HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—It was a hockey game that featured a bit of everything, including a dramatic finish and an outstanding effort in goal; from the losing goaltender.
Jan Olenginski scored off a faceoff 2:23 into overtime to give LaSalle a 3-2 win over Holy Ghost Prep Friday night at Hatfield Ice in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup between the two longtime rivals.
The goal came off a draw in the circle to the left of Holy Ghost Prep goaltender Sean Joyce. Sam Lipkin drew the puck back to the top of the circle where Olenginski was waiting to launch a shot that beat Firebird netminder Sean Joyce.
“I didn’t really have to do too much,” Olenginski said. “He went right to me and I just shot it.”
LaSalle (10-2, 6-0 in the APAC) dominated the bulk of the last two periods. That the Firebirds were able to take the game to overtime was a testament to Joyce’s efforts in goal. He made 39 saves, two of them on penalty shots.
“He’s a competitor,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “He comes to play every game, that’s all you can ask for. And that just gets our guys going.”
The Firebirds (4-7, 0-6) essentially started the evening with a one-goal advantage. LaSalle’s Eric Ford drew a cross-checking penalty just 59 seconds after the opening faceoff. Colin Costello put his team in front just 11 seconds after that.
Max Levenberg responded for the Explorers with a shot from the right side off a scramble in front with 17 seconds remaining in the period.
In the second period the game turned from physical to chippy. Ten penalties were called in the period but the most significant of them came with 2:21 remaining when the Explorers were awarded a penalty shot when the Firebirds’ Jake Marek was whistled for closing his hand over the puck in the crease.
Lipkin took the penalty shot but Joyce turned his forehander aside.
Andrew Budzynski gave LaSalle it’s first lead with 8:15 left in the third period on a play that Michael Casey started with a move down the right wing. Casey went cross ice to Lipkin who in turn found Casey who deposited the puck in the lower right-hand corner of the net.
All three players involved in the play, along with Olenginski, are sophomores.
“A lot of those guys that are sophomores now had a year to play together here , to know the way we want them to play when they’re playing for LaSalle,” said Explorer coach Wally Meuhlbronner. “I think the best quality about them is that they’re unselfish and they work hard and play together well.”
Alex D’Angelo tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep with 6:31 remaining off a feed from Jack Kelly.
Before overtime however, the Firebirds to weather another storm. With les than two minutes left in regulation, Lipkin found himself on a breakaway for the Explorers when Kelly threw his stick along the ice at him. This time it was Olenginski who took the penalty shot but again, Joyce proved impenetrable.
LaSalle finished with a 42-22 edge in shots.
Holy Ghost Prep 1 0 1 0—2
LaSalle 1 0 1 1—3
First-period goals: Colin Costello (HGP) from Eric Pohl and Evan Mudrick, 1:10 (pp); Max Levenberg (L), 15:43.
Third-period goals: Andrew Budzynski (L) from Sam Lipkin and Michael Casey, 7:49; Alex D’Angelo (HGP) from Jack Kelly, 9:29.
Overtime goal: Jan Olenginski (L) from Lipkin, 2:23.
Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 22, LaSalle 42; Saves: Sean Joyce (HGP) 39, Aidan McCabe (L) 20
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