HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—A hockey game encompasses three periods. But Monday’s APAC game between host La Salle and Malvern Prep was settled seemingly in the blink of an eye.
The Explorers built a three-goal lead in just over five minutes and rolled on to a 7-2 win over the Friars at Hatfield Ice. The win squared La Salle’s overall record at 3-3-1 and (2-1 in the APAC)).
It didn’t take long for the offensive surge to get started. Ryan Warner found the back of the net just 49 seconds after the opening faceoff and the Explorers were off and running.
Chase Hannon and Dean Carvalho followed with goals in quick succession and just 5:03 into the game La Salle had a 3-0 lead.
Warner spoke to the significance of his team’s fast start. “That was really important for us,” the senior said. “We kind of built our momentum off that. The team was really buzzing. We were getting pucks in deep, working hard, and we really built off that.”
Following Carvalho’s goal, Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan made a goaltender switch, lifting starter Brandon Novabilsky for Matt Crawford.
Caiden Canale got the Friars on the scoreboard with seven minutes left in the opening session but Hannon answered back for La Salle with 3:31 left and for most of the rest of the game the Friars (5-2, 1-2 in conference) seemingly were skating uphill.
“The last time we played La Salle (a 4-3 Explorer win on Thanksgiving Eve) they jumped on us early,” Friar coach Bill Kenan pointed out. “Today, they jumped on us early. It’s hard to battle back when you’re down 3-0 in the first five minutes.
“We had a good second period, we outshot them, but it’s really hard to get those guys’ mentality back once you go down.”
Malvern Prep’s Jeremy Jacobs and La Salle’s Charlie Kennedy traded goals in the second frame before Carvalho and James Carpenter added goals for La Salle in the third.
Jake Rossi got the win in goal. The sophomore made 34 saves despite leaving the game for a four-minute stretch in the second period because of an equipment issue.
The Explorers are playing their best hockey of the season of late; over the course of their last three starts they’ve compiled a 2-0-1 record while scoring 15 goals.
“We’ve been playing hard,” Warner said. “The team’s been finding our way, and how to work together. I think we’ve really been doing good.”
La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner spoke to his team’s depth and balance. “If we keep the shifts short, we’re a tough team to play against,” he said. “There’s four lines that can move.
“We did I think a really good job of that in the first period.”
For Keenan, Monday’s game was another step his team’s maturation. “The past two years we’ve graduated a lot of seniors,” he said. “We have six freshmen on this team. They’re still finding their way with high-school hockey in a tough division like the APAC. So, for the guys that are experienced, they’ve got to step up, they’ve got to fill in the gaps that graduated and for the younger guys, they’ve just got to find their footing.
“I have faith in this team, I think they’ll bounce back.
Malvern Prep 1 1 0—2
La Salle 4 1 2—7
First-period goals: Ryan Warner (L) from Dean Carvalho. :49; Chase Hannon (L) from Will Gregorio, 3:38; Carvalho (L) from James Carpenter, 5:03; Caiden Canale (MP) from Jeremy Jacobs, 10:00; Hannon (L) unassisted, 13:29 (pp)
Second-period goals: Jacobs (MP) from Teague Murray, 9:57; Charlie Kennedy (L) from Liam Donahue, 11:36
Third-period goals: Carvalho (L) from Carpenter and Gregorio, 12:59; Carpenter (L) from Carvalho and Patrick Brace, 16:11
Shots: Malvern Prep 40, La Salle 36; Saves: Brandon Novabilsky (MP) 4 and Matt Crawford (MP) 25; Jake Rossi (L) 34 and Aries Carangi (L) 4
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