For St. Joseph’s Prep A Week to Remember

Looking back on St. Joseph’s Prep’s victory at the 2022 National Capital Hockey Tournament, popularly known as Purple Puck Tournament.

The Hawks tied their opening game before winning their next four to claim the tournament title.

This video, which was produced by Mr. Jost Winata, commemorates that achievement.

Our thanks to Mr. Winata for allowing us to post it here,

Game Scores

St. Joseph’s Prep 4 Gonzaga 4

St. Joseph’s Prep 3 Loyola Academy 2

St. Joseph’s Prep 3 Archbishop Spaulding 0

St. Joseph’s Prep 7 O’Connell 1

St. Joseph’s Prep 6 Archbishop Spaulding 1

St. Joseph’s Prep Wins Purple Puck Title

Jeffrey Hammond erupted for five goals and assisted on another as St. Joseph’s Prep defeated Gonzaga 6-1 Friday afternoon to win the 28th. Purple Puck Tournament in Washington, D.C.

Joey Samango contributed a goal and four assists as the Hawks (11-2-2 overall) won their fourth consecutive tournament game in two days after playing to a 4-4 tie with Gonzaga in their opener on Wednesday.

Hammond scored twice in the first period to give his team a 2-0 lead before T.J. Albero score what would prove to be Gonzaga’s only goal.

The Hawks broke the game open in the second period by scoring four times. Hammond started the barrage by scoring his third and fourth goals, one of them in a shorthanded situation. Samango made it a 5-1 game before Hammond completed the scoring.

Rocco Bruno got the win in goal, making 33 saves.

St. Joseph’s Prep Reaches Purple Puck Finals

Joey Samango scored two goals and added three assists as St. Joseph’s Prep defeated O’ Connell 7-1 Friday morning in the fourth round of the Purple Puck Tournament in Washington, D.C. The win put the Hawks into Friday afternoon’s 3 p.m. final against Archbishop Spaulding.

Tristan Winata added two goals of his own for the Hawks. Jeffrey Hammond, Caden Kelly, and Brayden Collins also scored goals.

Ajay White got the win in goal with 18 saves.

The latest Hockey Happenings podcast is now LIVE.

Eric Tye and I discuss the season’s first set of Flyers Cup rankings

World Junior Tournament Offers Learning Opportunities for High School Players

    The ongoing IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, which features players age 20 and younger, offer an opportunity for hockey fans to watch future NHL player in action.

For high-school players, the tournament offers insights into what it takes to play the game at an elite level.

Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo looks at the tournament as a learning experience for his players.

“The kids playing are only a few years removed from where our high school players are at this moment in their lives,” he said. “They are really still maturing and learning and making some of the same mistakes our guys do. It’s good for them to see that in such a high-level tournament.

“This (tournament) is more relatable because of the age of the players and where they are in life. They’re not millionaires (yet) and are working hard to be able to play at the next level. There is still an urgency in their game.”

St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin encourages his athletes to observe the players competing in the Junior World and incorporate aspects of their games into their own; specifically a strong worth ethic.

“I think when watching elite-caliber players you try to find something in a player you like and try to emulate it into your game,” he said. “Playing at that speed and performing like they do takes a lot of practice and hard work.”

DeMatteo notes the significance of a work ethic and cohesiveness at the pinnacle of junior hockey.

“I loved seeing the Czechs upset Canada (5-2 on December 26),” he said. “Talent alone will not guarantee a win. (Canadian coach) Dylan Guenther’s quote after the game was spot on and something we try to preach to our players; “We’re trying to skill our way through it, we’re trying to toe-drag, beat guys one-on-one. To win, you have to play the right way, play together and play as a team. It starts with the simple side of the game. Winning battles.” To me, that statement sums it all up.”

In addition to being the head coach at Central Bucks West, Dave Baun has been USA Hockey coaching instructor for almost two decades. He’s been following the World Junior tournament and tweeting insights to his own players.

 “Probably the most important on-ice point is the need for players to follow their shots to the net and establish net presence,” he said. “This is something that Coach (Rand) Pecknold mentioned in his talk-up but a skill so many of our American players don’t learn in youth hockey. Our players all want to be perimeter players and going to the net is not part of their game habits.”  

Another topic Baun addressed was game tempo and, along with it, players’ proficiency at changing lines on the fly.

“Everyone wants to play fast,” he said. “Coach Pecknold encouraged his team to play fast. But, playing fast isn’t just a function of just having fast skaters. It’s a combination of playing well without the puck and making and receiving passes.  A bobbled pass that bounces three feet away from a player in the WJC is a turnover, it’s probably two feet in the NHL.

“When I poll our Atlantic District coaches on whether they work on line changes in practice, one or two Tier I coaches out of 80 may raise their hands. The vast majority just aren’t working on line changes here in practices at all. Knowing to dump the puck bench side, have F1 angle while D, then Forwards, change behind is a skill that we all need to work on. Pro teams do this in practice.  Effective changes help you gain tempo. When you can only change at the whistle, the refs are setting our Team’s tempo, not us. Teams that can change effectively can play faster. This is true of the USA WJC team, NHL teams, and our SHSHL teams.”

Flyers Cup Rankings #1

The Flyers Cup Committee has released its firsts et of rankings for the 2022-23 season. The rankings are based on won-loss records, strength of schedule, and observations by members of the committee.

Non-league games scheduled by individual teams are not factored into the rankings, but are included here where applicable.

Records listed below are based on information available through December 29.


  1. Holy Ghost Prep (APAC) 9-2
  2. La Salle College High School (APAC) 5-6-2
  3. Malvern Prep (APAC) 6-2
  4. St. Joes Prep (APAC) 9-2-2
  5. Father Judge (ICSHL PCL) 6-4


  1. Council Rock South (SHSHL National) 6-1
  2. Avon Grove (ICSHL Ches-Mont) 6-1
  3. Pennsbury (SHSHL National) 7-2
  4. Conestoga (ICSHL Central) 8-1-1
  5. Neshaminy (SHSHL National) 6-2


  1. West Chester Rustin (ICSHL Ches-Mont) 5-3
  2. West Chester East (ICSHL Ches-Mont) 5-3
  3. Marple (ICSHL Central) 7-4-0-1
  4. Garnet Valley (ICSHL Central) 5-4
  5. Lower Dauphin (CPIHL) 9-3


  1. Salesianum (ICSHL PCL) 6-0
  2. Cherokee (SJHSHL) 9-0-1
  3. Washington TWP. (SJHSHL) 4-1-2
  4. Eastern (SJHSHL) 2-3-1
  5. Moorestown (SJHSHL) 1-5


  1. Downingtown West (ICSHL National) 5-5
  2. Avon Grove (ICSHL National)  6-4
  3. Unionville (ICSHL National) 3-6
  4. West Chester Rustin (ICSHL American) 7-2
  5. Kingsway (ICSHL American) 6-2-1

St. Joseph’s Prep at Purple Puck Tournament

St. Joseph’s Prep recorded two victories Thursday at the Purple Puck Tournament in Washington, D.C.

They opened Thursday morning with a 3-2 win over Loyola Academy from Chicago. Jeffrey Hammond scored two of his team’s goals, Gareth McDonald the other.

Thursday afternoon the Hawks shut out Archbishop Spaulding 3-0. Hammond, Joey Samango, and Dante Passio scored goals Rocco Bruno earned the shutout with 15 saves.

The Hawks will face O’ Connell at 8 a.m. on Friday. if they qualify for the championship game they will take the ice at 3 p.m. Friday.

Tristan Winata scored two goals and Jeffrey Hammond and Shane O’Neil scored one goal each as St. Joseph’s Prep and Gonzaga skated to a 4-4 tie on Wednesday in the opening round of the 28th Purple Puck Tournament in Washington, D.C.

Rocco Bruno made 34 saves in goal.

The Hawks (7-2-2) are scheduled to play twice on Thursday; they’ll face Loyola at 9 a.m. and Archbishop Spaulding at 4 p.m. before the tournament concludes on Friday.

La Salle at Mount St. Charles Tournament

La Salle dropped a 4-2 decision to Austin Prep Friday afternoon in the Mount St. Charles Academy tournament. Grant LeGreca and Matt Giordano scored the Explorer goals.

“We played well,” Said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We struggled finishing opportunities.”

La Salle (5-6-2) will return to action January 9 against Portledge.

Evan Golato scored four goals and Dean Carvalho added two as La Salle defeated Mount St. Charles 6-1 Wednesday night in the second round of the Mount St. Charles holiday tournament. The Explorers (5-5-2) will face Austin (Massachusetts) Prep at noon on Thursday.

La Salle dropped its opening game in the Mount St. Charles holiday tournament Tuesday night. The Explorers dropped a 2-1 decision to Fairfield Prep. James Carpenter scored the La Salle goal.

The Explorers (4-5-2) were scheduled to face the host team, Mt. St. Charles Academy, at 4 pm Thursday.

En route to Rhode Island, La Salle fell to Bishop Hendricken on Monday. Michael Zarzycki scored the La Salle goal.

St. Joseph’s Prep Set For Return to Purple Puck Tournament

   A holiday tradition will be renewed this week after a two-year pandemic-induced layoff.

  St. Joseph’s Prep will be one of five private schools competing for the Prep Division title when the 28th annual National Capital Hockey Tournament, popularly known as the Purple Puck Tournament, gets underway Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Hawks, who are 7-2-1 on the season, will face Gonzaga in their tournament opener at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon. The five-team field will also include Archbishop Spalding, O’ Connell, and Loyola. The round robin format will see each team play four games over two-and-a-half days before the championship game is played at 3:00 Friday afternoon.

St. Joseph’s Prep has been a regular participant in the tournament in years past. Senior goaltender Rocco Bruno was in uniform in 2019, the last time the tournament was played. He recalls it as a highly competitive event and is expecting more of the same this time around.

“It was really competitive bracket that we were in,” he said of his freshman-year experience. “Most of the games weren’t blowouts. They were one, two-goal games. I don’t know what a lot of those teams are about this year but I’m expecting tough competition.”

Bruno is looking forward to being on the road with his teammates, all but one of whom, other than himself, will be skating in the tournament for the first time.

“It’s just a lot of fun, being on the road with everybody at these tournaments,” he said. “We did one in Florida my freshman year too. It just is a whole bunch of fun.”

The time on the road and between games allows the players to do some strategizing.

“Everybody’s focused on the weekend,” Bruno said, “and we get to spend time together to go over some things, plan out our games together as team. Just have a greater overall awareness for our next opponent.”

The tournament schedule does allow time for players to play tourist however, and enhance the educational value of the trip. Bruno recalls doing some sightseeing on his last trip to the Purple Puck Tournament.

“Me and a couple of my buddies on the team, we went up to Capitol Hill and the White House and saw everything,” he said. It was pretty cool. “You don’t get to do sightseeing a lot when you’re on hockey trips because usually games take up most of your time, but it was definitely cool to see some of the monuments and landmarks.”

St. Joseph’s Prep Schedule

Wednesday, 12-28  Gonzaga 1:00

Thursday, 12-29   Loyola  9:00

                               Spalding 4:00

Friday 12-30     O’Connell  8:00

                         Championship Game 3:00 If Necessary

La Salle Headed North

 The La Salle Explorers are getting a break from school this week, but will be as busy as ever on the ice. The Explorers will make their traditional trip to Woonsocket Rhode Island for the Mount St. Charles Academy Tournament. La Salle will play its first-round game on Tuesday against Fairfield Prep.

The Explorers customarily compete in the tournament on an annual basis, but the event has been cancelled the last two seasons because of the pandemic. Coach Wally Muehlbronner says the tournament provides his players with the opportunity to get closer as a group.

“I think the bonding is going to be the biggest thing,” he said. “The past two years, this event got cancelled so we’re really looking forward to getting back. We’ve only got a couple kids that have ever made the trip so I think it’s going to really help us. Hopefully, we play well.”

A lot of the guys know each other pretty well (but) we have never spent three or four days together and traveled on a bus. You learn a lot about your teammates in that amount of time together.”

Malvern Prep10 Haverford School 0

Malvern Prep scored four times in the first period and went on to a 10-0 shutout of The Haverford School Thursday night in a non-league game at Ice Line. that celebrated Senior Night.

Jeremy Jacobs and Jack Sharer each scored twice for the Friars. Steven Getsie, Aidan Kelly, Gavin Wilson, Emmy Jacobs, Pax Hoishik, and Ryan Clark also scored goals.

Haverford School 0 0 0—0

Malvern Prep 4 2 4—10