Malvern Prep 4 La Salle 1

WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP—Their opportunity was delayed 12 long months. Which made their accomplishment all the more satisfying.

Malvern Prep scored twice in the first period and went on to a 4-1 win over La Salle Wednesday night to claim the Founders Cup, symbolic of the championship of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference, at Ice Line.

An enthusiastic audience was on hand to see the Friars (14-3) claim the championship they did not have the opportunity to play for last season because of Covid issues; the scheduled conference final between the Friars and the Explorers was never contested.

Even after Malvern Prep went on to win the Class AAA Flyers Cup and state titles, there was something missing from a glittering resume. Wednesday’s result perhaps helped fill that void.

“It’s super satisfying,” said Friars captain Matt Harris. “We don’t have to share that trophy any more and we can bring it back to Warren Avenue and not have to split it between two teams.

“It’s good to have a full season and get what we deserve. We put in the work on Mondays in practice and brought it back to Warren Ave.

The Friars jumped in front 2:47 into the first period. Brady Doyle launched a knuckleball from just inside the blue line that caught the top right corner of the net.  According to LaSalle coach Wally Muehlbronner, goaltender Aries Carangi was screened on the play and never saw the puck.

Teague Murray hit the same corner of the net on Carangi’s glove side to make it a 2-0 game at the 13:47.From that moment on, La Salle (8-8-1) was trying to climb a very steep hill.

“They had a lot of jump,” Muehlbronner said of the Friars. “They scored some really nice goals on some really good shots. We did not have a whole lot of jump tonight. We did not give them the game that I was hoping we were going to.”

Muehlbronner said his team needed to respond of Larocque’s early goal, but didn’t. “We needed a spark after we went down 1-zip,” said,. We didn’t get it.We had a couple opportunities around the net, but nothing that was really a strong opportunity.”

At period’s end, Muehlbronner made a goaltender change, with Will Braun replacing Carangi.

Harris, the APAC’s scoring champion, extended the Friars’ lead 12:10 into the second period on what was most certainly one of the most picturesque goals of the season. The senior made a move down the right wing, cut to his left and split two defenders before beating Braun.

La Salle got on the scoreboard  on a goal from Patrick Brace 9:12 into the final period before Harris scored into an imply net with 1:47 remaining.

Brace’s goal was the only blemish on Anthony Perti’s record, the Malvern Prep netminder stopped 37 shots.

“We wanted to come in and win (the Founders Cup) for ourselves,” he said. “Keep it for ourselves and ourselves only.”

Perti said Wednesday’s game was reminiscent of last year’s Flyers Cup final, which saw the Friars top the Explorers. “Same type of game, same type of atmosphere,” he said. “Honestly I was pretty calm, didn’t think too much of it. Just another game.”

La Salle 0 0 1—1

Malvern Prep 2 1 1—4

First-period goals: Brady Doyle (MP) unassisted, 2:47; Teague Murray (MP) from Gavin Wilson, 13:47

Second-period goal: Matt Harris (MP) from Jack Shaver, 12:10

Third-period goals: Patrick Brace (L) from Ryan Desmond, 9:12; Harris (MP) from Quinn Dougherty, 15:13 (en)

Shots: La Salle 38, Malvern Prep 40; Saves: Aries Carangi (L) 12 and Will Braun (L) 24;  Anthony Perti (MP) 37

The game’s first goal

Matt Harris extended Malvern Prep’s lead in the second period.

Patrick Brace scores for La Salle

Video courtesy of Erin Schneider

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