Holy Ghost Prep Kicks Off 2021 Season

By Rick Woelfel

When Holy Ghost Prep Firebirds hit the ice Monday night, an easily disenable wave of positive energy swept through the Green Rink at Hatfield Ice.

After weeks of waiting, and wondering if they would have a season at all, the Firebirds were back to playing the game they loved.

“We’ve been through a lot as a country,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “It’s just nice to be back on the ice with these kids, and in the locker rooms, and seeing their smiles and practicing, and now to be able to play in a game, it’s just nice.

“This where they need to be, and it’s a nice way to kick off the season.”

Whiteside noted that playing their first game of the season gave his players a sense of normalcy. “This is where they thrive,” he said. “You can hear the laughter, the chatter, the camaraderie they have. It’s a special team and I’m just fortunate to be a part of it.”

Perhaps no one enjoyed the evening more than Firebird defenseman Jake Marek. The senior was making his return to the ice after missing his entire junior season because of a torn ACL that he sustained just prior to the first game of last season.

“I haven’t played with these guys in a while,” Marek said. “And some of the underclassmen I’ve never played with ever. So, going out, I was a little skeptical on how we were going to be as a team. But, it’s family. This team jells. And it was very, very nice to play with.”

Despite his injury, Marek remained with the team last season and at times could set his concerns about his injury and his hockey future aside.

“I was still with the team,” he said. “And, to be out there with the guys, I didn’t feel it.”

Not so long ago, Marek was thinking he might have played his last game with the Firebirds, but not because of his injury. “I knew I was going to come back from the injury no matter what,” he said.  “But with the pandemic, I was very, very scared. I’m very, very thankful to be in this spot today.”

Marek’s greatest concern is that his senior season of high-school hockey will be further interrupted. “I want a season,” he said. “I don’t just want a couple games, I want a season, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.”

Brady Baehser and E.J. Pohl scored twice for the Firebirds. Bobby Baehser got the win in goal. Mason Moyer was in goal for the Titans, his first action of the season.

The Firebirds and La Salle will open the APAC season Friday night at Hatfield Ice with a scheduled 6:50 start.

Holy Ghost Prep 4 2 2—8

C.B. South 0 0 0—0

First-period goals: Brady Baehser (HGP) from Brian Butler. 5:42; E.J. Pohl (HGP) from Jason Soule and Evan Mudrick, 8:17 (pp); Sean Marshall (HGP) and Sean Moore, 12:57 (sh); Baehser (HGP) unassisted, 14:47.

Second-period goals: Anthony Sparo (HGP) from Mudrick, 10:25; Pohl (HGP) from Moore and Mudrick, 15:58.

Third-period goals: Landon Stoudt (HGP) from Carlos Rodriguez, Jr., 5:32; Patrick McAneny (HGP) from James Littley, 8:30.

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