La Salle 2 Holy Ghost Prep 1 OT

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Two hockey teams lifted their games and their sport into the clouds Tuesday night, and brought a full house at Hatfield Ice along for the ride. It was La Salle that emerged victorious, 2-1 in overtime over Holy Ghost Prep in the Class AAA Flyers Cup championship game.

Chase Hannon scored the winning goal 6:19 into overtime to give the top-seeded Explorers (15-9-2) their first Flyers Cup title since 2019 and their 12thoverall. They will face defending champion Peters Township for the Class AAA state title on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

The second-seeded Firebirds finished their season at 18-8. Tuesday’s game brought down the curtain on the career of Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside, who announced his retirement earlier this season

Hannon, a senior, scored both of his team’s goals.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I lost a Flyers Cup my sophomore year (to Malvern Prep) in overtime, so, to win in overtime was great redemption.”

There was little to choose between the Explorers and the Firebirds through 51 minutes of regulation hockey and six minutes of overtime. La Salle’s Aries Carangi and Holy Ghost Prep’s Colin Mudrick were in top form in their respective nets. Mudrick denied La Salle’s James Carpenter on a backhander from close range early in the second period; it may have been the best save of the net by either goaltender.

John Seravalli gave the Firebirds a 1-0 lead 3:23 into the second period on a shot that came directly off an offensive right-circle faceoff. Hannon answered at the 11:49 mark after recovering a loose puck in the offensive zone.

But both goaltenders were sharp and knew their opposite number was as well. The two netminders embraced on the ice following the game.

Carangi, a senior was gratified he was able to play a part in his team’s win. He wound up winning the Bobby Clarke Award as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“My sophomore year, I was a part of that team when we lost in overtime,” he said. “I was out with an injury and it felt like I couldn’t help my team at all.

“So, it felt really good to be out there, and do my job out for the guys and help them get this win today.”

Hannon’s winning goal came on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that rocketed past Mudrick under the crossbar. He sald he and his teammates were confident going into overtime.

“The mindset was ‘Score a goal,’” he said. “And win. If anyone on our team did it, we were happy about it. It didn’t matter who if we got the job done.”

And it was the Explorers who celebrated at evening’s end, while Whiteside reflected on his team’s effort.

“It’s one of the best games I’ve ever been involved with as a coach,” he said. “Both teams played really well. I thought either team could have won it. I thought our boys responded well and I’m just really proud of the effort our kids gave. 

“I just wish they had a better result, but it was a tremendous high-school hockey game.”

Ice chips: Besides Carangi, the All-Tournament team included Hannon and Thomas Doucet from La Salle and Seravalli, Brady Baehser, and Ciaran Chambers from Holy Ghost Prep.

Holy Ghost Prep 0 1 0 0—1

La Salle 0 1 0 1—2

Second-period goals: John Seravalli (HGP) from Shaun Moore, 3:23; Chase Hannon (L) unassisted, 11:49

Overtime goal: Hannon (L) from Evan Golato and Ryan Desmond 6:19

Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 35, La Salle 35; Saves; Colin Mudrick (HGP) 33, Aries Carangi (L) 34

LaSalle 3 Malvern Prep 0

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—There wasn’t much that was flashy about La Salle’s performance Tuesday night. Just three periods of good solid, fundamental hockey. That was more than enough. Three different players scored goals and Aries Carangi pitched a shutout in goal as the Explorers downed Malvern Prep 3-0 in a Class AAA Flyers Cup semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

Top-seeded La Salle (14-9-2) will try for win its 12th Flyers Cup net Tuesday against Holy Ghost Prep (8:00) at Hatfield Ice. Fourth-seeded and two-time defending champion Malvern Prep closed the season at 10-8.

The stars of Tuesday night’s show were the goaltenders. Carangi made 22 saves in the La Salle net but a case could be made that Brandon Novabilski at the other end of the ice was just as impressive. He stopped 40 shots in his final high-school game.

“I’m good buddies with ‘Nova,” Carangi said. ”He played lights out tonight. (La Salle) played really well and helped me get the shutout. I just kind of cleaned up a little bit in front, but they got it done in our own zone.

It was past the midpoint of the second period before the Explorers were able to solve Novalbilski. The goal came of the stick of Evan Golato on a play that originated behind the Friar net. Novabilski made a quality save on Ryan Desmond’s shot from between the circles before Golato put in the rebound.

James Carpenter made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 13:43 mark when he tipped in Thomas Doucet’s shot from the right point. The goal came while Malvern Prep’s Caiden Canale was in the box serving a holding penalty.

Meantime, the Friars were trying to find a way to solve the puzzle posed by Carangi. They never succeeded.

“We knew it was going to be a fight coming into this game,” said Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan. “Both (regular-season games against La Salle this year were tough.

“La Salle is a great team, they’re deep, they’ve got four lines they can turn. For us, I thought this was one of the most hard fought games we’ve played all year. The bounces didn’t go our way. It’s tough to win a game with 22 shots.

Charlie Kennedy put the exclamation point on the win for La Salle when he scored a shorthand goal exactly seven minutes into the final period. The junior noted the Explorers have collectively picked up their game in recent weeks. Tuesday’s win was their ninth in their last 11 games.

“Our team chemistry has gotten really good,” he said. “The boys get along great, we’re a really tight group. We’ve really got our momentum going.”

Malvern Prep 0 0 0‑0

La Salle 0 2 1—3

Second-period goals: Evan Golato (L) from Ryan Desmond and Will Gregorio, 9:47; James Carpenter (L) from Dean Carvalho and Michael Zarzycki, 13:43 (pp)

Third-period goals: Charlie Kennedy (L) unassisted, 7:00

Shots: Malvern Prep 22, La Salle 43; Saves: Brandon Novabilski (MP) 40, Aries Carangi (L) 22

La Salle 3 Hun School 1

HATFIELD— Aries Carangi stepped up when his team needed him. The La Salle netminder made 38 saves Wednesday afternoon as the Explorers bested Hun School 3-1 at Hatfield Ice in a APAC/Mid-Atlantic Prep League joust.

Carangi, a junior, did his best work in the third period when he stopped 15 shots to lead his team to its third straight win (3-4 overall, 1-2 APAC, 3-0 MAPL). Five of those saves came during a Hun School (4-3, 0-1-1-0 in the APAC, 0-2 MAPL) power play when the Explorers’ Chase Hannon drew a roughing penalty with 5:01 left in regulation.

“Coming into the third, I got real focused up,” Carangi said. “Just took it one shot at a time and I went on from there.”

Carangi pointed out the Explorers are  figuring out how to blend their collective abilities after a slow start to the season.

“I think the guys have just all bought into ‘defense first,’ he said. “Move into the neutral zone, then go to the offensive zone.”

La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner celebrated the fact his team embraced the ‘back to basics’ mindset.

“We seem to be playing a pretty simple game but we’re playing hard,” he said. “It was a tough game. A tough, physical game.”

Gavin O’ Connell gave La Salle a 1-0 lead when he put in a rebound 9:55 into the first period, beating the Raiders’ Jack Borek. Chris Wnek made it 2-0 just 38 seconds into the second frame. Scott Richmond’s shorthanded goal off a La Salle turnover at the 10:55 mark cut the Explorer lead in half.

The Explorers’ Ryan Desmond scored the only goal of the third period at the 5:37 mark on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle after a dash up the wing. 

The Raiders outshot their foes 15-5 in the final period but their coach, Ian McNally was quick to point out many of those shots did not come from prime locations.

“We had (38) shots and pretty limited action from our chances,” he said. We’re trying the same things over and over again, unfortunately.”

McNally says he’s addressing the issue with his players in practice. “How can we cover the zone differently? How can we staring passes together. Hope can we create separation between you and the (defense) so we’re not just walking in and taking a wrist shot. Either (the defense block it or the goalie blocks it.

“There’s no secondary chance. There’s no puck movement that makes everybody move left to right. We keep talking about it and we keep not doing it. So, we deserved to lose 3-1.”

Hun School 0 1 0—1

La Salle 1 1 1—3

First-period goals: Gavin O’ Connell (L) from Chris Wnek and Tim Whitock, 9:55

Second-period  goals: Chris Wnek (L) from Jackson Lindmar, :38 Scott Richmond (Hun) from Josh Ovellette, 10:55 (sh)

Third-period goals: Ryan Desmond (L) from Dean Carvalho 5:37

Shots: Hun School 38; La Salle 23 Saves: Jack Borek (M) 20, Aries Carangi (L) 37

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Delbarton 4, La Salle 3 OT

A goal with 41 seconds left in overtime gave Delbarton, N.J. High a 4-3 won over the Explorers on Monday at Hatfield Ice Arena. The Explorers (0-3) scored twice in the third period to force overtime.

Thomas Doucet, Dan Whittock, and Max Maddalo all scored for La Salle (0-3). Aries Carangi stopped 39 shots

Delbarton 2 0 1 1—4

La Salle 0 1 2 0—3

First-period goals: Facone (D) from Kerezniak and Pendy, 13:07 (pp); Rodriguez (D) from Berezniak, 15:53

Second-period goal: Thomas Doucet (L) from Dan Whittock, 12:16 (pp)

Third-period goals: Facone (D) from Pendy, 1:02 (pp); Whittock (L) from Kenan Schneider, 2:48 (sh); Max Maddalo (L) from Whittock and Schneider, 15:50;

Overtime goal: Stewart (D) unassisted, 4:19

Shots: Dalberton 43, La Salle 30; Saves: Cai (D) 27, Aries Carangi (L) 39