By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior Tyler Dellerman, who recorded a hat trick in St. Xavier’s 7-1 semifinal victory over Troy one day earlier, scored two goals on lengthy slap shots to help the Bombers post an 8-1 victory over Greater Catholic League South Division rival Elder in the championship game of the Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League Tournament Sunday evening at Northlands Ice Center in Sharonville. As a result, St. Xavier was able to successfully defend the tourney title it won last year and, in the process, win for the first time in three meetings against Elder this season.
Elder entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, having posted a perfect 13-0-0 record in regular-season league play that included 9-2 and 4-1 victories over St. Xavier – which had a 10-2-1 record in league play to earn the No. 2 seed. Both advanced with victories in the semifinals Saturday, Elder knocking off Talawanda, 6-3, and St. Xavier besting Troy, 7-1. Sophomore Noah Reidy scored the lone goal in the first period to give the Bombers a 1-0 lead. Freshman Nick Langenderfer scored with 8:18 re remaining in the second period to make it 2-0, and the Bombers capitalized on consecutive Elder penalties as senior Nick Kaneps scored with eight seconds left in the period to make it 3-0.
St. Xavier then scored a pair of goals in the first 1:30 of the final period, with Reidy tallying his second of the game and senior Kyle Anderson finding the net 30 seconds later to make it 5-0. Dellerman added a pair of goals in the period, and senior Neil Keyser scored the Bombers’ final goal St. Xavier, Elder and Moeller, a member of the Ohio Capital Conference comprising largely Columbus-area schools, will now turn their attention to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Ice Hockey District Tournament, where the three GCL South teams will compete in the Columbus bracket this week.
Elder, the No. 10 seed, faces No. 17 Thomas Worthington in the first round at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Ice Haus, the annex rink at Nationwide Arena. No. 12 seed St. Xavier takes the ice at 5:30 p.m.Saturday for its first-round game against No. 22 Troy, the same team it beat in the SWOHSHL semifinals, at OhioHealth Chiller North 2 in Columbus. Moeller, the No. 4 seed, receives a first-round bye and will oppose the winner of Dunlin Coffman-Talawanda at 3:15 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus. The district final is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Nationwide Arena’s Ice Haus.