WEST GOSHEN— Coming off an emotional loss, La Salle needed a good performance Monday night and got it. It wasn’t a. Perfect effort but the Explorers played well enough long enough to post as 6-3 win over Malvern Prep in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Ice Line.
Five different players scored goals as the Explorers (10-14) improved to 2-3-2-1 in the APAC to move into third place in the APAC with one conference game remaining. It was La Salle’s first time on ice since losing to Holy Ghost Prep last Friday.
Keenan Schneider, who scored a goal and added an assist, noted Monday’s result had far-reaching ramifications. “It was very important,” the sophomore said. “We needed these three points to clear our seeding in the Flyers Cup and right we can keep moving forward.”
The Friars (6-8 overall, 2-5-2-0 in conference) had the better of play early on, thanks in part to an early power play chance but the Explorers successfully killed off the penalty before Jake Armstrong scored the evening’s first goal at the 4:59 mark with help from Nathan Benner and Ryan Ferry. Schneider made it 2-0 with 52 seconds left in the period.
The Explorers extended their their lead at the 4:16 mark of the second stanza when the Friars coughed up the puck in front of their own net and Max Maddallo put the puck past Malvern Prep netminder Anthony Perti. It became a 4-0 game when Dan Dolan found the back of the net at 11:02.
The Friars cut into the deficit by scoring twice in the final minute of the period. Jimmy Kirk scored off a La Salle turnover with 55 seconds remaining before Ryan Sambuco added a shorthanded goal with nine seconds left. By period’s end, the Friars had a a 23-14 edge in shots but were still two goals down.
“When you have that many shots it’s tough when you don’t get your bounces,” said Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan. “I thought we played a solid couple periods there, the bounces just didn’t go our way.”
It was still a game at the start of the final period and the Friars picked up where they left off when La Salle’s Chase Hannon drew a hooking penalty nine seconds in to create a four-on-four situation. Sambuco scored his second goal of the evening off the ensuing faceoff to make it a one-goal game.
By this point, La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner had some concerns. “I think we got a little complacent,” he said, “and got away from what we were doing well that got us to 4-0. I think we played a good simple game the way we want to play the first period-and-a-half and then you get up 4-0 and you think it’s going to be easy. It’s not.”
Muehlbronner’s concerns were eased when David Kimmel concluded a game of tic tac toe with Schneider and Jake Hannon with 9:10 left in regulation to make it a two-goal game once more. Andrew Budzynski scored into an empty net with 41 seconds remaining.
La Salle 2 2 2—6
Malvern Prep 0 2 1—3
First-period goals: Jake Armstrong (L) from Nathan Benner and Ryan Ferry, 4:59; Keenan Schneider (L) from David Kimmel and Nolan Woudenberg, 15:08
Second-period goals: Max Maddallo (L) from Tim Whitlock, 4:16; Dan Dolan (L) from Frank Ford and Chris Wnek, 11:02
Third-period goals: Sambuco (MP) unassisted, :24; Kimmel (L) from Schneider and Jake Hannon, 6:50; Andrew Budzynski (L) unassisted, 15:19.
Shots: LaSalle 25, Malvern Prep 32; Saves: Aidan McCabe (L) 29, Anthony Perti (MP) 19;