LaSalle 5, St. Joseph’s Prep 2

PHILADELPHIA— Sunday’s Class AAA Flyers Cup final could be divided into two distinct segments; the first 6 minutes, 52 seconds and all that happened thereafter.
LaSalle built a 3-0 lead over St. Joseph’s Prep in the opening phase of the game. From that point on, the two Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference rivals played on more or less even terms. But the Explorers’ opening surge proved decisive in a 5-2 victory before a large and enthusiastic audience at the Wells Fargo Center that gave them the Flyers Cup for the 11th time, but for the first time since 2016

“We got we are becasue of everybody in that locker room,” said LaSalle defenseman and captain Zach Baker, especially our goalkeeping.

Top-seeded LaSalle (22-6) got off to a fast start be scoring on three of its first four shots. Brandon Leer, Ryan Ferry, and Michael Casey all found the back of the net to put their team up 3-0 with 10:08 still to go in the first period, prompting St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin to make a goaltender change, with Dan McGill replacing Troy Stefano.

The sixth-seeded Hawks (8-17) continued to battle however. Vincent Borgesi’s power-play goal with 50 seconds left in the period served notice that he and his mates weren’t quite willing to relinquish their status as defending Flyers Cup champions. Andrew Centrella made it a one-goal game when he scored a power-play goal of his own, beating LaSalle netminder Aidan McCabe inside the right post at the 4:19 mark.
Meantime, McGill was sharp at the other end of the ice. Heading into the third period it was still 3-2 and the result was still up for grabs.

At that point, Sam Lipkin stepped up for LaSalle, making a move down the left wing and beating McGill to extend his team’s lead just 38 seconds into the period. Two minutes and change later LaSalle had an apparent goal disallowed (the puck was played with a high stick) and went on to dictate play in the the third period.
Ryan Sambuco finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining.

“A tough start,” Giacomin said. “We gave up those three goals the way we did but I was proud of the way we battled back and got the game tight. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the greatest start in the third period.”

LaSalle Wally Muehlbronner said his team had a good attitude at the start and got it back at the start of the third period. “The message was ‘Let’s relax and let’s play the way we’re capable of playing,” he said, ‘and I think they did that.”

Casey who assisted on Lipkin’s goal in addition to scoring his own, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. “I couldn’t do it without my linemates,” the sophomore said. “People behind me, coaches pushing me every shift. It’s obviously something special.”


LaSalle’s Sam Lipkin in white vs St. Joseph’s Prep’s Dan McGill (photo by Kathy Leister)



LaSalle will move on to the state championship game next Saturday in Pittsburgh against the Penguins Cup champion … The Explorers had a 38-22 edge in shots … Lauren Hart gave a live rendition of the national anthem prior to the opening faceoff.

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 10—2
LaSalle 3 0 2—5
First-period goals: Brandon Leer (L) from Ryan Walsh and Nolan Woudenberg, 4:03; Ryan Ferry (L) from Zach Baker and Eric Ford, 5:52 (pp): Michael Casey (L) from Sam Lipkin and Fabrizio Mazzarelli. 6:52; Vincent Borgesi (SJP) from Andrew Centrella and MIke Urbani 16:10 (pp).
Second-period goal: Centrella (HGP) from Dan McGill and Borgesi, 4:19 (pp).
Third-period goals: Lipkin(L) from Casey, :38; Ryan Sambuco (L) unassisted, 15;33.
Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 22, LaSalle 38; Saves: Troy Stefano (SJP) 1 and Dan McGill (SJP) 32; Aidan McCabe (L) 20


The Grundy Skate Shop is a full service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services.  We do a range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. We recently celebrated our 5th year at the shop but owner, Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!


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