KENT — Findlay High coach Joe Longo wanted to beef up the Trojans’ schedule this year.
And the Walsh Jesuit Tournament played at the Kent State Ice Arena over the weekend was just what he was looking for.
“We dropped a tournament we usually attend in Columbus to play in this one, which historically has been one of the most competitive tournaments of the year. Last year, all eight teams in the field were ranked 15th or higher,” Longo said.
“The Columbus tournament was not as competitive, and we usually won most if not all of our games. It did help us pad the record, but it didn’t help us get to ultimate goal of competing for a state title.”
Findlay won only one of four games over the weekend. But the Trojans lost only once and came away with two ties against a strong lineup of opponents, all ranked 11th or better in their state polls.
Findlay’s only setback of the tournament came Friday in a 5-4 loss to No. 11-ranked Gilmour Academy. The Trojans beat No. 7-ranked Walsh Jesuit 3-2 and tied No. 5 Parma Heights Holy Name 4-4 on Saturday, then capped the tournament with another 4-4 tie on Sunday against Culver Academy, the No. 1-ranked team in Indiana.
“From Friday night until Sunday morning, we played four very good, very competitive teams in 38 hours and went 1-1-2. I was very pleased with our showing,” Longo said after the Trojans placed second in their bracket.
Findlay benefitted from, and overcame at times, some wild swings in the tournament. The Trojans trailed Holy Name 3-0 before rallying for a 4-4 tie and led Gilmour Academy 3-0 before falling 5-4. They also had 2-0 and 3-1 leads on Culver Academy in Sunday’s 4-4 final.
Connor Curlis had a big weekend for the Trojans, scoring six goals and handing out two assists. The junior forard had three goals in the 4-4 tie with Holy Name, two in the 4-4 tie with Culver and two assists in the win over Walsh Jesuit.
Noah Hindall had a goal and five assists in the four games. Brandon Armstrong had a goal and two asists against Holy Name, and A.J. Bishop pumped in two goals against Gilmour Academy.
Junior goalie Joe Longo was in net for the Trojans, making 120 saves in the four games.
Findlay returns home this week and will face No. 2-ranked Toledo St. John’s Friday in a Northwest Hockey Conference game at The Cube. The Trojans will host Troy in a nonleague game on Saturday.
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