Malvern Prep 5, Holy Ghost Prep 4

By Rick Woelfel

WEST GOSHEN—The momentum of a hockey game can change in the blink of an eye. So it was Monday night as Malvern Prep overcame a two-goal deficit with a four-goal third period to stun Holy Ghost Prep 5-4 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference  game at Ice Line.

Matt Harris scored a natural hat trick for the Friars (1-1 overall and in the APAC). All three of his goals came during the third period when Malvern Prep found itself trailing by two goals on two occasions. The sophomore’s third goal, which came with 1:35 remaining in regulation, saw him beat Firebird goaltender Sean Joyce for the game winner.

Harris said the Friars took the ice for the final period with a determined mindset. “Just play hard and get pucks in on net,” he said.

The Firebirds (2-1, 1-1 in the APAC) had the upper hand for much of the first two periods and took a 3-1 lead 91 seconds into the third when Byron Hartley scored his second goal of the game on a feed from Evan Mudrick.

But momentum shifted in the Friars’ direction 4:08 into the third period when their goaltender Anthony Perti denied Mudrick on a penalty shot in the wake of a cross checking penalty.

Jack Constabile scored for Malvern Prep just 41 seconds later to make it a one-goal game. Sean Marshall scored for the Firebirds at the 7:26 mark to put his team up by two goals once more but Harris scored a shorthanded goal at 9:15 and tied the game with 3:51 remaining to set the stage for the finish.

Ironically, Perti, who made the game-changing save on Mudrick’s penalty shot, wasn’t around at the finish. He left with an apparent injury with 8:24 left in the game after making 18 saves. Jack Davis took his place and made four more.

Harris said he and teammates took considerable satisfaction rom rebounding from a one-goal los to St. Joseph’s Prep last Thursday. “It felt really good,” he said. “We knew what we had to do, come out hard and play Holy Ghost, who is good. We did what we had to do.”

Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan credited his players for their resiliency. “The guys were down early again like our first game,” he said, “but it was nice to come back and really take that next step with the guys coming together and finding a way to pull out a win here.”

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside described the failed penalty shot attempt as huge. “It is what it is,” he said. It’’s frustrating. I’m happy for Bill, he got his first win as the Malvern coach. He’s a good guy. But it’s just frustrating tonight.”

Whiteside feels the devastating loss will be a lesson for his players. “We’re young,” he said. “The season’s early. and we’ll be a better team because of this, I can assure you.”

Holy Ghost Prep opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal from Hartley 9:59 into the first period. Mudrick made it 2-0 just 73 seconds into the second session. Ryan Sambuco scored for the Friars at the 6:29 mark to cut the deficit in half and the score remained unchanged through the period’s end.

Holy Ghost Prep 1 1 2—4
Malvern Prep 0 1 4—5
First-period goal: Byron Hartley (HGP) from Sean Marshall, 9:59 (sh)
Second-period goals: Evan Mudrick (HGP) from Hartley, 1:13; Ryan Sambuco (MP) from Andrew Harder, 6:29
Third-period goals: Hartley (HGP) from Mudrick, 1:31; Jack Constabile (MP) from Ryan Sambuco, 4:49; Marshall (HGP) from Hartley and Mudrick, 7:26; Matt Harris (MP) from Chris Blango, 9:15 (sh); Harris (MP) from Jack Davis 13:09; Harris (MP) from Constabile and Blango, 15:35.
Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 26, Malvern Prep 32; Saves: Sean Joyce (HGP) 22, Anthony Perti (MP) 18 and Jack Davis (MP) 4





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