And it wasn’t close.
There was no upset of biblical proportions Monday as St. Ignatius, the top-ranked hockey team in the state, blasted Avon Lake 13-0 in district tournament play at the Brooklyn Recreation Center.
The Wildcats (28-5-3) will face Elyria Catholic in the semifinals at noon in the first game of a triple-header Saturday.
“We knew where we stood coming into this game,” Shoremen coach Scott Stimac said after his team fell to 3-26. “We wanted to make sure the other team knew they were going to have to play a game to beat us.
“We told the kids, if we’re going to play this game, we might as well play against the best and that’s what we did tonight. Even though we came out on the short end, it really was a lot of fun playing against a team that talented.”
The Wildcats certainly were not short on talent and one Avon Lake player that took the brunt of all that skill was Shoremen freshman goalkeeper Keegan Sullivan, who withstood 65 shots.
Sullivan had a staggering 52 saves in the game, which is about his average, but Monday they came in just two periods after the game was shortened by the 10-goal mercy rule.
“I came into this preparing like any other regular-season game,” Sullivan said. “I could tell why they are the No. 1 team in the state. They skate faster and certainly hit the puck faster than anything we saw in our division this year.
“They (Wildcats) worked harder at screening me than any other team, and on a lot of their goals I never even saw the puck. It’s tough losing, but it was a lot of fun playing against a team that good.”
The Wildcats’ fourth score came from Avon resident Logan Sellers, who scored unassisted for his first goal of the year.
“It was a little different playing against guys from the area,” Sellers said. “I was glad for the opportunity to get out there for a lot of playing time tonight.
“We worked hard to get ready for this game and we’ll have to get ready for Elyria Catholic. We know they pose a real challenge and it’s going to be a tough game.”
How dominant were the Wildcats? The Shoremen managed just one shot on goal.
The Wildcats skated a lot of younger players with 13 players registering points.
“It was nice to get everyone some postseason playing time,” Wildcats coach Pat O’Rourke said. “We wanted to come in ready to play. Avon Lake has been having a down year, so hopefully we kept things classy in the win.
“We scouted Elyria Catholic last week and they certainly have some good players. We know Colin Lester can go end-to-end, so we’re going to have to work to slow him down. It should be a good game.”
St. Ignatius 13, Avon Lake 0
FIRST PERIOD: (SI) Matty Geither (Ethan Whitney), 13:53; (SI) Miles McQuinn (Riley Ellis), 12:42; (SI) Whitney (Harry Smith, Brian Russell), 12:26; (SI) Logan Sellers (unassisted), 10:26; (SI) Smith (McQuinn, Beck Schultz PP, 7:11; (SI) Brian Fitzgerald (Joe Malone, 7:01; (SI) Malone (McQuinn, Kevin Yarcusko). Penalties — (AL) George Quinn (tripping), 7:22.
SECOND PERIOD: (SI) Jared Stepka (Danny Brogan, Schultz), 10:10; (SI) Jack Wiegandt (McQuinn, Schultz) PP, 9:20; (SI) Ellis (McQuinn, Smith), 5:15; (SI) Geither (Ethan Whitney), 3:35; (SI) Schultz (Stepka), 2:35; (SI) Yarcusko (Ellis, Stepka), 0:33. Penalties — (AL) Logan Cherni (slashing), 9:50.
Avon Lake 0 0 — 0
St. Ignatius 7 6 — 13
Shots on goal: Avon Lake 1 (1-0), St. Ignatius 65 (33-32); Goalies: (AL) Keegan Sullivan (65 shots, 52 saves); (SI) Sean Williams (1 shot, 1 save). Power-play opportunities: Avon Lake 0-0, St. Ignatius 2-2.
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or email@example.com.