State says it stopped championship hockey game for safety - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

State says it stopped championship hockey game for safety

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Fans wait to welcome the  Wildcats home. Fans wait to welcome the Wildcats home.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association says it stopped the championship game between Sylvania Northview and Cleveland St. Ignatius out of concern for the players' safety.

The game was stopped after 4 and half hours of play and 7 overtime periods with a score of 1 to 1.

The teams were declared co-champions.

According to the statement: "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."

They pointed out that by national rule, there are no shootouts in high school hockey.

The organization said it was a good time to show that wins and losses are not more important than player safety and that they would rather be criticized for ending the game than have a player injured in the eighth overtime period.

Local fans had mixed reactions to the decision.

Abner Kamps said, "What can you do, right? You have two teams, both players are exhausted and coaches are probably mentally exhausted. so I think sometimes you got to call."

Josh Craig disagreed. "I think you got to let them finish it on the ice. I don't think you should take it out of the players' hands. You just let them go for eight overtime or shootout or something."

Kevin O'Donnel echoed that sentiment. "I think it would be an awful way to end your high school career. As a player for soccer and lacrosse, I would just not like that to happen. It was an intense game to say the least."

But Julia Phillips says she understands. "They're playing the same 10 kids the whole game. And seven overtimes, they were obviously really tired. So I guess I understand why they called it."

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