HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Teams often look at a postseason tournament as an opportunity for a fresh start. Holy Ghost Prep embraced that mindset Thursday night. The Firebirds scored three times in a three-minute span in the first period and went on to a 7-2 win over Father Judge in Class AAA Flyers Cup first-round game at Hatfield Ice.
The fourth-seeded Firebirds (11-11) will face top-seeded and defending champion Malvern Prep in a semifinal game at 6:45 next Wednesday at Ice Line.
The Firebirds’ eruption began 6:38 into the first frame when Shaun Moore scored off a scramble in front of the Crusader net. Michael Holt made it a 2-0 game at the 9:13 mark and John Seravalli followed right behind him at 9:37, the Firebirds’ third goal in a span of 2:59.
Senior Dominick Lombardo assisted Seravalli’s goal. “Going in, we knew we were coming off a couple hard losses,” he said. “We had a good win (In the APAC playoffs) against Hun and then we ended up taking a hard loss against (Malvern Prep).
“Going into this game, we just came in all as a team. We knew we could beat Judge, we beat them before (9-2 during the regular season).”
Lombardo noted the importance of the Firebirds’ fast start.
“For me, I knew it (could be) my last game,” he said. “If we lost, I would have been done. “So, I’m playing for me, I’m playing for the seniors, I’m playing for the kids that are hurt. Everything we do is for all the seniors.”
The fifth-seeded Crusaders made it a one-goal game for time in the second period when Anthony Casper and Matthew Moser scored goals 15 seconds apart to make it a 3-2 game with 6:21 still to go in the period. But Logan Barnes, Brendan Schultz, and Kieran Mulholland scored in a span of 3:37 to send Holy Ghost Prep into the third period with a four-goal advantage.
Moore scored the only goal of the third period.
It was the sort of performance Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside had been waiting for a while.
“I knew we had it in us,” he said. “I really liked our start. Those three goals in the first period really helped us get our game in gear.
“I thought we let up a little bit. But I liked the way we responded.”
Father Judge 0 2 0—2
Holy Ghost Prep 3 3 1—7
First-period goals: Shaun Moore (HGP) from Landon Stout, 6:38; Michael Holt (HGP) from John Seavalli, 9:13; Seravalli (HGP) from Sean Marshall and Dominic Lombardo, 9:37
Second-period goals: Anthony Casper (FJ) from Michael Fontaine and Matthew Moser, 10:24; Moser (FJ) unassisted, 10:39; Logan Barnes (HGP) from Ryan Lippy, 11:25; Brendan Schutzenhofer (HGP) from Marshall, 13:02; Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Zach Pers, 15:02
Third-period goal: Shaun Moore (HGP) from Mulholland and Pers, 14:37
Shots: Father Judge 21, Holy Ghost Prep 46; Saves: Coin McKee (FJ) 39, Jason Soule (HGP) 20