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Upper Arlington Advances To The Final Four

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Upper Arlington's Marty Galantowicz had a hat trick, Andy Wilkinson dished out three assists and Matt Loveland recorded 30 saves to lead the Golden Bears past Dublin Coffman, 5-2 in front of 1250 fans at Dispatch Ice Haus on Saturday night.

"It's a great feeling," Galantowicz said. "We're playing our best hockey of the season in the tournament."

Upper Arlington's James Dowdy put the Golden Bears on the board scoring after taking a centering pass from Andy Grindley and beating Coffman goalie Bryan Serif at 8:58 of the first for a 1-0 lead. Dublin Coffman knotted the score at one when Chris Ridgway lit the lamp as the puck emerged from a scrum in front of the UA net.

Upper Arlington would score the next three goals, as a shorthanded and a power play goal by Galantowicz sandwiched a Blake Greiner goal to put UA up 4-1 entering the third period.

"It's just been a great experience," Galantowicz said. "I have been playing well the whole tournament. I just put the pedal to the medal today."

His coach agreed.

"He was exceptional tonight," UA head coach Jay Graham said. "He buried all his shots.  He was great at finding the net. We had a lot of guys step up tonight."

Matt Lovland was one of the players Graham was refering to as the senior netminder stopped 30-of-32 shots

"We played an exceptional defensive game," Graham said. "Loveland was great in net and we had a great game plan, we wanted to make sure Kirstein wasn't going to beat us. We were going to defend him and prevent him from being a difference maker."

Coffman's Matt Kirstein, one of Ohio's leading scorers was held scoreless till 10:04 of the third period, earning an assist on Michael Strine's power-play tally that cut the deficit to two. 

But less than a minute later Galantowicz scored on a slapper from the right face off circle to put Upper Arlington up by three. 

"This is what we have been working for," Galantowicz said. "This is the final step and now we get to play at Nationwide Arena. That is going to be an incredible experience."

Upper Arlington will face Parma Padua in the state semi-final at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Nationwide Arena.

Scoring summary:
First Period:

UA - Dowdy from Grindley and Wilkinson (8:58) EV
DC - Ridgway from Gemma (6:43) PP
UA - Galantowicz from Wilkinson (1:17) SH
Second Period:
UA - Greiner from Wilkinson and Christiansen (6:56) EV
UA - Galantowicz unassisted (5:04) PP
Third Period:
DC - Strine from Veeck and Kirstein (10:04) PP
UA - Galantowicz unassisted (9:16) EV

UA: 1-for-5; DC: 2-for-8
UA: 8-16; DC: 5-10

UA: Loveland 9-7-14=30
DC: Serif 7-9-12=28

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