BRISTOL—There wasn’t much to choose between Holy Ghost Prep and Malvern Prep Wednesday afternoon. The regulation 51 minutes wasn’t enough to decide things. It took Brady Baehser’s goal 2:03 into overtime to give the host Firebirds a 3-2 win in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Gundy Arena.
The win lifted Holy Ghost Prep to 13-5 overall and 4-1-1-1 in the APAC. Malvern Prep dropped to 6-5 overall and 1-4-0-1 in conference.
Baehser said the Friars controlled the flow of the game for most of the afternoon.
“It looked like they were trying to slow down our speed and eliminate chances,” he said. ”When we did get chances, their goalie had a really good game, but we started to figure it out towards the end and got the win.”
Senior forward Zach Pers said the Firebirds’ experience (there are 10 seniors on the roster) made an impact in the late going.
“Going down the stretch in a game like that shows how deep our team is,” he said. “We got a couple fortunate bounces, guys looked like they were slipping on banana peels out there. But other than that, I think we have a good group here that knows what they’re doing and is up to any task.”
It could be argued the Friars deserved a better fate. They never trailed until Baehser scored his game-winning goal. Their goaltender, sophomore Matt Crawford, was stellar between the pipes, making 36 saves.
“Matt hasn’t had much time in the net this year,” said Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan. “It was his second game. We played him against Hun last week and he looked good and we wanted to give him a shot against Ghost.
“He looked good. He stood on his hand, he kept control of the puck, and have us an opportunity to win the game.”
The Friars took a 1-0 lead on Jeremy Jacobs’ shorthanded goal with 5:16 left in the first period. The goal came while his teammate Colin Inskeep was serving an interference penalty.
Pers tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep with 2:16 left in the period. It was the only regulation goal scored with both teams at full strength.
Malvern Prep got another power-play chance early in the second period when the Firebirds’ Patrick Slook was sent to the penalty box for delay of game when he was judged to have purposely knocked his own net off its moorings. Jack Sharer scored the go-ahead goal for the Friars 3:52 into the period.
Kieran Mulholland tied the game for the Firebirds with 3:37 left in the second session.
The third period was scoreless, largely in part to Crawford’s efforts on goal. He stopped 14 shots in the final session.
The Firebirds began the overtime on a power play after the Friars’ Jimmy Jacobs was boxed for an obvious holding infraction with 1:41 left in regulation.
The winning goal was set up by Mulholland’s dash up the center of the ice. Crawford stopped his shot but Baehser put in the rebound for the win.
Firebird senior Ciaran Chambers credited his teammates for their patience.
“It was extremely important to wait for our time,” he said. “We knew as a unit, going into this game, that we are the better team. We knew that going in. We wanted to go out there and wait for our time because we knew it was going to come.”
Holy Ghost Prep’s Ciaran Chambers (in white) battles with Malvern Prep’s Jack Sharer in front of Malvern Prep goaltender Matt Crawford during Wednesday’s game. (Photo by Robert Barnes)
Malvern Prep 1 1 0 0—2
Holy Ghost Prep 1 1 0 1—3
First-period goals: Jeremy Jacobs (MP) from Jimmy Jacobs, 11:44 (sh); Zach Pers (HGP) from Ronnie Selzer and Kieran Mulholland, 14:49
Second-period goals: Jack Sharer (MP) from Jimmy Jacobs and Jeremy Jacobs, 3:52 (pp); Mulholland (HGP) from Brady Baehser and Landon Stout, 13:23 (pp)
Overtime goal: Baehser (HGP) from Mulholland, 2:03
Shots: Malvern Prep 22, Holy Ghost Prep 39; Saves: Matt Crawford (MP) 36, Colin Mudrick (HGP) 20
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