2021 Flyers Cup Tournament to be Delayed

The 2021 Flyers Cup tournament will be played approximately one month later than usual. The decision was made by the Flyers Cup Committee in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the delayed start of the scholastic hockey season in the eastern and central portions of Pennsylvania.

The leagues that compete under the Flyers Cup umbrella traditionally begin their seasons in late October or early November. But due to the pandemic, they will not be beginning their league schedules until January.

As a result, the Flyers Cup, which traditionally begins the first week of March, is now tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, April 5, the day after Easter, and conclude 15 days later on Tuesday, April 20.

The state championship games matching Flyers Cup and Penguins Cup champions are set for Saturday, April 24 at the Mario Lemieux Center in Pittsburgh.

Flyers Cup Committee President Eric Tye notes the listed start date for the tournament is tentative and could change in the event an in-season shutdown is required because of the pandemic.

“We do have some flexibility,” he said.

Tye indicated that it is possible the size of the tournament field, which last season included 53 teams (16 each in Class AA and Class A, eight each in Class AAA and the South Jersey-Delaware bracket plus five girls’ teams) could be reduced if necessary to complete the tournament in a reasonable amount of time.

There are no automatic qualifiers for the Flyers Cup tournament. It is an invitational event; teams are selected and seeded by the committee, which includes representatives from each league that sends teams to the tournament.

To be eligible for the 2021 Flyers Cup tournament, a team must play 10 league games. For a player to be eligible for the tournament he/she must participate in half the league games played by his/her team.

Examples: Team A plays a 14-game league schedule. To be Flyers Cup eligible, a player on Team A must participate in seven games.

Team B plays a 10-game league schedule. In order. to be Cup eligible, a player on Team B’s roster must participate in five league games.

Check out the latest Hockey Happenings podcast with Rick Woelfel and Eric Tye. It features an overview of what the 2021 season may look like.

It can be accessed at https://www.buzzsprout.com/213400

If you would like to promote your product or service on this site, contact us at  rwoelfel2013@gmail.com

Start of SHSHL Season to be Delayed

 The start of the upcoming Suburban High School Hockey League season will be delayed until January 3, 2021. SHSHL President Kenny Haas said the19 clubs that will skate under the SHSHL umbrella this season are committed to doing so in a safe manner.

“We all agree that the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and their families is most important,” said. “Unfortunately, the current trend of this pandemic requires us to delay the season at this time.”

“I am very proud that 100 percent of our member clubs have made the difficult decision to delay the season and place the safety of our participants and their families as the highest priority.”

Traditionally, the SHSHL Season commences in late October or early November. This year’s season was originally scheduled to begin on Thanksgiving Eve, November 25.

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Malvern Prep Wins Opener

Malvern Prep opened the scholastic hockey season Thursday night with a 9-0 win West Chester Bayard Rustin at Ice Line.

Matt Harris paced the Friars with a four-goal effort, while Anthony Perti earned the shutout in goal.

“Going into the game we were prepared like it was any other normal game,” Harris said. “But, going into the season our goal is to win Flyers Cup, and everyone felt good tonight.” 

Bayard Rustin 0 0 0—0

Malvern Prep 2 4 3—9

First-period goals: Jimmy Kirk (MP) from Jack Constabile and Matt Harris, 12:02 (pp); Harris (MP) from Travis Buckley, 14:59.

Second-period goals: Ryan Sambuco (MP) unassisted, 2:43 (sh); Constabile (MP) from Sambuco, 2:50 (sh); Harris (MP) from Sambuco, 13:29 (pp); Harris (MP) from Chris Blngo, 15:08.

Third-period goals: Harris (MP) unassisted, 1:39; Pierre Larocque (MP) from Quinn Dougherty, 2:58; Matt Donatucci (MP) from Sambucco, 6:31.

Shots: Bayard Rustin 11, Malvern Prep 51; Saves: Bobst (MP) 42, Anthony Perti (MP) 11

Malvern Prep goaltender Anthony Perti makes a save in traffic (photo by Gracie Cleveland)

Malvern Prep at the Threshold of a New Hockey Season

                       Malvern Prep is approaching the 1920-21 hockey season with a blend of caution and optimism. The Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference will not begin its new season until after the holidays but the Friars, like other scholastic hockey teams in the area, are holding preseason drills.

Unlike most other teams however, Malvern Prep is hoping to get on the ice for some non-league games between now and the end of the year; the Friars are scheduled to go against West Chester Rustin Thursday night at Ice Line.

The three other members of the APAC, Holy Ghost Prep, St. Joseph’s Prep, and two-time defending champion La Salle, are all on the ice but none of the other three have committed to playing a game as of yet.

Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan has adjusted his practice schedule to try to get his players as much ice time as possible. “We flip flop a little bit between a varsity-only practice, and a JV and varsity combined practice,” he said, “but for the most part, all the guys are (on the ice) twice a week.”

Keenan described how he structures a practice with safety in mind. “When I go into practices, the biggest thing I try to do is implement the drills in a sense to where the kids are constantly moving and not standing in line next to each other,” he said.  

““If we do have those drills where guys must stand in a line, I try to form drills so it’s not only one or two lines but a drill that has multiple components where the kids might be in five or six different lines across the ice. So, you’re taking your guys and you’re kind of spreading them and then while they’re in line they can kind of adhere to social distancing. I would say most of the guys are rarely next to each other for more than a minute or two when the drills are kicked off. And by the time they get back in line they’re starting to flow through the drill again. It’s constant movement.”
Malvern Prep’s student body is back on campus and the players are screened a minimum of twice each day.

“They get health screenings before they go on campus in the morning,” Kenan said, “They do one at home and then when they (arrive on campus) they do another one; there are color coded wristbands and they’re not allowed to come to practice without a wristband.”

The players are not forbidden to utilize the locker room facilities at Ice Line prior to or following practices.

Hatfield Ice to Close for Two Weeks

Hatfield Ice, the primary venue for Suburban High School Hockey League games, and other hockey events will be closed for two weeks, from Saturday, November 7 through Friday, November 20.

The closing was ordered by the Montgomery County Department of Health.

All facilities, including the rink, the pro shop, and cafe will be closed during this period.

Rink general manager Brian Pecca issued a statement/press release via Twitter.

“During this shutdown, we will continue to clean and sanitize our facilities, as have done since reopening back in June,” he said. “We are extremely disappointed in this decision, but we will continue to do everything we can to reopen and provide a safe environment for our customers.”

APAC Season to Begin in January


      The start of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference’s third season will be delayed until January due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. League officials are hoping to implement a 10-league schedule following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, depending on the academic schedules of the league’s four member schools, La Salle, Holy Ghost Prep, Malvern Prep, and St. Joseph’s Prep.

 “Many of the details depend on the schools’ academic calendars, which are still in flux,” said APAC Commissioner Jim Britt. “Some schools have yet to finalize their academic calendars for the 2020 winter months through May 2021, including holiday breaks, spring breaks, exam periods, and dates we might potentially need to black out. 

“The impact of schedule conflicts for students who normally participate in spring sports or other activities is also a factor to be considered.”

The APAC is hoping to conclude its season by late February to coincide with the traditional start date of the Flyers Cup tournament.

All four league schools have been on the ice for preseason drills.

Malvern Prep has scheduled non-league games against West Chester Rustin on November 12 and Cardinal O’Hara on Thanksgiving Eve. Two-time defending APAC champion La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep are hoping to schedule non-league games during November and December while Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside indicated his team would not play a game until January.

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SHSHL Realigning as New Season Approaches

The Suburban High School Hockey League will have a new look this season. The league will be comprised of 16 teams this season, divided into two divisions.

The Class AA Division will include defending champion Council Rock South, Central Bucks East, Central Bucks South, Central Bucks West, Neshaminy, North Penn, Pennridge, Pennsbury, and Souderton.

The Class A Division will be comprised defending champion Plymouth Whitemarsh, Hatboro-Horsham, Wissahickon, Truman, Abington, Quakertown, and William Tennent. The latter three teams will play at the Class A level this coming season after competing in Class AA a year ago.

The SHSHL’s 48thseason is expected to begin on Wednesday, November 25.