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Photo by Andrew Miller

Imagine being a hockey player in your senior year of high school, playing in the state championship game and it goes to overtime. You score a goal on the power play to lift your school to a title.

That’s the stuff dreams are made of. Patrick Ohle of St. Joe’s Collegiate Institute is living that dream now after scoring the game-winner in the extra period with the man-advantage, helping his Marauders beat Monsignor Farrell of Staten Island 3-2 on Saturday at the LECOM Harborcenter for the CHSAA title.

“It’s surreal,” Ohle said. “We knew it was going to take a dirty goal like that to win the game, and thankfully we got it.”

“It’s awesome,” junior forward Anderson Cornwell said. “Everything I had dreamed of last night happened today, and we’ve ended the season with rings on our fingers.”

From the beginning, St. Joe’s took command of the game. Peppering Lions goaltender Matteo Beach with shots and controlling play in Monsignor Farrell’s end for most of the contest – the Marauders won the shot battle by a whopping 51-15 total – Ohle, Cornwell and company knew that if they stayed patient, good things would come.

“(Beach) played one hell of a game,” Ohle said. “We had a lot of scoring chances – we knew we just had to keep shooting it low and going for rebounds, and one was going to go in sooner than later.”

Cornwell agreed.

“Their goalie really stood on his head, but at some point a puck was going to go in eventually,” Cornwell said. “As a goalie, you can only handle so much before you break and let one past you.”

Late in the first period the levee broke. A wrist shot by Cornwell from the left faceoff circle beat Beach glove-side to put St. Joe’s up 1-0 and it stayed that way until a confusing sequence occurred with 5:15 to go in the second.

When a harmless-looking shot from the point by defenseman Cole Kneer snuck by Beach, none of the on-ice officials signaled that the Marauders had scored. After a stoppage in play, the referees reviewed Kneer’s shot and deemed that St. Joe’s had scored to make it 2-0. Two minutes later, however, the Lions got on the board after a three-on-two saw Matthew Spano score.

It looked as if the score would stand until Spano found the back of the net again with 5:41 left in regulation. Camped out in the slot, Spano got his second of the game on the power play to send the match to overtime.

Early in the extra stanza of play, the Marauders caught a break when Lions captain Jason Burzamato was called for a tripping penalty – giving them a five-on-four advantage. Ohle then took matters into his own hands by winning the game on a tap-in in front of Beach – clinching the Marauders’ 13th state crown and their first since 2019.

“I was just sitting in front waiting for the puck to come by and the next thing I know, Sam Morreale – he’s a really great passer – just put it onto my blade and I shot it through the goalie’s five-hole,” Ohle said. “We knew what we had in our locker room and we knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. Now here we are on top.”

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