Thoughts on the Flyers Cup AAA final.
Malvern Prep’s Matt Harris earned the Class AAA Flyers Cup’s Bobby Clarke Award as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Harris, a junior who spends the bulk of his time on right wing, collected three goals and an assist in the first two rounds of the tournament and played a key role in the Friars 4-3 overtime. win over La Salle in Monday night’s final.
Harris noted there was little to choose between the two finalists. “La Salle is definitely a good team,” he said, “They always have been a good team. We knew it was going to be a tough game throughout the whole game.
‘We tried to keep our pressure up. They were doing their best to match with us and we were doing our best to match with them.”
In light of the issues the Friars and the other Flyers Cup qualifiers had to deal with this season, on and off the ice, claiming the title was especially satisfying.
“Super satisfying,” Harris said, moments after the final buzzer Words can’t even describe the way everybody’s feeling right now. Covid was very unfortunate this year but we were lucky that we were able the Flyers Cup games in an and the whole season in. We were just lucky that we didn’t get taken out of the Flyers Cup for Covid-related issues, that we were able to get the job done.”
Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan Recognized what his team was part of Monday night. “We knew it was going to be a tough game,” he said. “We knew La Salle and what they’re capable of, and props to La Salle, they played a heck of a game. It was back and forth. It was tight, just like as expected.”
The Malvern Prep program was idled by Covid immediately preceding the Flyers Cup. Keenan said the shutdown provided his team with an opportunity to regroup, albeit with a caveat.
“We knew we had a long stretch of games in a short period of time,” he said. “This is what we worked for all season. I’ve coached some of these kids since middle school up through high school and it’s great to see them prevail here and come out on top.”
Kudos to the officiating crew that worked the Class AAA final. Referees Laura White and Brian McCullough read the temperature of the game perfectly and allowed the players the right amount of leeway. As high as the stakes were, the players respected each other and the game. Doug Hook and Tim Holtz worked the lines.
The All-Tournament team, as selected by the Flyers Cup Committee
F: Jimmy Jacobs – Malvern Prep
F: Michael Casey – La Salle
F: Ryan Sambuco – Malvern Prep
D: Quinn Dougherty – Malvern Prep
D: Andrew Budzynski – La Salle
G: Anthony Perti – Malvern Prep
AAA Leading Scorer: Michael Casey – La Salle 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points