary game at Euclid. The Bears took all 5 possible tournament points in the contest, setting the stage for a pivotal game with VASJ Sunday to advance to the Championship Game.

The Bears had goals posted by Tyler Murphy (2), Matt Sauders (2), Broc McCroskey (2), Ben Morhac, Jameson Kackley and Corey McDevitt. Assist credits went to Tyler Murphy (2), Ben Morhac (2), Justin Brown (2), Kent Newman, Matt Dixon, Nick Ruth, Brian Swift and Rhett Durbin. Matt Botura had stopped 9 of the 10 shots put up by the Buccaneers.

February 17 - Presidential Confrontation -- Round 1...

The Polar Bears got off to a familiar start in the VASJ Presidential Confrontation Tournament in Euclid Friday, squaring off against the Medina Bees in the first preliminary game...

The Bears & the Bees battled to a 3-3 tie, splitting 2-1/2 tournament points each, setting the stage for a potential rematch in the Championship Game Monday Night...

Jackson scores came from Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac and Corey McDevitt, with assists to Brett Loader, Zack McKendrick, Tyler Murphy and Jameson Kackley. Matt Botura stopped 26 of 29 shots from the Bees.

TV Stars!!

The Jackson vs. Twinsburg Hockey game was carried by Cable Channel 9 from Macedonia - they have shared the film with Massillon Cable for rebroadcast (Monday & Tuesday - Feb 20 & 21 - at 8 pm on Massillon Cable Channel #21) - Don't miss the action!!

Scroll to the bottom of the Welcome Page & click on Twinsburg Hits for a look at the highlights!!!
 

Year End Parent/Alumni Game & Banquet

The game (11:oo am - Center Ice) and party (1:00 pm - Eagles) will be on Sunday March 26 - Calendar updated.

President's Weekend Tournament

Schedule now final (5 teams - VASJ, Medina, Riverside, Rocky River & Jackson). All games at C.E. Orr Arena in Eucid. The website Calendar is current.

Our games: Fri 2/17 -- 7:30 pm -- Medina; Sat 2/18 -- 3:30 pm -- Rocky River; Sun 2/19 -- 1:00 pm -- VASJ; Mon 2/20...TBA

Buckeye Cup News --

Although eliminated from the NCHSHL Playoffs, the Bears have held on to a Buckeye Cup Berth. Watch closely for upcoming information on lodging & game schedules.

February 10 - NCHSHL Playoffs

The Polar Bears couldn't generate an effective offense tonight, dropping their 1st roung NCHSHL Playoff Game to Walsh Jesuit, 2-1. Jackson's only score came on an unassisted goal by Tyler Sojka in the 2nd Period. Matt Botura stopped 24 of 26 shots from the Warriors. The Bears were able to hold on to a Buckeye Cup Berth, however, and will go into the State Club Championships as the #4 seed from the NCHSHL...

February 3 - Aurora Invitational Tournament CHAMPIONS!!

The Polar Bears brought home the Big Trophy tonight, shutting out the Aurora Greenmen 2-0, to capture the Aurora Invitational Tournament Championship for the 2nd year in a row. The Bears overcame a short bench with quick changes and strong goaltending, wearing down the Greenmen in the 3rd Period.

Jackson scores came from Ben Morhac, on a feed from Tyler Murphy, and Brett Loader with assists to Jake Thomas and Zach McKendrick. Matt Botura stopped all 21 shots from Aurora in the shutout, earning MVP honors - Way to Go, Matt!!

February 3 - Aurora Invitational Tournament...

The Polar Bears advanced to a championship showdown with Aurora tomorrow, by beating CVCA 9-0 this evening. The Bears captured all 5 possible tournament points on scores from Kent Newman (2), Ben Morhac, Matt Sauders, Brian Swift, Broc McCroskey, Brett Loader and Jake Thomas. Assists were credited to Brett Loader (2), Justin Brown, Tyler Murphy, Ben Morhac, Matt Sauders, Corey McDevitt, Jameson Kackley, Jake Thomas and Nick Ruth. Allie Curry stopped all 3 shots from the Royals in the shutout.

Ben Morhac received MVP honors - Congrats, Ben!!
 

February 2 - Aurora Invitational Tournament Action...

The Polar Bears set out on the right foot in the Blue East (Aurora) Tournament tonight, beating the Twinsburg Ice Tigers, 9-1, and taking all 5 possible tournament points. The Bears outshot their opponents, 68-6.

Scoring for the Bears came from Tyler Murphy (2), Brett Loader (2), Kent Newman (2), Ben Morhac, Matt Sauders and Andy Begue. Assists went to Tyler Murphy (2), Jake Thomas (2), Ben Morhac (2), Matt Dixon (2), Broc McCroskey and David Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 5 of the 6 shots from the Tigers.

Tyler Murphy was Game MVP - Congrats, Tyler!!

February 1 - Senior Night - Last Home Game...


The Polar Bears had another one of those great games with Brecksville tonight, coming out on the losing end of a 4-3 evening. After giving up 3 goals in the 1st Period, the Bears clamped down, giving up a lone goal in the 2nd & nothing in the 3rd, but the offense couldn't come up with the needed goal to force an overtime, despite outshooting the Bees 30-24.

Jackson goals went to Zach McKendrick in the 1st on assists from Jake Thomas and David Schlafer, to Jameson Kackley in the 2nd on assists from Tyler Murphy and Ben Morhac, and Ben Morhac in the 3rd, on assists from Tyler Murphy and Matt Dixon. Matt Botura stopped 20 of 24 shots from the Bees.

Next up - the Aurora Blue East Tournament, facing Twinsburg, CVCA and Aurora.

GO BEARS!!!

January 28 - Last League Game...

The Polar Bears increased their record to 17 - 9 - 2 (8 - 3 - 0) today, with an important win in their last league game with the Riverside Beavers, bringing home an 11-0 victory. The win assures the Bears a spot in the League Championships in two weeks, and moves them one step closer to a Buckeye Cup Berth.

Jackson scoring came from Jake Thomas (2), Brett Loader (2), Jameson Kackley, Tyler Murphy, Justin Brown, Brian Swift, Zach McKendrick, Corey McDevitt, and Broc McCroskey. Assists went to Jake Thomas (3), Zach McKendrick (3), Brett Loader (2), Matt Dixon (2), Jameson Kackley, Matt Sauders, Broc McCroskey, Corey McDevitt, and Justin Brown. Matt Botura stopped 11 of 12 shots from Riverside.

January 25 - - Victory over the Rangers

Tonight, the Polar Bears made it two victories for the season over the Lakewood HS Rangers, improving on their 4-2 December performance to hand the Rangers an 8-1 loss at Center Ice. The Bears handled the puck well, keeping in the Lakewood end for the majority of the evening, and allowing Matt some lengthy periods of boredom in the Jackson net.

Tyler Murphy knocked in the first goal on a Matt Sauders assist, just 1:12 into the game, followed 2 minutes later by an outside shot from Corey McDevitt, set up by Tyler Murphy. Justin Brown scored the first of two at 6:58, with assists from Brian Swift and Kent Newman, and Brett Loader finished the 1st with a goal at 2:09, set up by Matt Sauders and David Schlafer.

Zach McKendrick got the 2nd off to a good start, with a short-handed goal at 13:00 on an assist from Brett Loader. 4-1/2minutes later, Jake Thomas put one in after an assist from Zach McKendrick. Brownie made it 2 with 6:01 remaining in the 2nd, help coming from Matt Dixon & Matt Sauders. Jake Thomas finished off scoring for the game at 3:43 in the 2nd, assisted by Brett Loader and Zach McKendrick.

Matt Botura stopped 13 of 14 shots from the Rangers.

One more Home Game remaining - Senior Night Feb 1 against 4-year rival Brecksville...

January 21 -- League Victory!

The Polar Bears made it 4 for the year with a crucial league victory over the Villa Angela/St. Joseph Vikings today, 7-1 at Center Ice. The win secures a spot for the Bears in the upcoming NCHSHL League Championship Tournament, and moves Jackson one step closer to a berth in the Buckeye Cup State Club Championship in March. It takes the Polar Bears to 15 - 9 - 2 overall, and 7 - 3 - 0 in league play.

Jackson scored all seven of their goals before surrendering one to the Vikings in the 3rd Period. Brett Loader led Jackson scorers with a Hat Trick - way to go, Brett!! The remaining scores went to Zach McKendrick, Jake Thomas, Brian Swift, and Jameson Kackley. Assists went to Zach McKendrick (2), Corey McDevitt (2), Matt Dixon, Jake Thomas, and David Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 19 of 19 from the Vikes through 2-1/2 Periods, and Allie Curry stopped 4 of 5 in the 3rd.
 

January 19 - Victory Over the Comets!!

The Polar Bears came out strong in the 1st Period against the Solon Comets Wednesday night, putting 3 talleys on the board in a three-minute period, to set the pace for a 4-1 victory. After the 1st Period flurry, the Bears settled down to non-productive hockey, until an empty net goal by Kent Newman with 27 seconds remaining in the game brought final closure.

Polar Bear goals came from Justin Brown, Jake Thomas, Zach McKendrick and Kent Newman, while assists went to Brett Loader (2), Ben Morhac, Tyler Murphy, Zack McKendrick, Jake Thomas and Justin Brown. Matt Botura stopped 19 of 20 shots from the Comets.

Next up - a critical league game with Villa Angela/St. Joe on Saturday at Center Ice!

A Disappointing Outcome, But a Weekend of Great Hockey!

The Polar Bears had an opportunity this weekend to enjoy some great hockey with several teams from outside our area. The 2nd Jeff Musat Memorial HS Hockey Tournament featured a return visit from our old rival Medina, and special appearances from the Athens Bobcats and the Serra Catholic (McKeesport, PA) Eagles.

Athens

The Bears started things off with a 2-2 tie with the Bobcats on Saturday, bringing closure to a narrowly missed opportunity to meet in the 1st Buckeye Cup Tournament last March. The Polar Bears could not hold on to a 2-1 lead they carried into the 3rd Period, giving up the tie goal on a power play with just 4:34 remaining in the game.

Jackson goals came from Jameson Kackley and Ben Morhac, on assists from Tyler Murphy, Ben Morhac, Jameson Kackley and Matt Sauders. Matt Botura stopped 21 of 23 shots from the Cats, taking the Game MVP award from the Athens coach - way to go, Matt!!

Serra Catholic

The Bears met up with a very strong Serra Catholic team on Sunday morning, dropping a 4-1 game to the Eagles. Serra made up in skill what they lacked in numbers, overcoming a short bench with three 1st Period goals to put the deeper Polar Bears at a disadvantage. Although outshooting the Eagles 32-29, the Bears couldn't get the tough ones past the Eagles' goalie.

The Jackson goal came from Jameson Kackley, assisted by Ben Morhac and Corey McDevitt. Matt Botura fought off the flu to stop 24 of 28 shots from Serra. Tyler Murphy got the MVP nod from the Serra Coach - Congrats, Tyler!!

Medina

The latest edition of the Bears vs. the Bees was a constant blur of action, which kept both goaltenders busy. The Bears appeared headed for a tie, when Medina claimed an empty net goal with 1:18 remaining in the game to take the lead. The last minute flurry of shots from the Bears was not successful in reversing fate, and the evening was done.

Jackson goals came from Ben Morhac, Zach McKendrick and Justin Brown, assisted by Jake Thomas (2), Tyler Murphy, Matt Dixon, and Justin Brown. Allie Curry stopped 22 of 26 shots from the Bees, gaining MVP honors from the Medina Coaching Staff - yeah, Allie!!

Overtime Win!

The Polar Bears pulled off an exciting 4-3 Overtime victory over the Parma Redmen tonight, coming back from a two point deficit 4 minutes into the 3rd Period to tie the game with 3:28 remaining in Regulation. Jake Thomas put things to a finish with 2:09 remaining in Overtime, with an unassisted goal on a turnover at the Red Line.

The Redmen were tough opponents on the scoreboard. They kept up good pressure in the 2nd & 3rd Periods, and had excellent goaltending, surviving 45 of 49 shots from the Bears and putting up 20 in return. Scoring for Jackson came from Justin Brown, Zach McKendrick, Brian Swift and Jake Thomas. Assists went to Matt Dixon, Zach McKendrick, Jake Thomas, Justin Brown and David Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 17 of the 20 shots from the Redmen.

Next up -- what promises to be a very competitive Jeff Musat Memorial Tournament at Center Ice this weekend. The Bears will face Medina (leading the North Coast League), Athens (leading the Greater Columbus League, and Serra Catholic (leading their league) of McKeesport, PA.

GO BEARS!!!

No Revenge Tonight...

The Bears were unable to engineer a revenge victory over the Amherst Comets Sunday evening, dropping by a margin of 6-3. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the 1st Period. Scoring  opportunities seemed to dry up after the Comets put in 4 goals in a six minute portion of the 2nd Period, erasing the Bears' 3-2 margin, gained early in the 2nd on a 5 on 3 power play.

Jackson goals came from Matt Sauders, Matt Dixon, and Zack McKendrick, on assists from Broc McCroskey, Tyler Murphy, Kent Newman, Brett Loader and Jake Thomas. Matt Botura stopped 28 of 34 shots from the Comets.


Another League Victory

The Polar Bears made it two in a row in league action tonight, with an important victory over Walsh Jesuit 5-2, to stay in the running for the League Championship and the Buckeye Cup.

The 1st Period was decisive, with the Bears maintaining a 3-2 lead over the Warriors. The 2nd Period belonged to the Bears on two tough goals, and the 3rd was a draw - allowing Jackson to hold on to the lead for the win.

Ben Morhac led Jackson scorers with 2 - the first on a feed from Tyler Murphy just 17 seconds into the game. His 2nd came on another assist from Murphy with 9:36 remaining in the 1st. Zach McKendrick completed the Period for the Bears with a goal with 7:58 remaining - assisted by Brett Loader & Jake Thomas. The 2nd frame talleys came from Jameon Kackley 40 seconds into the Period, on assists from Ben Morhac & Tyler Murphy, and from Brett Loader with an assist from Jake Thomas.

Matt Botura had a stellar night in Goal, stopping 24 of 26 shots from the Warriors.

Tomorrow night - a rematch with Amherst Steele...

December 30 - Back to League Action

The Polar Bears bounced back from the disappointment of their tournament loss with a 4-2 league victory over the Rocky River Buccaneers tonight. The Bears got off to a slow start, ending the 1st Period in a 0-0 tie, but came back with two each in the 2nd & 3rd Periods to lock down the victory. The win moves the Bears to 5-3 in the very competitive race to the NCHSHL Championship...

Goals were credited to Brett Loader, Jameson Kackley, Kent Newman, and Tyler Murphy. Assists went to Jake Thomas, Broc McCroskey, Nick Ruth, and Tyler Sojka. Allie Curry stopped 12 of 14 shots from the Bucs.


Holiday Tournament Action

December 29

The Polar Bears lost the Championship Game to the Amherst Comets tonight. The Comets put it out of reach with two 2nd Period goals, setting a mark the Bears could not eclipse in their come-back effort.

Jackson scores came from David Schlafer, on a solo shot from the Blue Line in the 1st, and a "scrum" victory from Kent Newman in the 3rd, with assists from Justin Brown and Tyler Sojka. Matt Botura stopped 27 of 32 shots from the Comets in the game.

Zach McKendrick was recognized by the Amherst Coaching Staff as Game MVP - nice job, Zach!


December 28

The Polar Bears made it interesting tonight, pulling off a revenge win over the North Royalton Bears, 4-2, setting the stage for a Championship Game meeting with the Amherst Comets tomorrow night.

Scoring for the Bears came from Tyler Murphy, Matt Sauders, Jake Thomas, and Zach McKendrick. Assists went to Jake Thomas and Zach McKendrick. Matt Botura stopped 28 of 30 shots from the "other" Bears, taking MVP honors for the Bears - way to go, Matt!!


December 27

The Polar Bears came back from their initial tournament disappointment with a 6-3 victory over the VASJ Vikings, getting back into contention for the Tournament Championship by taking 4-1/2 tournament points in the win.

Scoring came from Zach McKendrick (2), Tyler Murphy, Jake Thomas, Brian Swift, and Matt Sauders, on assists from Zach McKendrick (2), Tyler Murphy, Jake Thomas, Brian Swift, and Matt Sauders. Matt Botura stopped 19 of 22 shots from the Vikings.
 
Jake Thomas got the MVP recognition from the Vikings Coaching Staff - Nice job, Jake!!


December 26

The Polar Bears started the Holiday tournament with a very hard-fought 3-3 tie with the Brecksville/Broadview Hts Bees tonight. It was a see-saw battle featuring many fast breaks, a lot of puck cycling, few penalties and non-stop effort from both teams.

The Bears took first blood on a breakaway by Jake Thomas - assists to Brett Loader and Matt Sauders. Broc McCroskey answered two 2nd Period Brecksville scores with a power play tally off the rebound of a Tyler Murphy shot - 2nd assist to Ben Morhac. Brett Loader answered another Brecksville goal with the tying goal with 7:56 remaining in the 3rd, with assists to Jake Thomas and Zach McKendrick.

Matt Botura had a busy night in net - stopping 28 of 31 shots from the Bees, including three breakaways -- nice work Matt!

Tyler Murphy got the MVP nod from the Brecksville Coach - congrats, Tyler!
 

End of a Big Weekend --

The Polar Bears finished the "Weekend of the Big Arenas" in style today, beating the Poland/Ursuline/Mooney Pumas 7-2 in the new Chevrolet (Convocation) Centre in Youngstown. The Bears Dominated play throughout most of the game, outshooting the Pumas 29-15 (14-1 after the 1st Period!) in an important League Game for Jackson.

Scoring came from Zach McKendrick (2), Jameson Kackley (2), Tyler Sojka, Jake Thomas and Tyler Murphy, on assists from Jake Thomas (3), Ben Morhac (3), Tyler Murphy (2), and Brett Loader (2). Matt Botura stopped 13 of 15 shots from the Pumas.

Now -- a couple of practices prior to Christmas - then its time for the Jackson Holiday Tournament!!
 

Victory at the "Q"

The Polar Bears notched a 5-1 win against the Villa Angela/St. Joe Vikings at Quicken Loans (Gund) Arena on Saturday morning, getting one in at "The Big House" prior to the Cleveland Barons game at 1:00 PM.

Scoring for the Bears came from Zach McKendrick, Rhett Durbin, Corey McDevitt, Broc McCroskey and Tyler Murphy. Assist credits went to Andy Begue (2), Matt Dixon, Broc McCroskey, Tyler Murphy, Jameson Kackley and Brett Loader. Matt Botura stopped 10 shots, and Allie Curry stopped 11 in the victory.

Afterwards, the Barons prevailed in a 5-4 overtime shootout over the Rochester Americans - a good time was had by all. Of special interest -- a "between periods" visit with Lebron James & "Z" in the locker room corridor - COOL!

December 14

The Polar Bears couldn't find the back of the net tonight, outshooting the Medina Bees 38-34, but losing 4-1 (the last on an empty netter with 12 sec. remaining). The loss moved the Bears to 6-5-0 overall, and 3-3-0 in League play.

The only score was posted by Corey McDevitt in the 1st, when he walked one in from the left point & fired one past the Goaltender. Jameson Kackley had the assist. Matt Botura stopped 30 of 34 shots from the Bees.

December 9

The Polar Bears made it two in a row tonight, with a 4-2 victory over the Lakewood HS Rangers at Winterhurst. The only goals surrendered to the Rangers were power plays, the first on a 5-on-3 effort from Lakewood.

The Bears focused most of their scoring in the 1st Period. Tyler Murphy started things out with a mark on a rebound from Nick Ruth's shot, assist to Jameson Kackley, followed 1-1/2 minutes later by a goal from Brett Loader on a scrum in front of the Lakewood net with an assist from Zach McKendrick (FINALLY wearing his own jersey!!). Tyler Murphy finished the 1st Period scoring on a breakaway with 2:52 remaining.

The 2nd Period goal by Ben Morhac came off a rebound from a shot by Tyler Murphy, set up by Jameson Kackley.

Matt Botura spent the entire game in net, stopping 18 of 20 shots from the Rangers.
 

December 7

The Polar Bears bounced back from a losing weekend with an 11-0 victory over the Wooster Generals tonight at Center Ice. The Bears displayed good positional play and puck handling, with balanced scoring tallys from 9 different players.

Goal credits went to Justin Brown (2), Dillon Vincent (2), Ben Morhac, David Schlafer, Zach McKendrick, Rhett Durbin, Brian Swift, Jake Thomas, and Kent Newman. Assists came from Brian Swift (3), Justin Brown (2), Corey McDevitt, Jameson Kackley, Jake Thomas, Dillon Vincent, Kent Newman, Brett Loader, and David Schlafer. Allie Curry stopped 3 shots from the Generals on the way to her first solo shutout.

Next up - back to Winterhurst for a matchup with the Lakewood HS Rangers (we've had 2 games with the Club Rangers so far).

Let's Go Bears!!
  

December 4

The Bears started and finished this weekend of three league contests with disappointing losses -- to North Royalton on Friday (2-1) and to the Lakewood Club on Sunday (9-5). In between, the Bears took one from Gilmour Academy (4-3). We are now 2 - 2 - 0 in NCHSHL league play.

Friday's only goal came from Brett Loader, with assists from Jake Thomas and Zach McKendrick, 1:26 into the 3rd Period. Matt Botura faced 24 shots, stopping 22.

On Saturday, scoring came from Zach McKendrick, Ben Morhac, Matt Dixon and Jake Thomas. Assists went to Nick Ruth (2), Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac, Jameson Kackley and David Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 20 of 23 shots from the Lancers.

On Sunday, the Polar Bears traded blows with Lakewood throughout the 1st Period, leading 4-3 at the end of the frame, until a 5 goal flurry from the Rangers put the Lakewood on top 8-5 going into the 3rd. The Bears were unable to capitalize on numerous opportunities in the 3rd. Goals were credited to Tyler Murphy, Ben Morhac, Jake Thomas, Nick Ruth, and Zach McKendrick, while assists went to Ben Morhac (2), Jameson Kackley (2), Tyler Murphy, Justin Brown, and Matt Botura. Matt stopped 24 of 33 shots, while Allie Curry faced no shots during a 2 minute sub at the end of the 2nd.

November 30

The Polar Bears notched a "W" for the Home Opener of the 2005-06 season, with a 10-0 victory over the Nordonia Ice Knights this evening at Center Ice. The game was the first NCHSHL League Game for both teams.

The Bears were able to post 2 goals each in the 1st & 2nd Periods on 34 shots against excellent goaltending, and added 6 more in the 3rd on 20 shots, to bring the game to a close with 2:01 remaining.

Zach McKendrick led Jackson Scorers with 3 goals. The remaining goals came from Tyler Murphy, Brian Swift, Broc McCroskey, Dillon Vincent, Ben Morhac, Matt Dixon, and Justin Brown. Assists went to Jake Thomas (3), Corey McDevitt (2), Nick Ruth, Matt Dixon, Ben Morhac, Kent Newman, David Schlafer, Jameson Kackley, Brett Loader, and Rhett Durbin.

Matt Botura stopped one shot in the 1st Frame, and Allie Curry stopped 9 in the 2nd & 3rd, sharing the shutout.

Next up - a very tough North Royalton team at Iceland USA in Strongsville Friday evening.

Go Bears!!

November 26

The Polar Bears got into the swing today, scoring a key victory over the Medina Bees, 3-2, to enter a tie (with Medina) for 2nd place in tournament points at 5 each (Lakewood Club Rangers lead with 7.5). The game was an emotional rematch of the Bears' 3-2 loss to Medina in the 2004-05 Buckeye Cup Semifinals, but with the score much more to the  liking of the Jackson squad.

Jameson Kackley started things off for Jackson with a goal at 7:26 in the 1st Period to counter the opening mark by the Bees - he was assisted by Ben Morhac and Kent Newman. Brett Loader insured the 1st Period guarantee of tournament points with another at 5:42, with an assist from Jake Thomas. After a 2nd Frame goal gave the Bees the 2nd Period points, the Bears answered at 9:17 in the 3rd on a power play goal by Ben Morhac assisted by Matt Sauders and Nick Ruth, while Jake Thomas tied up the defenseman in front of the net. The Bears held against a hard charge from Medina to kill the clock for the win.

Matt Botura stopped 22 of 24 shots from the Bees in the win.

The Bears will face another tough opponent in the final preliminary game tomorrow - the Villa Angela/St. Joe Vikings at 11:00 AM.

Go Bears!

November 25

The Polar Bears got off to a bad start today, dropping the season opener to the Lakewood Club Rangers 4-3 in the Mentor Thanksgiving Tournament. Goals came from Zach McKendrick, Justin Brown and Tyler Sojka, while assists went to Kent Newman (2), Jake Thomas, David Schlafer, Corey McDevitt, and Tyler Sojka. Matt Botura stopped 30 of 34 shots from the Rangers.

Tomorrow, the Bears face perennial rival Medina in further preliminary round action...

Final Preseason Action

November 20

The Bears were back to visit the perennial rival Amherst Comets at The Barons Arena tonight, losing 4-3 in a very fast-paced scrimmage. Goals for the Bears came from Tyler Murphy, Corey McDevitt and Brett Loader, with assists credited to Ben Morhac, Justin Brown and Matt Sauders. Matt Botura stopped 14 of 17 shots from the Comets in the 1st & 3rd Periods, while Allie Curry stopped 7 of 8 in the 2nd Frame.

Next up - the start of our regular season with the Riverside Thanksgiving Tournament in Mentor, beginning Friday Nov 25.

Let's Go Bears!!

November 19

The Polar Bears got into rhythm tonight, outproducing the Aurora Greenmen 6-2 at the Arctic Freeze. Scores were credited to Tyler Murphy (2), Jake Thomas (2) and Zach McKendrick (2). Assists were not tallied in this scrimmage. Mat Botura stopped 14 of 15 shots in the 1st & 3rd, and Allie Curry stopped 10 of 11 from the Greenmen in the 2nd.

November 16

The Polar Bears stepped up and produced some offense tonight, outscoring the Kenston Bombers, 4-1 in scrimmage action at Center Ice. Goals were posted by Matt Dixon, Corey McDevitt, Jameson Kackley and Dillon Vincent. Assists went to Jake Thomas, Matt Sauders, Kent Newman and Corey McDevitt. Matt Botura had 15 saves, and Allie Curry stopped 8 of 9 shots from the Bombers.

The Bears dropped preseason games to the Brecksville Bees on Sunday, 5-0, and to Holy Name, 1-0 on Saturday. The coaches are continuing to fine-tune assignments, a difficult task while players are still missing due to football playoffs. Next up - a home scrimmage with Kenston tonight - GO BEARS!

November 6

The Bears had a chance to play in the new Convocation Center in Youngstown on Sunday in a scrimmage with the Poland-Ursuline-Mooney Pumas. Still playing with a short bench, the Bears dropped one to the Pumas 4-3. Next Up will be the Green Wave of Holy Name HS on Saturday at Brooklyn.

The Polar Bears got off to a nice start in early preseason action with the Olentangy Braves on Oct 22 in Columbus. Both teams had a short bench due to football and other schedule conflicts. In a replay of the excitement of the Buckeye Cup last year, the Bears got their feet (paws?) wet in the 2-1 loss to the Braves. Unfortunately, we were unable to coordinate a regular season contest, so we'll have to wait until the Buckeye Cup for a chance to meet up again.

Next up -- preseason play with the Poland-Ursuline-Mooney Pumas at the brand new Convocation Center in Youngstown - Sunday, Nov 6 at 4:00 pm.

Let's go Bears!!

Season Schedule...

We have finalized the preseason and regular season schedules for the 2005-06 season - and it's looking good! We have scheduled games with 22 teams so far, not counting several additional teams we may encounter in tournaments...


potvin
Marc Potvin 1967 - 2006

The Hockey Community Loses a Close Friend...

The Polar Bears join many others in the local, collegiate, and professional hockey communities in mourning the unexpected passing of former volunteer Assistant Coach, Marc Potvin. Potvin, a former NHL player, and the head coach of the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League, was found dead Friday in a hotel room hours before his team was to play the Kalamazoo Wings. He was 38.

The players, coaches and families of the entire Jackson Polar Bear Hockey Club offer their deepest regrets to Marc's family, and to his extended hockey family. He will be missed by all of us.



The Season Comes to a Close...

League Honors!!

The North Coast High School Hockey League (NCHSHL) recently announced Player of the Year Awards, tapping Jackson senior co-captains Chris Connors and Tom Schleichert for top honors.

Chris was named Defenseman of the Year. Chris lead Jackson Defensemen with 30 total points (7 goals, 23 assists). He was singled out for his physical style of play.

Tommy was named League Most Valuable Player. He lead all
Jackson scorers for the season with 61 goals and 51 assists for 112 total points. Coupled with his 2003-04 performance of 73 goals and 47 assists, he has set both the single season and career offense records for Stark County High School Hockey.

March 6


Hockey pucks are funny things -- sometimes they amaze you with how they can get between a Goalie's legs or over their shoulders, or past their glove... and sometimes, when they are signed, sealed and delivered, they fail to get past the goal line...

So it was today, in another tale of the Bears & the Bees...

Jackson was eliminated from the final round of the Buckeye Cup State HS Club Hockey Championship Tournament this morning in a hard-fought game with perennial rival Medina, losing 4-3. After taking a 1st Period 2-1 lead and matching two Medina goals in the 2nd Period with an early mark in the 3rd, the Polar Bears were unable to overcome a late Medina goal which broke the 3-3 stalemate which lasted for most of the 3rd Period. The Bears outshot the Bees 33-19, and scored on 2 of the 4 powerplays offered by Medina penalties, while the Bees were frustrated in 4 of 5 powerplay opportunities offered by Jackson penalties.

Medina is always a tough opponent, and today they came prepared to avenge the 3-1 defeat handed them in the League Semifinal game by the Polar Bears on February 5th.

Jackson scores were recorded by Ben Morhac, Mike Tucker and Chris Connors. Asssists went to Cole Schlafer, Chris Connors, Jake Thomas and Ben Morhac. Matt Botura stopped 15 of 19 shots from the Bees.

Mike Tucker received the MVP honors from the Medina Coach in his last game with the Polar Bears - Congratulations, Mike!! -- and thank you for three years of great hockey!!

For our Seniors, this was their last game in a Jackson sweater -- Tom Schleichert, Chris Connors, J.P. Desphy, Mike Tucker, Carl Peshoff, Will Musat, Cole Schlafer and Blake Allman will be missed by all of the players and coaches from this memorable team.

But the team has nothing to hang their heads over -- in the past four months they amassed a 32-6-2 record, one of the highest winning percentages of any of the 50+ teams in Northeast Ohio, they won five tournaments and a league Championship, they won the reputation of being a tough squad that can hang with well established varsity teams, they established a reputation for clean play and good sportsmanship, and most importantly, they came together as a team.

The turnout and support from loyal fans at 9:30 AM on a Sundy morning in March goes a long way in explaining the impact this team has had on our community -- and the turnout on Friday for the Olentangy game was -- well, spectacular!! Painted chests, huge flags, banners/posters/messages, parents manning the Hospitality Room, screaming fans asking "how much time is left", youth hockey players and coaches, the "puck monkeys", parking in the streets, "standing room only" around the rink, purple & gold, and purple & gold, and purple & gold... WOW!

We are deeply moved by the support we have received ---

THANK YOU!!!


March 5

The Polar Bears made it two for two today, with a 9-0 victory over Cincinnati LaSalle. The Bears captured all five possible tournament points to step into the tournament lead with 9. Athens tied that total, but fell short in the tiebreaker (total goals scored in the first two rounds), giving the Bears the #1 seed in the Semifinal Round against #4 Medina on Sunday Morning at 9:30 AM.

The second semifinal game will be Athens (#2) and North Royalton (#3) at 11:30 AM. The Championship Game will be at 6:00 PM

Tommy Schleichert led Jackson scoring with 4 goals and one assist, getting Game MVP honors from the LaSalle Coaching Staff. Additional marks came from Justin Brown, Andy Begue, Mike Tucker, Bryce McCroskey and Chris Connors. Assists also went to Mike Tucker (4), Jake Thomas (2), J.P. Desphy, Blake Allman, Ben Morhac, Chris Connors and Andy Begue. Matt Botura stopped all 7 shots from the Lancers in his 11th shutout of the season.

March 4

The Polar Bears moved past a very challenging opponent in the form of the Olentangy Braves on Friday night, in front of a record breaking, enthusiastic Jackson crowd, winning the game 4-3 and taking 4 of 5 possible tournament points. After the first day of play, the Bears are now tied with Athens, Medina and North Royalton. The second day of the tournament will tell the tale when it comes to who will be in the finals...

Tommy Schleichert led the Bear's offensive effort with 2 goals, with other goals going to Mike Tucker and Matt Sauders. Assists went to BenMorhac (2), Tommy Schleichert and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura stopped 11 of 14 shots from the Braves, leading to his choice as the game MVP for the Polar Bears -- Congratulations, Matt!!!!

Next up - a 2nd round matchup with the Cincinnati LaSalle Lancers at
8:00 am Saturday morning.


All set for the Buckeye Cup --

The Polar Bears are the #1 Northeast seed for the Buckey Cup HS Club Hockey State Championship to be played at Center Ice and Noble (Wooster) Arena this weekend. Catch the Bears against the Columbus Olentangy Braves on Friday at 6:00 pm at Center Ice, and again on Saturday at 8:00 am against the Cincinnati LaSalle Lancers.

Go Bears!!


President's Weekend Tournament Champions!!

The outcome of the Medina vs. North Royalton game this evening made it official --

Polar Bears win the Championship with 10-1/2 points!! Medina was the Runner-Up with 8-1/2 points, followed by North Royalton with 6 points and Riverside with 5 points.

Congratulations to Medina on the Runner-Up finish, and thanks to all teams for being part of this weekend!!

The Polar Bears have won all five tournaments in which they have participated this season -- In tournament play, the Bears are 16-1-1 for the season - a remarkable record...

Way to Go, Bears!!

February 20

The Polar Bears were able to get past the Medina Bees today, 3-1, balancing a good offensive showing with a very successful defensive effort frustrating a potent and quick Bees offense. The win secured at least a second place finish for the Bears in the President's Weekend Tournament.

Offensively, scores were posted by Blake Allman, Tom Schleichert, and Mike Tucker. Assists went to Tom Schleichert (2), Mike Tucker, Corey McDevitt, and Ben Morhac. Matt Botura had a great game in goal - stopping 26 of 27 shots from Medina.

Blake Allman was honored by the Medina Coach with the Game MVP award - Great Job, Blake!!!

The victory put the Bears over the 30-Win threshold for the first time, with 4 more potential games in the Buckeye Cup...

February 19

The Polar Bears came back today to make a tournament statement, beating Riverside 8-1 to take all 5 tournament points in the second round game. The Bears will have to hang tough with Medina on Sunday to have a chance at the trophy...

Jackson scoring came from Mike Tucker (3), Tom Schleichert (2), Will Musat, Chris Connors and Justin Brown. Assists went to Cole Schlafer (4), Tom Schleichert (3), Bryce McCroskey, Matt Botura, Ben Morhac, Blake Allman, Tyler Murphy, Corey McDevitt, and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura stopped 14 of 15 shots from Riverside in the game.

Mike Tucker received the honors from the Riverside coaching staff for MVP.

February 17

In their first game since defeating the North Royalton Bears for the NCHSHL League Championship on February 6th, the Polar Bears dropped a revenge victory to North Royalton, losing 4-3, in the first game of the President's Weekend Tournament at Center Ice tonight. The Polar Bears came back from a one point 1st Period deficit to even the score at 2-2 after the 2nd. Despite  a hard-played 3rd Period, Jackson could only post one mark to two by North Royalton.

Jackson goals came from Ben Morhac, Mike Tucker and Tom Schleichert. Assist credits went to Blake Allman (2), Tom Schleichert (2), and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura stopped 24 of 28 shots from North Royalton.

Blake Allman got the nod from the North Royalton Coach for Game MVP - Congrats, Blake!!

Next up -- Riverside on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

Lets Go Bears!!

NCHSHL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!

February 6 - Polar Bears Capture League Title!!

The Jackson Polar Bear Hockey Club completed a nearly perfect league record in the North Coast HS Hockey League (12-0-1) with a 3-1 victory over the North Royalton Bears in the League Championship Game today at Gilmour Academy. The Polar Bears are the first winners of the Collander Cup League Championship Trophy. The award is in honor of former NHL and Cleveland Lumberjacks star Jock Collander, who presented the award to the Polar Bears following the game. Collander is currently the Youth Hockey & Fan Development Coordinator for the Cleveland Barons. The first place league finish gives the Polar Bear Hockey Club the #1 seed from the Northeast Region (NCHSHL) in the upcoming Buckeye Cup State HS Club Hockey Championship, which will be hosted by the NCHSHL, Jackson and Center Ice Sports Complex, March 4-6, 2005.

Jackson got off on the right foot 2:40 into the 1st Period, when Defenseman Matt Sauders put a slapshot past the North Royalton Goaltender on a Jackson powerplay. His assists came from Tom Schleichert and Mike Tucker. North Royalton was able to tie the score at 1 early in the 2nd Period, with an even strength goal from Matt Mau on an assist from Jake Prokasy. The Polar Bears answered with another powerplay goal from Tom Schleichert, assisted by Chris Connors, 6:47 into the 2nd. The 3rd Frame belonged to Jackson, with another powerplay goal by Schleichert, this time assisted by Mike Tucker, with 8:21 remaining in the game. Jackson repeatedly frustrated the "other Bears" with their penalty kill special teams play, shutting down 4 powerplay opportunities by North Royalton during the game, while scoring on 3 of 7 Jackson powerplays. Jackson Goaltenter, Matt Botura, stopped 24 of 25 shots from North Royalton.

The League Championship victory capped a 9 game/9 day marathon week, which also saw the Jackson squad capture the Championship of the Blue East (Aurora) HS Hockey Tournament. The Polar Bears have won the Championship of all five tournaments they have participated in so far this season, and have amassed a 28-4-2 record in the regular season. The Bears have posted 212 goals on the season, allowing only 64 in return.

After a short respite, the Polar Bears will resume play on February 17, when they host the Jackson President's Weekend Tournament at Center Ice.


February 5 -  Blue East Tournament Champions!!

After a stressful mid day game at Gilmour and a group outing to the Fox & Hound, it was off to the Arctic Freeze for the Blue East Championship... It was another fantastic game with the Aurora Greenmen - like any other of the awesome games with Aurora in the past three years, this game needs no further introduction...

In a non-stop, fast paced game, the Polar Bears got off to a two-point 1st Period lead over the Greenmen and were able to carry the momentum through the game, answering late 2nd Period and early 3rd Period goals from Aurora with another in the 3rd, to hold on to a one point margin and the Tournament Championship.

Scoring came from Mike Tucker, Ben Morhac, and Tom Schleichert, with assists going to Ben Morhac (2), Tommy Schleichert, and Chris Connors. Matt Botura had a great night, stopping 24 of 26 well placed efforts from the Greenmen.

February 5 - NCHSHL Playoffs - Semifinal Game

The Polar Bears faced their toughest tournament competition today in a repeat matchup with the Medina Bees, winning 3-1, and gaining a berth in the Championship Final tomorrow with North Royalton. The Bears and Bees fought to a 1st Period standoff, but Jackson was able to put two in the net in the 2nd Frame. In the 3rd, the Polar Bears answered a late goal by Medina with an empty-net goal to finish the issue.

Jackson goals came from Tom Schleichert (2) and Matt Sauders, on assists from Mike Tucker, Justin Brown, J.P. Desphy, and Corey McDevitt. Matt Botura stopped 24 of 25 shots (96%) from the Bees to boost his save percentage a notch.

February 4 - NCHSHL Playoffs - Quarterfinal Game

The Polar Bears were able to handle an aggressive Gilmour Varsity B team in the last Quarterfinal game of the Playoffs, taking a 5-0 victory to advance to a Semifinal matchup with Medina at 1:30 PM tomorrow.

Jackson goals came from Mike Tucker (2), Tom Schleichert, Jake Thomas, and Cole Schlafer. Assists were credited to Ben Morhac (3), Mike Tucker (2), J.P. Desphy, and Nick Ruth. Matt Botura stopped all 15 shots from the Lancers on the way to his 10th shutout of the regular season.

February 3 - Blue East Tournament

The Polar Bears took all 5 possible tournament points from the West Geauga Wolverines tonight in a 10-0 victory in two periods. The Bears outshot the Wolverines 48-2.

Jackson goals were scored by Tom Schleichert (3), Mike Tucker (3), Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac, Chris Connors, and Jameson Kackley. Assists went to Ben Morhac (3), Tom Schleichert (3), Mike Tucker (3), Justin Brown (2), J.P. Desphy, Corey McDevitt, and Nick Ruth. Matt Botura stopped both West G shots on Goal, for his 9th shutout performance of the regular season.

The Polar Bears will advance to the Tournament Championship Game on Saturday at 6:50 PM, having captured all 15 possible points in the Preliminary Round of play.

February 2 - Blue East Tournament


The Polar Bears made it two for two in tournament action tonight, capturing all 5 points with an 8-2 victory over the Canfield Cardinals. The Bears outshot the Cardinals 59-10 in the effort.

Jackson scoring came from Tom Schleichert (2), Blake Allman (2), Mike Tucker, Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac, and Bryce McCroskey. Assists went to Ben Morhac (4), Tom Schleichert (3), Mike Tucker (2), J.P. Desphy, Tyler Murphy, Carl Peshoff, and Corey McDevitt. Matt Botura stopped 8 of the 10 shots put up by the Cardinals.

The last preliminary round game will be with West Geauga, Thursday at 9pm. Then it's a brief break for Quarterfinal and Semifinal games in the HCHSHL playoffs.

January 31 - Blue East Tournament

The Polar Bears moved past the Twinsburg Ice Tigers in preliminary round tournament play tonight, with a 10-2 win on 41 shots at the (appropriately named) Arctic Freeze Arena.

Ben Morhac, Tommy Schleichert and Blake Allman led Jackson scorers with two each. Goals were also posted by Tyler Murphy, Corey McDevitt, Jake Thomas and Justin Brown. Assists were credited to Jake Thomas (3), Blake Allman (2), Ben Morhac, Will Musat, Corey McDevitt, J.P. Desphy, Tommy Schleichert, Matt Sauders, and Nick Ruth. Matt Botura stopped 6 of the 8 shots put up by the Ice Tigers.

Next up - Canfield on Wednesday at 8:20 PM...



January 30 - Sooo Close...

The Polar Bears crossed their fingers with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd Period with a one-goal lead over the Western Reserve Academy Pioneers tonight, but two quick WRA goals in the next minute created a hurdle the Bears could not overcome. The final was a 3-2 loss, only the 4th for the Polar Bears on the season. Like the other close games of the last month, this was an exciting and fun game, even on the losing side.

Justin Brown had both goals for the Bears, and Jake Thomas and J.P. Desphy assisted on both as well. Although all the points came from one line, all of the Bears' shifts were intense and exciting. Matt Botura stopped 20 of the 23 shots put up by WRA.

The action for the rest of the week is all away, beginning with the first game of the Blue East Tournament with Twinsburg tomorrow night.

Let's Go Bears!!

January 29 - Senior Recognition Night

The Polar Bears began their busiest week ever with Senior Recognition, followed by a win over Youngstown Mooney/Ursuline at Center Ice tonight. Seniors Blake Allman, Mike Tucker, Cole Schlafer, Carl Peshoff, Will Musat, Chris Connors, J.P. Desphy and Tom Schleichert were honored with their parents by the fans, cheerleaders and their teammates.

The Bears finished the evening with a 17-0 victory after both coaches decided to waive the traditional 10 goal termination, in favor of a running clock to allow the 3rd Period  to be played to conclusion. Mooney was faced again with a significant loss of manpower due to scheduling conflicts, allowing all of the Bears' lines to have an opportunity to participate in the victory.

Jackson goals came from Tom Schleichert (4), Jake Thomas (3), Jameson Kackley (2), Mike Tucker (2), Justin Brown, Will Musat, Tyler Sojka, Tyler Murphy, Corey McDevitt, and Carl Peshoff. Assists were notched by Chris Connors (4), Cole Schlafer (3), Ben Morhac (3), Andy Begue (3), J.P. Desphy (2), Justin Brown (2), Carl Peshoff (2), Blake Allman (2), Jameson Kackley (2), Tyler Sojka (2), Matt Sauders (2), Nick Ruth, Jake Thomas, Corey McDevitt, Mike Tucker, and Bryce McCroskey. Matt Botura stopped all 18 shots from Mooney on the way to his 8th shutout of the season.

Tomorrow, the Bears will face a difficult opponent in the form of Western Reserve Academy, a Red (upper) Division varsity squad who have defeated most of the Blue Division teams they have come in contact with.

On Monday, the Bears will begin a week on the road filled with the Blue East (Aurora) Tournament and the League Championship Tournament.

Let's Go Bears!! 

Top League Spot to Jackson!!

January 26

The Polar Bears clinched the top position in the North Coast HS Hockey League tonight with a 2-0 victory over the Parma Hts. Holy Name Green Wave. The Bears are 9-0-1 in league play and will be the top draw in the League Championship Tournament Feb 2-6 at Gilmour.

The Polar Bears started with a 2-goal 1st Period on a Tyler Sojka goal assisted by Chris Connors, and a Ben Morhac goal assisted by Mike Tucker and Chris Connors. In the 2nd & 3rd frames, the Bears couldn't find the back of the net, but held on to the the 2-goal lead to carry the game. Matt Botura had a great night, stopping all 26 shots from the Wave, to clinch his 7th shutout of the regular season.

After a brief rest, the Polar Bears will have two at home this weekend, followed by an intense series of road games, totalling 9 games in 9 days. 

Let's Go Bears!! 

January 19


The Polar Bears Had to play come-from-behind tonight with an uncooperative Amherst Comets team, losing their third game of the season, 5-3. The Bears were unable to find the spark, offensively or defensively, to get their engine running on all cylinders.

Scoring came on goals from Will Musat, Matt Sauders, and Tyler Murphy, with assists going to Tom Schleichert, Matt Sauders, Chris Connors, Mike Tucker, Jameson Kackley, and Andy Begue. Matt Botura stopped 32 of 37 shots from the Comets.

The Polar Bears will travel to Toledo on Saturday for a game with Perrysburg.


2005 Jeff Musat Memorial Hockey Tournament
                 VICTORY!!


January 17 - An Exceptional Rivalry Continues

This afternoon, the Polar Bears performed a 3rd Period gut-check to overcome a very potent Aurora offense for a second win of the season over the Greenmen, 7-3, and the Championship of the 2005 Jeff Musat Memorial HS Hockey Tournament. The Greenmen were able to match goals for two periods, keeping the Polar Bears tied at 2-2 after the 2nd. But in the 3rd Period, the Bears were able to put the pedal to the metal, with a 5-goal flurry to put the issue to rest.

Will Musat performed the honors, presenting the Tournament Championship Trophy to his teammates at center ice, only to be awarded the trophy in return by his teammates in the locker room afterwards.

The first goal of the game came from Mike Tucker on an exceptional deflection shot off the Aurora Goalie, assisted by Tom Schleichert and Corey McDevitt. Then Tommy Schleichert put a lightening shot past the goalie which had the referees looking for the source. The assist went to Ben Morhac.

Tyler Murphy started the 3rd Period Rush with a setup from J.P. Desphy and Carl Peshoff. On an ensuing power play, Blake Allman put the Bears off to the races with a goal off assists from Chris Connors and Tommy Schleichert, followed by another (14 seconds later) by Ben Morhac from Tommy Schleichert and Mike Tucker.

The goal of the evening was a 1-2-3 from Tommy Schleichert to Mike Tucker to Ben Morhac with 2:08 remaining in the game. The setup impressed the Aurora Coach enough to award Mike Tucker with the Game MVP for the setup to Ben.

Blake Allman finished the evening with an empty netter on a feed from Mike Tucker with 57 seconds remaining. Matt Botura stopped 22 of 25 shots from the Greenmen.

We'll have another chance at Aurora in the Blue East Tournament in the first week of February, but first -- a rematch with perennial rival and respected friends, the Amherst Comets on Wednesday.

Way to Go, Bears!!!

January 16 - Another Great Game!!

The Polar Bears defeated the Brecksville/Broadview Hts. Bees today on a power play slapshot by defenseman Corey McDevitt with just 42 seconds remaining in the game. This was a typical nip & tuck game with the Bees, and the victory advanced the Bears to within striking distance of the Tournament Championship -- to win, the Bears will need to capture at least 2-1/2 of 5 possible tournament points in their game with Aurora tomorrow.

Jackson scoring efforts came from Jake Thomas (2), Blake Allman, Ben Morhac, Tom Schleichert, Mike Tucker, and Corey McDevitt. Assists went to Ben Morhac (4), Tom Schleichert (3), Mike Tucker (2), Tyler Murphy, Matt Sauders, Blake Allman, Chris Connors, and J.P. Desphy. Matt Botura stopped 31 of 37 shots from the Bees.

Will Musat received the Game MVP award from the Brecksville Coach - Congratulations, Will!!

January 15 - WOW, What a Great Game!

The Polar Bears took a break from tournament action tonight to face the Olmstead Falls Bulldogs in regular season play. In what was clearly among the best contests of the season, the Bears outshot the Bulldogs 41-17, but were unable to make up a 3-goal deficit after two periods and lost 3-1. Time after time, point-blank shots from the Jackson shooters were deflected or buried by the Bulldogs' goalie.

Jake Thomas placed the only mark for the Bears 5 minutes into the 3rd Period, assisted by Justin Brown and Will Musat. Between the pipes, Matt Botura turned back 14 of 17 shots from the Bulldogs.

Sunday Morning, it's back to tournament play with perennial rival Brecksville at 10:00 am.

January 14

The Polar Bears got off to a successful start in the Jeff Musat Memorial Tournament tonight, besting the Medina Bees 6-2 in a spirited contest at Center Ice. The Bears exploded off a 1st Period tie (1-1), with 4 goals in 2 minuttes in the 2nd Period. The Bears and Bees then shared one goal each in the 3rd. Jackson carried 4 of 5 possible tournament points for the win.

Jackson scores came from Tyler Murphy (2), Tom Schleichert (2), Matt Sauders, and Will Musat. Assists were notched by Ben Morhac (3), Tom Schleichert (2), Tyler Murphy (2), Jake Thomas, and Chris Connors. Matt Botura stopped 21 of 23 shots from the Bees.

Tommy Schleichert received the Game MVP award from the Medina Coach -- Congratulations, Tommy!!

Next up is a non-tournament game with Olmstead Falls on Saturday, then tournament games with Brecksville on Sunday and Aurora on Monday.

January 12

The Polar Bears came off a 10 day period of relative R&R (and alot of sickness) to post a convincing 10-0 win over the Nordonia Ice Knights in NCHSHL League play tonight at Center Ice. The game leads into a busy schedule of 6 games in the next 7 days against the toughest competition we will face this season.

Scoring for the Bears came from Ben Morhac (2), Tom Schleichert (2), Matt Sauders (2), Carl Peshoff, Tyler Murphy, Cole Schlafer, and Jake Thomas. Assists went to Tom Schleichert (3), Nick Ruth (2), Ben Morhac (2), Carl Peshoff (2), Chris Connors (2), Matt Sauders, Tyler Murphy, and Justin Brown. Matt Botura notched his 6th shutout of the regular season, stopping all 10 shots from the Ice Knights.



Off to a Great Start!

November 20

The Bears came out on the short end of their final scrimmage with the Amherst Steele Comets on Saturday, 6-4. The Bears played short 3 players, with the coaches continuing to focus on preseason fundamentals.

Scores came from Tommy Schleichert (3) and Blake Allman. Assist credits went to Mike Tucker (4), Blake Allman, J.P. Desphy, and Tommy Schleichert. Matt Botura stopped 21 of 27 shots from the Comets.

November 17

The Polar Bears hosted the Kenston Bombers in scrimmage action tonight -- the first meeting ever for the two teams.

Jackson had a successful night, posting 13 goals contributed by Tommy Schleichert (4), Mike Tucker (2), Jake Thomas (2), Tyler Sojka, Blake Allman, Cole Schlafer, Andy Begue, and Will Musat. Assist credits went to Corey McDevitt (4), J.P. Desphy (4), Mike Tucker (3), Carl Peshoff (2), Chris Connors (2), Tyler Murphy (2), Jameson Kackley, Tyler Sojka, Matt Sauders, Tommy Schleichert and Justin Brown. Matt Botura had 15 saves in goal, including several strong breakaway efforts from the Bombers.

Next up is a perennial favorite - the Amherst Steele Comets - on Saturday at the Barons Rink. We're looking forward to some revenge for the loss to the Comets in the President's Weekend Championship Game last February!!

November 14

The Bears took on the Green Wave of Holy Name HS tonight in the 2nd preseason scrimmage. Scoring for the Bears came from Mike Tucker with two, and Tommy Schleichert and Bryce McCroskey, with one each.

Kenston is next on the preseason agenda - home at Center Ice on Wednesday, November 16 - don't miss the action!!

October 31

The Polar Bears launched the 2004-05 Preseason with a 6-3 Scrimmage defeat at the hands of the PRPC Ice Prowlers. This game wasn't about winning - it was the first opportunity for our coaches to see everyone in action and try some different line combinations - and they were very pleased with what they saw...

Scoring for the Bears came on two 1st Period goals from Tommy Schleichert, the first assisted by Mike Tucker, and the second 10 seconds later unassisted. Tyler Murphy put one past the PRPC Goalie on a power play in the 2nd Frame on assists from Tommy Schleichert and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura made his debut in Goal with the Bears, posting 23 saves.

Make a note: PRPC has been the champion of the Greater Columbus HS Hockey League (Club) for the past 2 years. They will definitely enter into the mix for the Buckeye Cup State Championship in March. We're hoping for an opportunity to see them on a more official basis at that time!!

SPONSOR FORMS

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December 19

The Polar Bears were handed their first regular season loss by the Walsh Jesuit Warriors tonight, 4-3, in their first-ever meeting. The game was exciting and tense throughout, with constant pressure from both teams. The Bears outshot the Warriors 49-20, but were unable to convert their efforts to goals when they were needed. The Bears record is now 10-1-2 for the regular season.

Jackson scores came from Mike Tucker, Tommy Schleichert and Matt Sauders, with assists going to Tommy Schleichert (2), Nikolai Rugish (in his 2nd game with the Polar Bears), and Chris Connors. Matt Botura held off 16 of 20 shots from the Warriors.

The teams will have a chance for a rematch  on December 28, during the Jackson Holiday Tournament - should be an exciting one!

December 18

Tommy Schleichert ended a tense Overtime standoff with the Aurora Greenmen tonight, assisted by J.P. Desphy, on a 2-on-0 breakaway with just 2:12 remaining in the extra frame. It was what has become the "typical" game between the Polar Bears and the Greenmen -- always close and always exciting!

Mike Tucker led Jackson scorers with two, followed by Tyler Sojka and Tyler Murphy, setting up the OT showdown and Tommy's goal. Assists went to J.P. Desphy (2), Tommy Schleichert, Jake Thomas and Ben Morhac. Matt Botura held the Bears in the game with 34 "big" saves on 38 shots from the aggressive Greenmen.

December 15

The Polar Bears were outshot tonight by the Parma Redmen 36-29, but put more where it counts to come out with a 5-2 victory, leading to an overall record of 9-0-2 and league record of 5-0-1.  Parma was the 2nd Cleveland Blue Division team to fall to the Bears, and the rival Aurora Greenmen will be the next "Blue" target on Saturday at Arctic Freeze.

Jackson scoring came from Tom Schleichert (2), Bryce McCroskey, Tyler Murphy, and J.P. Desphy. Assist credits went to Mike Tucker (2), Tyler Murphy (2), Carl Peshoff (2), J.P. Desphy, Blake Allman, Corey McDevitt, and Cole Schlafer. Matt Botura stopped 34 0f 36 shots from the Redmen in an excellent defensive display.

December 12

The Polar Bears redeemed their lackluster performance of Friday with an excellent team effort to defeat the Lakewood Rangers 10-0 at Center Ice this evening. Once again, the coaches were pleased with scoring efforts which were spread across four offensive lines and defense.

Goals for the Bears were contributed by Tom Schleichert (2), Jameson Kackley (2), J.P. Desphy, Matt Sauders, Ben Morhac, Bryce McCroskey, Cole Schlafer, and Corey McDevitt. Assists went to Jameson Kackley (3), Cole Schlafer (2), Tom Schleichert (2), Mike Tucker (2), Matt Sauders (2), Corey McDevitt (2), J.P. Desphy, Will Musat, Carl Peshoff, Justin Brown, Tyler Sojka, and Andy Begue. Matt Botura stopped all 8 shots from the Rangers for his fourth Shutout performance of the season.

December 10

Friday night's league game with Nordonia was the last until after Christmas. The Polar Bears are now 5 - 0 - 1 in League play, solidly on top of the Club Division in the early goings...

The Polar Bears overwhelmed the Nordonia Ice Knights Friday evening, 9-0, on goals from Tyler Sojka (2), Chris Connors (2), Tyler Murphy, Justin Brown, J.P. Desphy, Jameson Jackley and Bryce McCroskey. Assists went to Tyler Murphy (2), Carl Peshoff, Cole Schlafer, Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac, J.P. Desphy, Chris Connors and Matt Sauders. Matt Botura stopped all 9 shots from Nordonia, his 3rd shutout of the season.

This week, the Bears will see two teams they have never played before - Lakewood on Sunday, and Parma on Wednesday.

December 8

The Polar Bears faced a very determined Villa Angela/St. Joseph Viking team tonight in a key NCHSHL league game, ending in a 3-3 tie after a very exciting, but unproductive, overtime period.

The Bears jumped out to a 1st Period 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Tommy Schleichert, assisted by Cole Schlafer. The Vikings answered with three 2nd Period goals, the first two just 13 seconds apart. The Bears came back at the very end of the 3rd Period with two goals in the last minute. The first was by Mike Tucker with an assist from Tommy Schleichert, and the second by Tommy Schleichert, assisted by Mike Tucker and Blake Allman. Jackson outshot the Vikings in the Overtime 4-1 (48-21 overall), but were unable to get past the VASJ Goalie. Matt Botura held back 18 of the 21 shots sent his way by the Vikings.

VASJ will face the Polar Bears again on December 30 in the Jackson Christmas Tournament.


December 5

The Polar Bears overwhelmed the Mooney/Ursuline Irish this evening, 10-0. The Irish took the ice with a severly shortened bench, and they were unable to keep up with the depth of the Jackson squad. The victory lifted the Bears to an overall record of 6 - 0 - 1. They are 4 - 0 - 0 in league play, and hold first place in the North Coast HS Hockey League Club Division.

Jackson goals came from Mike Tucker (3), J.P. Desphy, Matt Sauders, Will Musat, Jameson Kackley, Tyler Murphy, Bryce McCroskey and Tommy Schleichert. Assists were claimed by J.P. Desphy (3), Carl Peshoff (2), Chris Connors (2), Tommy Schleichert (2), Blake Allman, Andy Begue, Justin Brown, Cole Schlafer, Ben Morhac and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura held off all 6 shots from the Irish.


December 4

The Polar Bears improved their record to 5 - 0 - 1 (3 - 0 - 0 in League play) with a 6-2 victory over the Brecksville/Broadview Hts Bees today at Center Ice.

The Bears had a close 1st Period with the Bees, up by one goal at the end of the frame. They came out with a more determined effort after the Intermission, putting 4 goals on the board during the 2nd Period (2 on Power Plays), and rounded out the scoring with an unassisted goal by Tommy Shleichert at the mid point of the 3rd.

Scoring credits went to Tommy Schleichert (2), Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac, and Blake Allman, a very balanced effort, with goals coming from three different offensive lines. Assists went to Blake Allman, Mike Tucker (2), Tommy Schleichert, Tyler Murphy, Carl Peshoff, and Chris Connors. Matt Botura was stron in goal, notching 25 saves on 27 shots by the Bees.


December 1

The Polar Bears had a victorious home opener against the "Other Bears" from the North Royalton Bears Hockey Club this evening, finishing 4-2 on two 1st Period Goals and one each in the 2nd & 3rd.

Scoring was well balanced from multiple lines - something that makes coaches very happy. Goals were credited to Tommy Schleichert, Carl Peshoff, Matt Sauders and Blake Allman. Assists went to Ben Morhac, Tyler Murphy, Mike Tucker and Bryce McCroskey. Matt stopped 25 0f 27 shots from the Bears.

The next three games - Brecksville on Saturday, Mooney on Sunday, and VASJ on Wednesday - are also league games. They are very important to our quest for the league championship tournament in early February. 
GO BEARS!!!


November 28

Championship Game - VICTORY Hardware!!

The Championship Victory came to some tired players on a 6-2 win over Villa Angela/St. Joseph, sparked by 4 goals from Tommy Schleichert, an awesome penalty shot goal from Jake Thomas, and a short-handed goal by Tyler Murphy. Assists went to Ben Morhac (4), Jake Thomas, Carl Peshoff, Blake Allman, and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura stopped 17 of 19 shots by the Vikings to anchor the Polar Bears defensively.

Tommy Schleichert was named Tournament MVP - Way to Go, Tommy!!

Congrats Bears, on a well-earned victory!!


November 28

To make the Championship Game, the Bears had to first get past the Arch Rival Medina Bees in the final preliminary game. The 3-3 tie with the Bees, coupled with a previous one point lead in tournament points, was enough to place the Polar Bears in the Championship Final with Villa Angela/St. Joseph, who won the other qualifying bracket.

For 2 periods, the Polar Bears shut down a very quick Bees offense, outscoring them 2-0 and outshooting them 37 - 9. After the 2nd Intermission, however, the Bees came out to play, posting three 3rd Period goals. The tie was secured with a slapshot score from Corey McDevitt with just 34 seconds remaining in the game. There was no Overtime option in the tournament to allow for a final settlement.

Bears scoring came from Jake Thomas, Ben Morhac and Corey McDevitt. Assists went to Chris Connors, Tyler Murphy, Cole Schlafer and Mike Tucker. Matt Botura stopped 18 of 21 shots from the Bees.


November 27

The Polar Bears moved easily past the new Rocky River Club team today, posting a 10-0 final score.

Goals came from Tommy Schleichert (3), Mike Tucker (2), Tyler Sojka, Blake Allman, Jake Thomas, J.P. Desphy, and Justin Brown. Assists were credited to Mike Tucker (3), Tommy Schleichert (3), Chris Connors (2), Nick Ruth (2), Matt Sauders (2), Cole Schlafer, Jameson Kackley, Justin Brown, and Will Musat. Matt Botura stopped 12 shots from the Pirates on the way to his 1st shutout -- Congrats, Matt!!

Tomorrow's 12:45 pm game with perennial rival Medina will determine who will advance to the 5:15 pm Championship Game at Mentor...


November 26

The Polar Bears began their 2004-05 Regular Season with a win Friday over the Riverside Beavers, 4-1. Exceptional play by the Riverside Goalie kept the game under control for the Beavers. This was also our 1st NCHSHL League Game, so we're off to a good start!!

Scoring for the Bears came with 2 goals in the 1st Period, and 1 each in the 2nd & 3rd Frames

Goal credits went to Cole Schlafer (2), Corey McDevitt, and Mike Tucker. Assists went to Chris Connors, JP Desphy, Mike Tucker, Tyler Murphy, Ben Morhac and Tommy Schleichert. Matt Botura was Big in Net - stopping 16 of 17 well-placed Riverside shots.

The next opponent is the Rocky River Club Team - Saturday at 11:30 AM.


A Great Loss...

As many of you have already learned, Jeff Musat passed away recently.

Jeff's loss is not only a source of much shock and grief for all of us who knew him -- it leaves a deep void in the Polar Bear Hockey Club. Jeff's never-ending smile, his humor and wit, and his willingness to step up to help, ready or not, will not be easily replaced. We have all lost a truly dear friend.

Please keep Belinda, Will and Brooke formost in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.


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