APAC Preview

The Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference is set to launch its fifth season. Here’s a look at how its member schools shape up.

Holy Ghost Prep

Coach: Gump Whiteside (15th season)

Last year: 12-12, 1-5-1-1 in APAC

Key players: Sr. Colin Mudrick (G); So. Ryan Lippy (D); Sr. Brady Baehser (F); Sr. John Seravalli (F); Sr. Landon Stout (F)  

Outlook: The Firebirds started out strong last season but faded after the holiday break. Whiteside is counting on a strong senior class, including Baesher, a two-time first-team All-APAC selection.

 Mudrick is experienced in goal.

 “We are looking forward to starting the season,” Whiteside said. “The team chemistry is strong. The players have been working hard both on and off the ice. The seniors have really stepped up with a great work ethic.”

The Hun School

Coach: Ian McNally (12th season)

Last year: 8-9, 3-4-1-0 in APAC

Key players: Sr. Stephen Chen (G); Sr. Vincent Gregoire (D); Sr. Elian Estulin (F); Sr. Mark Gall (F); Sr. Josh Sosner (F); Jr. Brendan Marino (F); Sr. Simon Gregoire (F) 

Outlook: The Raiders lost 10 seniors to graduation.

“We have plenty of holes to fill,” McNally said.

But a solid group of returnees remains, led by Chen, who was the first-team All-APAC goaltender last season. Estulin will be counted on to score goals.

La Salle

Coach: Wally Muehlbronner (25th season)

Last year: 8-10-1, 4-3-0-1 in APAC

Key players: Sr. Aries Carangi (G); Sr. Chase Hannon (D); So. Owen Quinn (D); Jr. Matt Conforti (F); Sr. Ryan Desmond (F); Jr. Pat Brace (F)

Outlook: This season’s edition of the Explorers will be young in spots but there is experience on hand in Carangi in goal, Hannon on the blue line, and Conforti up front, among others.

 Muehlbronner is taking a back-to-basics approach.

“In the defensive zone, we just want to keep it simple,” he said. “That’s pretty much always been our approach. In the offensive zone, we’ve got some younger guys that are pretty creative. So, I want them to be creative but still play within our basic system.”

Malvern Prep

Coach: Bill Keenan (fourth season)

Last year: 16-4, 5-1-2-0 in APAC; Conference champions and Class AAA Flyers Cup champions

Key players: Sr. Brandon Novabilski (G); Sr. Steve Getsie (D); Sr. Jack Sharer (D); Jr. Brady Doyle (D); Jr. Jonathan Holt (D); Sr. Jimmy Jacobs (F); Jr. Jeremy Jacobs (F); Jr. Aidan Kelly (F); Jr. Caiden Canale (F)

Outlook: The Friars took their share of graduation hits in the offseason, but their returning veterans are supported by an impressive group of newcomers.

Doyle and Holt head up the blueliners while the Jacobs brothers are being counted on up front.

Keenan is cautiously optimistic.

“We are excited to see what this younger incoming class can do,” he said. “The culture within the program has strengthened over the past two seasons and we look to continue building on the brotherhood in which Malvern creates. Our upperclassmen have to set the tone early in the season but the younger guys have to find ways to contribute.”

St. Joseph’s Prep

Coach: David Giacomin (10th season)

Last year: 11-8-1, 3-3-0-2 in APAC; Flyers Cup finalist

Key players: Sr. Rocco Bruno (G); Jr. Ajay White (G); Sr. Dante Passio (D); Jr. Shane O’Neill (D); Jr. Gareth McDonald (D); Sr. Jeffrey Hammond (F); Sr. Joey Samango (F); So. Tristan Winata (F); So. Jake Schultz (F)

Outlook: After reaching the Class AAA Flyers Cup finals, the Hawks must deal with loss of 10 seniors. Bruno and White are a formidable goaltending tandem while Passio leads the blue-line corps. Hammond and Samango are proven commodities up front.

“We hope to be a speed driven team that will play hard in all three zones,” Giacomin says. “Depth will play a big role this year. With offensive returnees and goaltending leading the way we hope to get off to a fast start and build from there.”

Hockey Happenings is looking for students and other individuals who are available to provide video clips of APAC games. For more information, contact us at rwoelfel2013@gmail.com

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