Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) defended its decision to declare Sylvania Northview and Cleveland St. Ignatius as co-state champions when the final game ended in a 1-1 tie after seven overtime periods at Nationwide Arena.
“This is an opportunity to show that wins and losses, even in a state championship game, are not more important than player safety,” the OHSAA said in a statement.
“Had a player been seriously injured in the eighth overtime due to fatigue, the decision to allow the game to continue would have been seriously questioned more than the decision to end it,” it added.
By mutual agreement of the head coaches, school administrators and OHSAA administrators, the game shall be recorded as a 1-1 tie. By national rule, there is no shootout procedure in high school hockey.
After the seventh overtime, the head coaches, school athletic administrators and OHSAA administrators had a lengthy discussion.
Many players on both teams were seriously fatigued and neither coach or school administrator objected to ending the game before the eighth overtime began.
The OHSAA commended the coaches and school athletic administrators in reaching this decision together without conflict.
This marked the first time in OHSAA state ice hockey history that co-state champions have been named.
With the decision, Cleveland St. Ignatius bagged its third state ice hockey championship and Sylvania Northview earned its second ice hockey state championship.