Malvern Prep 4 Holy Ghost Prep 1

WEST GOSHEN—There wasn’t much to choose between Malvern Prep and Holy Ghost Prep Wednesday night. The end result, a 4-1 victory for the Friars, was somewhat misleading.

With two minutes remaining in regulation the two teams were locked in a 1-1 standoff but Malvern Prep scored three times in a span of 1 minute, 25 seconds to emerge victorious in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal at Iceline.

The top-seeded Friars (13-3) will host Founders Cup  final next week on a date and at a time to be announced. The fifth-seeded Firebirds fell to 10-11. Both teams will be part of the Class AAA Flyers Cup field next month; the Friars are the defending champions.

Jeremy Jacobs scored what proved to be the winning goal with 1:29 left in regulation in the midst of a scramble in front of the Firebirds’ net off a setup from Matt Harris and Larocque. 

Harris added a goal from long range with 1:02 remaining before scoring into an empty net with four seconds left. He noted the game was up for grabs entering the final stanza.

“We knew (Holly Ghost Prep) was going to come out strong,” he said. “We knew they had beaten Hun School 9-4 (in Monday’s play-in game) so we knew we had to keep the pressure on the whole game.”

The Firebirds controlled the first minutes of the opening period but, in a prelude of things to come, couldn’t solve Anthony Perti in the Friars’ net and eventually momentum shifted Malvern Prep’s way.

Pierre Larocque gave the Friars a 1-0 just past the midway point of the opening period on a goal off an offensive-right-wing faceoff.

That was all the scoring there was until Kieran Mulholland tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep 2:54 into the final period.

It was a testament to both goaltenders that there wasn’t more scoring; both came up big. Perti stopped 31 of the 32 shots he saw. His counterpart, Jason Soule made 36 saves including a stop on a backhander from Harris that kept the score 1-0 at the time.

Harris lauded  Perti’s work. “It meant a lot,” he said. “Our goalie has ben playing phenomenal. During this last stretch it’s pretty much win or go home. The goalies have to be hot.”

Firebird coach Gump Whiteside felt his team deserved better. “A credit to Malvern Prep,” he said. They had our number tonight, they’ve had our number all year. (But) we have the Flyers Cup to look forward to.”

Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 1

Malvern Prep 1 0 3—4

First-period goal: Pierre Larocque (MP) from Brayden Baum and Hayden Campbell, 8:27

Third-period goals: Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Dominic Lombardo and Brandon Barger, 2:54; Jeremy Jacobs (MP) from Matt Harris and Larocque, 15:31 Harris (MP) unassisted, 15:58; Harris (MP) unassisted 16:56

Shots: Malvern Prep 40, Holy Ghost Prep 32; Saves: Jason Soule (HGP) 36, Anthony Perti (MP) 31

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