BRISTOL—The struggle continued for Holy Ghost Prep Thursday afternoon. Luke Antonacci scored two goals as the Princeton Day School shut out the Firebirds 4-0 in a nom-league encounter at Grundy Arena.
The Firebirds (4-9) have now lost seven straight games.
The Panthers (8-7) were in control early on. Drew McConaughy beat Sean Joyce with a backhander at the 8:28 mark of the first frame to give his team a 1-0 lead. Antonacci made it a 2-0 game at 11:19.
The Panthers wound up outshooting the Firebirds (4-9) 17-3 in the first period. “We had a good first shift,” said Thomas McNulty, one of the Firebird captains. “And then after that, we kind of went downhill, we lost our intensity. It seemed like we weren’t all in today.”
Kevin Flahile extended the Panthers’ lead with a goal at the 6:41 mark off the second period before Antonacci added his second goal of the game 4:50 into the third period with a shot from the right point.
Jeremy Siegel pitched the shutout in goal. It was the fourth straight win for the Panthers and their second over over an Atlantic Prep Athletic conference team in 24 hours; Princeton Day bested LaSalle 4-2 on Wednesday.
Princeton Day coach Scott Bertoli said his team was able to take advantage of the Firebirds’ relative youth on the blue line. “I think we recognized that we’re young on the back end,” he said. “I like the fact that we got pucks deep and penetrated. We had a ton of opportunities.
“I give their goalie credit … that could have been a four or five-goal game and I thought he hung in there.”
In the wake of Thursday’s loss the Firebirds continue to look for solutions for what has become an extraordinarily difficult puzzle.
“We’ve been in a little bit of a slump,” McNulty said, “and honestly, we’re not used to that at all. This is my fourth year on the team and I’ve never experienced anything like this.
“We’re slowly trying to piece together this puzzle and figure it out but it just comes down to our work ethic. And yes, a lot of guys left last year but we just need to put in the work and I think we’ll start to click.
Notes—The Panthers outshot the Firebirds 33-15. Laura White, who refereed, works games for the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Princeton Day 2 1 1—4
Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 0—0
First-period goals: Drew McConaughy (PDS) from Stephan Gorelenkov, 8:28; Luke Antonacci (PDS) from Colby Auslander and Ty Eastman, 11:19.
Second-period goal: Kevin Flahile (PSD) from Gibson Linnehan and Chris Cecelia, 6:41.
Third-period goal: Antonacci (PDS) from Gorlenkov and Cecelia, 4:50.
Shots: Princeton Day 33, Holy Ghost Prep 15; Saves: Jeremy Siegel (PDS) 15, Sean Joyce (HGP) 29.