La Salle 8, Roman Catholic 1

HATFIELD— Keenan Schneider is playing his first season of varsity hockey for La Salle. But the sophomore is making his presence felt, night in and night out. Schneider scored four goals and added two assists Thursday night as the Explorers rolled over Roman Catholic 8-1 in a Class AAA Flyers Cup quarterfinal game at Hatfield Ice.

Next up is the semifinal round; the Explorers will face third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep in a game that is tentatively set for next Wednesday or Thursday. The site and time are expected to be finalized sometime Friday.

Schneider, who plays left wing, had plenty of help from his linemates. Center David Kimmel, a junior, scored a goal and assisted on five others, including all four of Schneider’s. Right wing Jake Hannon, also a junior, added a goal and an assist.
The trio joined forces in midseason. Coincidentally, it wasn’t long after that that La Salle’s fortunes took a great leap forward.

“We just have good chemistry together,” Schneider said. “We get along in school, we’re good friends. We just play. Once we get one, we want to get a lot more.”
La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner credited the line for giving La Salle some early momentum Thursday night. “That line has had really good chemistry,” he said. “We kind of stumbled into that line, by default almost, but they’ve really clicked.”

Second-seeded La Salle 13-11-2-2 overall) skated the scoring at the 5:43 mark of the first period when David Kimmel beat Cahillite goaltender Michael Smith with a forehander from midway between the two circle. The Explorers had much of the better of the play from there and finished the first frame with a 12-3 edge in shots.

La Salle broke the game open in the second period as Schneider completed a natural hat trick in a span of exactly four minutes to make it a 4-0 game with 6:04 left in the period.

The seventh seeded Cahillites (10-10) rallied briefly when Brandon Finnimore scored 23 seconds into the third period but Schneider answered with his fourth goal of the night just 66 seconds later before Hannon, Max Maddallo, and Dan Dolan added additional goals.

Tempers flared with 8:33 left in the game and four players were caught up in the ensuing altercation. Roman’s Brennan Whittaker drew a major penalty for fighting plus an automatic game misconduct. His teammate Andrew Hotolitz was booked for two minutes for head contact plus a 10-minute misconduct. Maddalo along with the Explorers’ Jake Armstrong were also received minor penalties plus misconducts for head contact.

La Salle finished with a 42-15 edge in shots.

In other Class AAA Flyers Cup quarterfinals
#1 Holy Ghost Prep 8 #8 Bishop Shanahan 0
#5 Father Judge 6 #4 Malvern Prep 2
#3 St. Joseph’s Prep 3, #6 Cardinal O’Hara 2

The semifinals will match La Salle against St. Joseph’s Prep and Holy Ghost Prep against Father Judge, Those games are tentatively set for next Wednesday or Thursday.

Roman Catholic 0 0 1—1
La Salle 1 3 4—8
First-period goals: David Kimmel (L) from Keenan Schneider and Andrew Budzynski, 5:43;
Second-period goals: Schneider (L) from Jake Hannon and David Kimmel, 5:56; Schneider from Kimmel, 6:45; Schneider (L) from Jake Hannon and Kimmel, 9:56.
Third-period goals: Brandon Finnimore (RC) unassisted, :23; Schneider (L) from Kimmel, 1:29; Hannon (L) from Kimmel and Schneider, 5:46; Max Maddalo (L) from Jake Armstrong and Collin Keiser, 7:14; Dan Dolan (L) from Francis Ford, 14:56.
Shots: Roman Catholic 15, LaSalle 42; Saves: Michael Smith (RC) 34, Aidan McCabe (L) 14

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