North Royalton tops Westerville in Semifinals; fall to Jackson in State Championship Game.
The North Royalton Bears fell to the Jackson Polar Bears, 1-0, in the Ohio, USA Hockey High Varsity Championship Game on Sunday March 9th at Gilmour Academy. The two teams treated the crowd to a high paced, defensive showdown with Jackson netting the lone goal of the game midway through the opening period. The story of the game was the two team’s goaltenders with North Royalton’s Tyler Roesch (Buckeye Cup State Tournament MVP) stealing the spotlight stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced, 18 in the 2nd period alone.
The Ohio, USA Hockey Varsity State Tournament (Buckeye Cup) features the top 4 teams in each region: Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland playing one another for the State Championship. The four teams representing the Cleveland at the tournament were the Riverside Beavers, Medina Bees, Jackson Polar Bears and the North Royalton Bears.
The twelve teams were reduced to four for the semifinal round; North Royalton v. Westerville in one matchup and Jackson v. North East Columbus in the other semifinal game. Jackson defeated NE Columbus 5-2 in their match-up and North Royalton defeated Westerville 2-1 in an overtime thriller that needed a shootout to determine the winner. North Royalton’s Branden Walsh scored the lone goal in the 5 round shootout and the Bears keeper, Tyler Roesch, stopped all 5 shooters he faced.
North Royalton finishes their 2013-14 season as the Ohio, USA Hockey Varsity State Championship Runner Up boasting an overall record of 35-17-1.