Malvern Prep 3, Holy Ghost Prep 2 SO

By Rick Woelfel

BRISTOL—For the second time in five days, Malvern Prep and Holy Ghost Prep needed a shootout to determine a winner. For the second time the Friars emerged victorious, and by the same score, 3-2 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Grundy Arena that matched the intensity and competitiveness of its predecessor.

A goal from Pierre Larocque 8:21 into the first period off a feed from Chris Blango and another from Matt Harris at the 13:52 mark off a turnover enabled Malvern Prep (7-0, 2-0-2-0 in the APAC) to take a 2-0 advantage.

The score remained unchanged through the second period but it was not for lack of effort on the Firebirds’ part. They held a 30-18 edge in shots to that point but were unable to solve Anthony Perti in the Friars’ net.

In the third period, Holy Ghost Prep (4-2 overall, 3-0-0-2 in conference) came out storming. Evan Mudrick beat Perti off a feed from Brady Baehser just 23 seconds into the period. The Firebirds successfully killed off a pair of minor penalties before stepping up the pressure down the stretch. Anthony Sparo tied the game with 1:13 left in regulation off a feed from Shaun Moore to force overtime. 

Neither team seriously threatened in the extra five-minute session before Blango and Harris found the net in the shootout.

“Overtime is always fun,” Blango said, “but we’ve got to clean up stuff on our end, and especially in the third period in our D-zone. We can’t have days like this, where they score two third-period goals back to back. It’s fun, but we’ve got to take care of our stuff.”

Blango felt he and his teammates became, in his words “Too comfortable,” at some point. “We definitely got sloppy,” he said. “You could probably see it. Our passes weren’t made the same, we were not communicating as much. You’ve got to clean that up, headed into playoffs and the Flyers Cup.”

During the break between the second and third periods, Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan urged his troops to maintain their focus. “Our message in between periods, the second and third was to tell our guys ‘The next goal’s important,’” he said. “Holy Ghost came out strong and ended up tying it, but it was good to see our guys fight back and get a win in the shootout.”

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside was philosophical about the loss. “It was a great game,” he said. “I don’t like the result, but I liked our response in the third period and we did what we had to do to win the hockey game. it’s tough to lose hockey games like that, but we did what we had to do.”

• The Firebirds outshot the Friars 50-34… Monday’s game was a makeup of a postponement. The Friars will face La Salle on Wednesday to start a stretch that will see them play three conference games in eight days. Holy Ghost Prep will take on St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday to begin a run of four conference games in 11 days.

Malvern Prep 2 0 0 0 (2)—3

Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 2 0 (0)—2

First-period goals: Pierre Larocque (MP from Chris Blango,  8:21; Matt Harris (MP) from Jack Constabile, 13:52

Third-period goals: Evan Mudrick (HGP) from Brady Baehser and Shaun Moore, :23: Anthony Sparo (HGP) from Moore and Mudrick, 14:47.

Shots: Malvern Prep 34, Holy Ghost Prep 50: Saves: Anthony Perti (MP) 48. Bobby Baehser (HGP) 32

For more about Malvern Prep Click Here

For more about Holy Ghost Prep Click Here

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