APAC Championship Preview

Founders Cup Championship Game

Wednesday, March 1

La Salle vs. Holy Ghost Prep

4:00 at Hatfield Ice

La Salle (12-9-2) Seed 1

Coach: Wally Muehlbronner

How the Explorers got here: Defeated The Hun School 5-1 in the semifinals. Dean Carvalho scored two goals and assisted on two others. James Carpenter scored a goal and added two assists. Matt Giordano and Michael Zarzycki, also scored goals.

Carpenter has scored seven goals for the Explorers in conference play, including the semifinal, and added six assists for 13 points. Carvalho has scored six goals and added six assists for 12 points. Evan Golato has contributed 7 goals and two assists for nine points.

Holy Ghost Prep (16-6) Seed 2

Coach: Gump Whiteside

How the Firebirds got here: Defeated St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1 in the semifinals. Brady Baehser scored two goals in the win. Kieran Mulholland and Zach Pers also scored goals.

Baehser, the APAC scoring champion, has 12 goals and nine assists for 21 points in conference games, including the semifinal. Mulholland has 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points in conference play. John Servalli has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points.

This season

11-9  Holy Ghost Prep 6 La Salle 2

2-13 La Salle 6 Holy Ghost Prep 5

Past History

La Salle won the first two APAC titles in 2019 and ’20 and was declared a co-champion along with Malvern Prep in 2021 when the championship game was cancelled because of the pandemic. Holy Ghost Prep is seeking its first APAC title.

What Comes Next

The seedings for the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament will be announced Sunday evening, February on the Flyers Cup YouTube channel. The result of the Founders Cup final will not affect those seedings.

Hockey Playoff Update

Here’s a look at the remaining SHSHL and APAC playoff schedule

Wednesday, March 1

APAC-Founders Cup Championship Game

La Salle vs. Holy Ghost Prep 4 pm at Hatfield Ice

SHSHL American Division Championship Game

Abington vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh  7:20 Hatfield Ice

SHSHL National Division Semifinals

Council Rick South vs. Neshaminy 7:20 at Grundy

Pennridge vs. Pennsbury 8:30 at Hatfield Ice

Thursday, March 2

SHSHL National Division Championship Game 7:20

Highest seeded finalist will host

Holy Ghost Prep 4 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Three different players scored goals as Holy Ghost Prep downed St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1 Wednesday evening at Hatfield Ice in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The second-seeded Firebirds (16-6) will face La Salle in the Founders Cup final next Wednesday at 4 p.m., also at Hatfield Ice. The Hawks fell to 14-6-2. Both teams will learn on Sunday where they will be seeded for the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament, which begins the week of March 6.

Brady Baehser paced Holy Ghost Prep with with two goals, giving him 12 in APAC play this season. Kieran Mulholland and Zach Pers also scored for the winning side.

It was also a day that saw Jack Unger turn in a stellar performance in goal. Given the starting nod because veteran  Colin Mudrick was unavailable, Unger a sophomore, recorded 18 saves and was the epitome of poise.

Mulholland gave Holy Ghost Prep a 1-0 lead when he beat St. Joseph’s Prep netminder Rocco Bruno on a deflection 8:41 into the opening period. Baehser made it a 2-0 game on a breakaway at the 10:59 mark of the second frame.

“I liked our start,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “We haven’t been starting off games very well of late but today I liked our jump. and we had four lines contributing, which is great.” 

Playing with a lead allowed Unger to settle in.

“I think the biggest thing is being able to stay comfortable,” he said. “When we get off to a quick start like that, I’m really comfortable. I know I can trust the forwards, trust the defense. I know that they’ve got my back and  I’ve got their backs.”

Unger’s effort earned effusive praise from his coach.

“It was nice to see that from Jack,” Whiteside said. “He’s worked all year and gotten some spots here and there throughout the season, but tonight was a total effort from Jack and our guys just fed off of him.”

Jeffrey Hammond got St. Joseph’s Prep on the scoreboard 6:44 into the third period but the Hawks were stymied much of the night; they managed just 19 shots.

“I think they wanted it more than us today for whatever reason,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin. “It’s hard to get in the minds of kids (but) they had a lot of jumps, especially in the beginning of the game,

“They wanted it a little bit more than us and they played a really good game.”

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 1—1

Holy Ghost Prep 1 2 1—4

First-period  goal: Kieran Mulholland (HGP) unassisted, 8:41

Second-period goal: Brady Baehser (HGP) from Ryan Lippy and Landon Stout, 10:59; Zach Pers (HGP) from Kieran Mulholland and John Seravalli, 14:16 (pp)

Third-period goal: Jeffrey Hammond (HGP) unassisted, 6:44; Baehser (HGP) from Seravalli and Mulholland, 11:54;

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 19, Holy Ghost Prep 33; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 29, Jack Unger (HGP) 18

APAC Update 3-6-23

                                              Won  Lost  OTW  OTL Pts  GF  GA

La Salle (13-9-2)                     6       2        0       0      18   33  23 

Holy Ghost Prep  (16-7)        4      2        1        1      15  39  33

St. Joseph’s Prep (14-6-2)     3      4        1      0         11  24  28

Hun School (11-13)               3       5        0      0        9     24  30

Malvern Prep (9-7)                2       5        0      1     4     23   28

This Week

Monday, 2-13

La Salle 6 Holy Ghost Prep 5

Tuesday, 2-14

Founders Cup Playoffs Play-in

Hun School 5 Malvern Prep 2

Wednesday, February 15

Wyoming Seminary 3 La Salle 2

Thursday, February 16

Hun School 5 Princeton Day 2

Semifinals at Hatfield Ice

4:00 La Salle 5 Hun School 2

6:15 Holy Ghost Prep 4 St. Joeph’s Prep 1

Monday, February 27

Malvern Prep 1, Salesianum 0

Wednesday, March 1

La Salle 7 Holy Ghost Prep 3

Scoring Leaders                             G      A      Pts

Brady Baehser (HGP)                    10      9       19

Joe Samango (SJP)                        11    4       15

Kieran Mulholland (HGP)             9      6       15

Jeremy Jacobs (MP)                      6       8      14

Jeffrey Hammond (SJP)               4       10    14

Justin LaPlante (HS)                    6        8    14

John Seravalli (HGP)                  4       8      12

Elian Estulin (HS)                  4      7       11

Triatan Winata (SJP)             4      6       10

Ryan Levesque (HS)            4       6       10

Playoff Semifinals

Wednesday February 22 at Hatfield Ice

Game Times 4:00 and 6:00

Wednesday, March 1

Founders Cup Championship Game hosted by highest seeded finalist

Hun School 2 Malvern Prep 1

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP N.J.— The playoff seedings in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference are now set in stone.

The Hun School took care of business Wednesday afternoon with a 2-1 win over Malvern Prep at Ice Land.

Charles Guida scored the deciding goal with 1:44 remaining in the third period.

The win assured the Raiders (9-12, 3-5 in conference play) of a fourth-place regular-season finish. The Friars (7-6, 1-5-0-1 in conference) will finish fifth regardless of the result of their regular-season finale against St. Joseph’s Prep Thursday night.

Hun School will host Malvern Prep Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 in a play-in game, with the winner to advance to the playoff semifinals against the winner of Monday’s game between Holy Ghost Prep and La Salle.

Wednesday was Senior Night at Hun School and appropriately, Raider goaltender Stephen Chen was at his best, making 40 saves. Brandon Novabilski in the Malvern Prep net was outstanding as well, recording 35 saves of his own.

“(Novabilski) played very good as well,” Chen said. “it was tough for us to score.”

Chen had a sense early on that it would be a good day for goaltenders.

“You kind of get a feel at the beginning of the game,” he said. “You get the first couple shots and you kind of know you’re in that zone and you’ve got to kind of focus and keep yourself in there. I think it was a great effort by our defensemen as well, just to help me stand there with the saves and the rebounds. I think it was a huge team effort.”

Stephen Chen at work, making a save in Wednesday’s game (photo by MaxMangigian)

Brendan Marino gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead when he beat Novabilski with a slapshot from between the two circles with 5:03 left in the opening period.

The two netminders were perfect after that until the midway point of the third frame. Both were tested.

“This was what we were used to the first half of the year,” said Hun School coach Ian McNally. “We’re up by one in the third period, how do we close out the game and when? It was nice to be talking about that again.

“Stephen is a huge part of that. He stopped like four breakaways a couple two-on–oh chances.  It was certainly nice to see him back in that form.”

Malvern Prep didn’t roll over however. Jimmy Jacobs tied the game 8:47 into the third period off a right-wing, neutral-zone faceoff.

From that point on there was a sense the next goal would decide matters. Guida’s game winner came on a shot from the left point that beat Novabilski inside the right post to the goaltender’s left.

For Malvern Prep, it was another case of ‘Almost but not quite.’

“Hun is a very good, sound defensive team” said Friars’ coach Bill Keenan. “They’re fast, they’re physical, they have two very good goaltenders. I thought both teams played well, but we’ve got to find that way to win.”

Malvern Prep 0 0 1—1

Hun School 1 0 1—2

First-period goal: Brendan Marino (HS) from T.J. Walsh, 11:57

Third-period goals: Jimmy Jacobs (MP) from Aidan Kelly and Steven Getsie, 8:47; Charles Guida (HS) from Eliian Estulin and Ryan Levesque, 15:16

Shots: Malvern Prep 41, Hun School 37; Saves: Brandon Novabilski (MP) 35, Stephen Chen (HS) 40 

CLICK HERE for more information about The Hun School

CLICK HERE for more information about Malvern Prep

Hun School Proving a Good Fit for Justin LaPlante

When Justin LaPlante first stepped on the ice for The Hun School this season he was uncertain about where and how he’d fit in.

“When the first practice (was held) I was wondering,” he said. “I was in doubt, But I figured my role would be pretty big from the start. I took that role and now I’m one of the leaders of the team. I really like that role.”

A junior at Hun School, LaPlante has played in all 20 of the Raiders’ games this season, scoring 15 goals and adding 19 assists.

His coach, Ian McNally, cites his blend of abilities.

“I think Justin is a rare combination of skill, speed and strength,” McNally said. “Whenever he takes off, someone on the bench is inevitably going to yell out “See ya” because he just flies by people, whether he has the puck on his stick already or he’s racing someone to a loose one.  

“He exudes power; he can skate, he can shoot and he can hit.  He made an immediate impact with us this year because he’s just a great kid. He’s mature and personable and he wants to win. We’re lucky to have him.”

Justin LaPlante (photo: Tamara Gillon Photography)

LaPlante’s arrival at Hun School this past fall was something of a matter of happenstance. A native of Quebec City, where he played football as well as hockey, LaPlante was dealing with an injury when first crossed paths with McNally.

“I had broken my wrist playing football two months prior to meeting Coach McNally,” LaPlante recalled. “I was supposed to be out for another due to my wrist. But I decided to play in a Montreal showcase. I talked to (McNally) and he watched me play and the rest is history.”

LaPlante played football for the Raiders and found himself having to adjust to U.S. rules after learning the game in Canada.

“It was a really big step,” he said. “The Hun football program is simply incredible. I had my role here and I was playing on the special units a lot. I made some big plays throughout the year and it was really fun. I really enjoyed my time playing football.”

For all the adjustments LaPlante has made on the ice and on the football field, his greatest challenges have some in the classroom.

“It’s been a challenge for sure,” he said, “because English is not my first language and English classes here are pretty hard, so I would say that’s my biggest academic challenge. But otherwise, I’ve always been really good in school and I’ve never really struggled with anything, so I’m doing all right.”

While English is not LaPlante’s first language, no one engaging in conversation with him would realize it.

“I adapted to it really well,” he said. “When I speak to my family in English, they tell me that I’ve really improved, that I’ve adapted myself really well.

“I would say the people that spoke just French in my family was the older generation because they never really got English classes, but for the new generation, we got really good English teachers and classes so it’s been easier for me to learn that way.

“Listening to hockey and football in English, and watching the TV too has been really helpful so I think I’ve adapted really well since being here.”

McNally says playing football helped ease LaPlante’s transition to a new setting.

“He fit in seamlessly,” McNally said. “I think by playing football in the fall he was able to come to pre-season before school actually started, move into the dorms early and make friends right away with teammates.

“Hockey is maybe what led him to look at boarding schools, the experience of being away is the real takeaway and I think and so he’s jumped right in. Hun has kids from all over the world, so most of them are initially adapting. It makes it easier when they are all in the same boat.”

Even with the adjustments he’s had to make, in the classroom and as an athlete, LaPlante’s time at The Hun School has been enjoyable and satisfying.

“Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is life on the border here is pretty crazy and insane,” he said, “because on the weekends you get to do a lot of stuff that other schools can’t.

“I went to see a couple of (NCAA D-1) games, either football or basketball and I’m going to watch an NHL game in a few weeks. Those are experiences that I’ve never had in my life.

 “As far as hockey goes, I would say that I’ve never been that much of an offensive guy or the star of a team so it feels good to experience that this year and being one of the best players on my team and being able to be a leader.”

Hockey-wise, it’s been an up-and-down season for the Raiders as they approach their APAC regular-season with Malvern Prep on Wednesday. They stand 8-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play as of February 7. But LaPlante says the team has played better than its record indicates.

“It has been up and down,” he said. “But I feel like we should have won five of those losses so it’s still a really good season for us. 

“We haven’t played really bad, it’s just that we can’t close out games. But we’ve been holding up against really good teams, so that’s hopeful for us.

St. Joseph’s Prep 3 La Salle 1

Joey Samango delivered a hat trick to lead St. Joseph’s Prep to a 3-1 win over La Salle Friday night in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at the Skatium.

The win lifted the Hawks to 13-3-2 overall and 2-3-1 in APAC play. It also avenged a 5-1 loss to the Explorers at the APAC Outdoor Classic last Wednesday. La Salle dropped to 7-8-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

Both teams were missing several key players who were away on club duty.
Samango’s first goal was a shorthanded effort that came with 30 seconds left in the opening period while his teammate Dante Passio was serving a sentence for roughing.

Samango made it a 2-0 game 8:34 into the middle period.

James Carpenter scored for La Salle 3:01 into the third period to make it a one-goal game before Samango responded at the 8:35 mark.

The game included 17 penalties, including a skirmish at the final buzzer that saw five players penalized.

 La Salle 0 0 1—1

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 1 1—3

First-period goal: Joey Samango (SJP) from Luke Schienholtz, 16:30 (sh)

Second-period goal: Samango (SJP) unassisted, 8:26;

Third-period goals: James Carpenter (L) from Dean Carvalho, 3:01; Samango (SJP) unassisted, 8:35

Shots: La Salle 27, St. Joseph’s Prep 21; Saves: Jake Rossi (L) 18. Rocco Bruno (SJP) 26

For more information about La Salle College High School CLICK HERE

For more information about St. Joseph’s Prep CLICK HERE

La Salle 4 Malvern Prep 3

La Salle built a 4-1 lead and held on for a 4-3 win over Malvern Prep Wednesday night in an APAC game at Ice Line.

Charlie Kennedy scored two goals for the Explorers, who picked up their first win after two season-opening losses. James Carpenter and Declan Kelly also scored for La Salle.

Jack Sharer scored twice for Malvern Prep, which lost for the first time in five starts. Both teams are 1-1 in the APAC.

Kennedy’s opening goal came with 9:01 left in the first period while his teammate Grant LaGreca was serving a roughing minor. The Friars lost the puck at the La Salle blue line and Kennedy took it the distance before beating Malvern Prep netminder Brandon Novabilsky with a backhander.

The goal proved a jump start to the Explorers in the game and perhaps for their season.

“It 100 percent did,” Kennedy said. “Definitely, I would have to say that. It definitely got us going, 100 percent, got us hyped.”

James Carpenter made it a 2-0 game just over two minutes later. Sharer scored for Malvern Prep with 3:24 remaining before Kelly answered for La Salle.

When Kennedy scored his second goal with 7:42 left in the second frame, it gave his team a three-goal advantage.

But the defending APAC and Class AAA Flyers Cup champions didn’t go away and outshot La Salle 15-6 in the third period.

Sharer scored his second goal of the night on a blast from the left point with 8:22 remaining and Caiden Canale followed with 4:12 remaining.

La Salle netminder Aries Carangi had to make some big saves down the stretch but the Explorers hung on.

Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan “We knew La Salle was coming off a loss against (Holy Ghost Prep),” he said, “And we knew they were going to come out firing. “They outskated us, they outworked us. They were the better team tonight.”

Kennedy said he and his teammate were confident they would get things turned around after starting the season with two losses.
“We’ve had some good practices thanks to (Coach Wally Muehlbronner,” he said. “He definitely worked us hard and got us to do what we needed to do in order for us to get that work ethic that we needed, and it showed up.”

La Salle 3 1 0—4

Malvern Prep 1 0 2—3

First-period goals: Cgarlie Kennedy (L) unassisted, 7:59; (sh); James Carpenter (L) from Tim Whittck, 10:12; Jack Sharer (MP) from Jimmy Jacobs and Matt Barbacane, 13:36; Declan Kelly (L) unassisted, 15:12

Second-period goal: Kennedy (L) from Liam Donahue and Thomas Doucet, 9:18

Third-period goals: Sharer (MP) from Jeremy Jacobs, 8:38; Caiden Canale (MP) from Jacobs, 13:48

Shots: La Salle 30, Malvern Prep 31; Saves, Aries Carangi (L) 28, Brandon Novabilski (MP) 26

More details on this game to follow.


Central Bucks East 6, Central Bucks West 2

Pennridge 6, Souderton 5

Bux-Mont Catholic 8, HH/William Tennent 3

Council Rock North vs. Council Rock South

North Penn vs.  Central Buck South

Neshaminy vs. Pennsbury

Holy Ghost Prep 8 Father Judge 1

Malvern Prep’s Jimmy Jacobs Stepping Up as a Senior

Expectations are running high at Malvern Prep. That’s generally been the case of late. The Friars are two-time defending Class AAA Flyers Cup champions and claimed the APAC title last season after sharing it with La Salle in 2021, and going on to win the state championship that year.

The Friars won their first two starts heading into Friday’s Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference opener against St. Joseph’s Prep

But Jimmy Jacobs knows past performance is no assurance of future success.

“I think our mindset is to look at one or the other and give it our best,” he said. “We’ve really just got to take this season one game at a time.

“It’s a long season and we just focus on one game at a time. I think that’s where we can really be successful as a group and a team.”

A senior forward, and a second-team All-APAC choice last season, Jacobs understands the importance of senior leadership.

“I think last year and the year before, we had two really strong senior groups and leaders overall,” he said. “If we want to do anything similar to that this year, we need some people to step up and become leaders and take a big role.

“I think of a senior as someone others rely on. “(Your teammates) know that you’ve been through it, with it being your fourth year. I think being a senior, you have a big impact on the team, because you’re a leader and all the underclassmen look up to you.”


Malvern Prep’s Jimmy Jacobs (Photo furnished by Jimmy Jacobs)

Jacobs stresses the responsibility veterans have to help the underclassmen feel comfortable and part of the group.

“To me it doesn’t matter what grade you’re in,” he said. “If you’re on a team, we’re a family. So, no one is treated differently if you’re a freshman or if you’re a senior. I think in order to be successful, everyone has to get along and treat each other as they would treat any other teammate.”

Jacobs believes that good team chemistry must be developed and nurtured by the players themselves.

“There’s only so much a coach can do,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re the ones playing for each other, we’re the ones in the locker room we’re the ones that have to get along. The coaches can only do so much.”