HATFIELD— For anyone with a healthy appetite for hockey, Friday night’s Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup between St.Joseph’s Prep and La Salle was the ultimate buffet. It took a shootout to decide matters, with Nolan Woudenberg’s goal in the bottom of the third round giving the Explorers a 5-4 win.
Before that, the audience at Hatfield Ice had the chance to sample a bit of everything, close checking, first-rate goaltending, and some outstanding individual efforts.
“It was an awesome game to be a part of,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin. “Like I’ve said many times, I think this division is very evenly matched and what you get that day is hopefully great hockey. I think both sides played hard and it was a great game.”
The result Haden impact on the APAC standings. The Explorers improved to 9-12 overall and 1-2-2-1 in conference play. The Hawks are now 10-10 overall and 3-0-0-4 in conference; they’ve taken at least one point from all seven league games.
The result could have have an impact on the Flyers Cup power rankings as well. The Hawks were ranked first, the Explorers second at the start of the week. A new set of rankings will be released on Monday.
All eight of Friday night’s regulation goals came in the last two periods after a scoreless first frame that featured an abundance of close checking as the players on both teams searched in vain for a patch of open ice to work in.
Nolan Woudenberg opened the scoring for La Salle at 11:23 of the middle period. Jake Hannon made a 2-0 game just 28 seconds later but the Hawks got tallies from Paulo Colavita and Dominic Fantozzi in a 29-second pan to draw even with 2:45 left in the period.
The third period was dominated by special teams. The first three of the four goals in the period came on power plays.
The Hawks’ Michael Urbani and the Explorers’ Woudenberg traded goals early on before Andrew Centrella scored on a shot from the right circle to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead with 11:34 left in the game. David Kimmel tied the game for La Salle with 6:44 left in regulation.
The Explorers got a break when the Hawks’ Nick Storti drew an elbowing penalty with 45 seconds left in regulation, one which allowed LaSalle to start the overtime period with a man advantage.
Both goaltenders came up big in the extra session. The Explorers’ Aidan McCabe denied the Hawks’ Matthew Moresco and St. Joseph Prep’s Andrew Custer got the better of Woudenberg. Either play could have ended matters. In the end, Woudenberg provided the winning effort in the shootout.
“It’s a step forward for us,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. It would have been nice to win in regulation but it was similar to our last game against them. Two pretty evenly matched teams.”
McCabe spoke to the nature of the rivalry between the Explorers and the Hawks. “It’s definitely an easy game to get up for,” he said, and to stay motivated through the whole game. And once you know it’s going into overtime, it’s even easier to focus on. We were able to get the win in the shootout, which is nice.”
Ice Chips—The Explorers won the first meting between the two teams, 4-3 in overtime, on November 20. The two teams will close the regular season against each other on the evening of February 21 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Arena.
St. Joseph’s Prep 0 2 2 0 (1)—4
La Salle 0 2 2 0 (2)—5
Second-period goals: Nolan Woudenberg (L) from Chase Hannon and Jack Armstrong, 11:23 (pp); Jake Hannon (L) from Colin Keiser and David Kimmel, 11:51; Matthew Moresco (SJP) from Paulo Colavita, 13:44; Dominic Fantozzi (SJP) from Jimmy Craig, 14:15.
Third-period goals: Michael Urbani (SJP) from Jeffrey Hammond and Craig, 1:29 (pp); Woudenberg (L) from Hannon and Armstrong, 2:32 (pp); Andrew Centrella (SJP) from Hammond and Craig, 5:26 (pp); Kimmel (L) from Keenan Schneider, 10:16.
Shootout goals: SJP: Ben Briskin; L: Max Maddalo and Woudenberg
Shots: SJP 25, La Salle 26; Saves: Andrew Custer (SJP) 22, Aidan McCabe (L) 21
Holy Ghost Prep 3, St. Augustine 0—The Firebirds bested the Hermits Friday in a non-league game. Landon Stoudt and Anthony Sparo scored in the first period to give the Firebirds a 2-0 lead. Luke Panepresso added an empty net goal in the third period. Sean Joyce made 25 saves in goal.
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