HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—There wasn’t a lot of artistry on display when Hun School and La Salle took the ice Wednesday afternoon. Instead, the Raiders and the Explorers engaged, in a gritty, grind-it-out encounter before La Salle emerged with a 3-1 win at Hatfield Ice Arena.
The win extended the Explorers’ unbeaten streak to four games and lifted them to 4-3-1 overall (3-1 in the APAC).
The Raiders, who were missing several players due to illness, dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in conference.
“It wasn’t a pretty game for either side,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We were just happy to get through it on top.”
Three of the game’s four goals came in the first period. Justin Laplante gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at the 2:51 mark; Ryan Desmond answered for the Explorers at 10:19. Dean Carvalho put his team in front for good when he deposited a rebound of Cam Ross’s shot behind Raider goaltender Julian Arsenault just before the period-ending buzzer.
For most of the rest of the last two periods the teams battled failed to find the net. Muelbronner juggled his lineup in a bid to generate more offense.
“We were mixing things around quite a bit,” he said, “trying different guys in different spots. Nothing seemed to really click.”
Hun School coach Ian McNally had to do some juggling of his own, albeit for different reasons.
“Unfortunately we had four guys out,” he said. “That’s not an excuse for why we lost but it just created enough of a disturbance in lines and power plays and everything.
“We did have to come up with a different game plan. The goal was to be within five minutes with a chance to win because some of the guys who weren’t able to play were the guys who score goals for us. We knew we wouldn’t be scoring five goals, but we knew if there was five minutes left and we were within one or up one or tied, that was the goal.”
Hun School received a power-play chance with 5:45 left in regulation when La Salle’s Chase Hannon was booked for a hooking in fraction but Explorer goaltender Aries Caranagi stood tall, he went on to finish the game with 20 saves. His best effort with just under eight minutes left in regulation when he turn aside a blast from the Raiders’ Scott Richmond.
“When we make mistakes, we know he has our backs,: Desmond said. “To build us back up. And save us when we need him.”
It was wasn’t a stylish performance, but the Explorers got the result they wanted.
“We pulled it together toward the end and came out with the victory,” Desmond said. “That’s all that matters.”
Ice Chips—Julian Arsenault made 34 saves in the Hun School net. The Raiders will face Holy Ghost Prep on Friday before pausing for the holidays while La Salle will travel to the Mount St. Charles tournament in Rhode Island after Christmas. It marks the first time the tournament will be held in three years because of Covid.
Hun School 1 0 0—1
La Salle 2 0 1—3
First period goals: Justin Laplante (HS) unassisted, 2:51; Ryan Desmomd (L) from Chase Hannon, 10:19; Dean Carvalho (L) from Cam Ross and James Carpenter 17:00
Third-period goal: Hannon (L) from Desmond and Evan Golato, 15:29
Shots: Hun School 21, La Salle 37; Saves: Julian Arsenault (HS) 34, Aries Carangi (L) 20