HATFIELD— Holy Ghost Prep came out flying Tuesday afternoon. The Firebirds scored four goals in the first period and went on to an 8-1 win over Cardinal O’Hara in a Class AAA Flyers Cup quarterfinal at Hatfield Ice.
Eight different players scored goals for the third-seeded Firebirds (6-6), who will move on to Thursday’s semifinals against La Salle or Father Judge.
It was the Firebirds’ first game in 22 days because of Covid issues that forced their withdrawal from the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference playoffs and they wasted little time getting started. Shaun Moore scored just 68 seconds after the opening faceoff when he beat Ronan Marley with a rebound of Brady Baehser’s original shot. Patrick McAneny made it a 2-0 game at the 3:07 mark.
Angelo Filoramo scored for the sixth-seeded Lions (8-5-1) to get them on the board at 12:16. But Ciara Chambers and Sean Marshall scored goals 2 minutes, 20 second apart and by the time the period ended the Firebirds were enjoying a 4-1 advantage.
Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside applauded his team’s fast start. “We kind of told them we had to get started right away,” he said. “We’ve been out of hockey for a couple weeks now, so it was nice to see that. I was really happy with the effort tonight.”
Luke Panepresso extended his team’s lead when he found the back of the net with 4:07 left in the second frame. The final period featured three more Firebird goals, from Evan Mudrick, Brian Butler, and John Connelly.
Senior Cole Stevens, who assisted on Butler’s goal, was excited to be back on the ice with his high-school teammates. “It’s good to get back out there,” he said,. “It’s just a good feeling to start playing again.”
Stevens says the scoring balance the Firebirds displayed on Tuesday will be beneficial going forward. “It’s huge,” he said. “Especially in a tournament like this, when that many people step up and score big goals.”
The final period also featured a plethora of penalties, a total of 11, seven of them to the Lions. After Connelly scored the afternoon’s last goal, with 17 seconds remaining, the officials ordered the game clock run out.
Apart from the win itself, what pleased Whiteside the most was the effort he got from all four lines. “I think we’re at our best when we’re able to roll four lines,” he said, “and it showed today. I really loved the commitment our guys played with today. I know our guys have been playing a lot of club hockey so I give credit to them, they did a great job.”
The Firebirds outshot the Lions 34-21.
Notes: John Connelly, with a goal and an assist, and Michael Connelly (two assists) were the only Firebirds with more than one point.
Cardinal O’ Hara 1 0 0—1
Holy Ghost Prep 4 1 3—8
First-period goals: Shaun Moore (HGP) from Braedon Baeshser, 1:08; Patrick McAneny, HGP from Michael Connelly, and John Connelly, 3:07; Angelo Filoramo (CO) from Nathan Fox, 10:29; Ciara Chambers (HGP) unassisted, 12:16; Sean Marshall (HGP) from John Seravalli and Colin Moore,14:36
Second-period goals: Luke Panepreso (HG) from Connolly, 11:53;
Third-period goal: Evan Mudrick (HGP) from McAneny, 8:28 (pp); Brian Butler (HGP) from Shaun Moore and Cole Stevens, 10:21; John Connelly (HGP) unassisted, 15:43
Shots: Cardinal O’Hara 21, Holy Ghost Prep 34; Saves: Ronan Marley (COH) 26, Bobby Baehser (HG) 20