Temperatures outside were bone chilling, but the Twinsburg ice hockey team was red hot at the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center Arena as the Tigers beat Lyndhurst Brush 10-0 to help make school history.
The Tiger icers ended the regular season with a record of 9-3-1 overall, which is the best record ever.
"It was great to finish with the best record in the program's 10-year varsity history," said Tiger mentor James DiRosa, after the Feb. 1 game.
Junior goaltender Braden Susnik notched up his fourth shutout of the regular season, stopping all 16 shots he faced.
Another junior - forward Dylan Aoki, starred in the win as he totaled seven points. Aoki amassed two goals and five assists against the Arcs.
The victory set up the showdown Feb. 2, between the Tigers and Chesterland West Geauga for the championship of the Blue Central East Division. The contest was also the Tigers' Senior Night, but Twinsburg fell 3-2.
"It was a game between two evenly matched teams, both intent on bringing the division banner home," said DiRosa as seniors Brandon Best, Nick Elnikar, Eddie Govang, Anthony Morelli, and Jared Rodic, along with their parents, were recognized.
West Geauga got on the scoreboard first just 2:00 into the game when a hard shot ricocheted off Susnik's glove and into the net.
Twinsburg fired back a few minutes later when Govang tallied off a pass from Best, but the Wolverines answered just 10 seconds later to take the lead back.
The Tigers continued to battle as Aoki tied the game at the 8:48 point on a feed from sophomore forward Kyle DiRosa. The game was tied 2 to 2 at the end of the first period.
The second period was scoreless as both teams traded shots on goal with no counters being allowed by either goalie.
A damaging third period saw the Wolverines take the lead with a goal just 1:00 off the clock.
Both teams continued to battle and with 1:00 left in the game, Coach DiRosa pulled Susnik from the net to put an additional attacker on the ice in hopes of tying the game and sending it into overtime. It didn't happen as West Geauga took home the title.
Twinsburg just couldn't finish as the Tigers managed 25 shots on goal. Susnik turned aside 44 of the 47 shots he faced.
Prepping for the post season, the Tigers will get a week of rest before the state playoffs begin. The locals will compete in the Kent Roosevelt bracket. The bracket pairings were set to be drawn on Feb. 6.
DiRosa's troops got on the board early against Brush as Rodic blasted the puck into the Brush net just four minutes into the game off a feed from Aoki. Aoki put one of his own into the net two minutes later, assisted by DiRosa, and followed it up with another tally two minutes later. Junior forward Brennan Byers was credited with the assist.
Best slipped one past the Arc goalie just thirty seconds later off a feed from Govang as the rout continued.
With 2:45 left in the period, Byers put a counter in with an assist from Aoki. Then, 30 seconds later, junior forward Andrew Leonard blasted a long shot home off a nice feed from Justin Guy.
Govang later found the back of the net with assists from Morelli and Rodic as Twinsburg led 7-0 at the end of the second period.
Rodic added a goal on a dish from Aoki while Best followed with a power play goal at the 6:24 mark, assisted by Rodic and Aoki. DiRosa closed out the scoring when he found pay dirt off feeds from Aoki and Best.