BRISTOL— LaSalle seems poised for a stretch run in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference. Three different players scored goals Monday afternoon as the Explorers shut out Holy Ghost Prep in an APAC matchup at Grundy Arena.
The win was La Salle’s third straight in APAC after the Explorers (4-4 overall) started the conference campaign with three consecutive defeats. They were listed third in the Class AAA Flyers Cup rankings that were released Monday prior to game time.
“We’re starting to play hard,” said LaSalle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We’re scoring some goals, which has helped and Liam (goaltender Liam Gross) is giving us a chance to win.
On this occasion Gross, a senior, stopped all 33 shots he saw. He noted the Explorers have picked up their play defensively of late.
“We struggled in the beginning of the year with that,” he said. ”But, the group is really coming together, especially the defensive four and the other goalie (Aries Carangi) so it’ really good to see how they battled for me, blocked shots, and made plays.”
Gross says the seniors on the La Salle roster have been providing effective leadership. “All the guys want to win so badly this year,” he said. “We felt like we could have won (a Flyers Cup) last year too (before the season was halted by the pandemic) so this is sort of like a redemption year and I think our leadership is really coming together. We have a young team this year. (The seniors) are leading the young guys on and showing them the way., and they’re picking up pretty fast too.”
After a scoreless first period, Dan Whitock beat Bobby Baehser in the Firebird net just 37 seconds into the second session. The Explorers extended their lead with 1:24 in the period when Ryan Warner poked in a rebound of a David Kimmel shot from the right point. That was it until Kimmel scored into an empty net with 1:07 remaining in regulation.
The Firebirds, who have lost three straight, saw their record fall to 4-4 overall and 3-4 in conference. They were listed second in Monday’s Flyers Cup rankings.
“I thought it was a good game,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “I liked our jump … We played well but not well enough. We’ve got to start finding ways to win.”
Whiteside said he’s encouraging his team to take a back-to-basics approach. “Just sticking with the fundamentals,” he said. “Doing things that they do well and not try to do things they can’t do well.”
La Salle 0 2 1—3
Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 0—0
Second-period goals: Dan Whitock (L) unassisted, :37; Ryan Warner (L) from David Kimmel and Michael Casey, 15:24
Third-period goal: Kimmel (L) from Casey, 14:53 (en)
Shots: La Salle 31, Holy Ghost Prep 33: Saves: Liam Gross (L) 33, Bobby Baehser (HGP) 30
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