Holy Ghost Prep 3 St. Joseph’s Prep 2 OT

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— Veterans step up when they’re needed most. John Seravalli did just that for Holy Ghost Prep Tuesday night. His goal 1:41 into sudden death overtime gave his team a 3-2 win over St. Joseph’s Prep in a Class AAA Flyers Cup semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The second-seeded Firebirds will face La Salle for the title Tuesday at 8:30 at this same venue.

Holy Ghost Prep trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before rallying to pick up their 17th win of the season against seven losses. Third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep closed the season at 14-7-2.

Seravalli’s goal came when he found space between the two circles and beat Hawks’ goaltender Rocco Bruno.

“It was a little nerve-wracking at first,” Seravalli said of going into the extra period. “They’ve got some good players. But we competed, our goalie (Colin Mudrick) played a great game in overtime I was lucky I got the shot that went in”

Both goaltenders were stellar for a period and half.  The first goal of the night didn’t come until the 8:54 mark of the second period. It came off the stick of the Hawks’ Joe Samango off a dump into the St. Joseph’s Prep left-wing corner.

The score stayed 1-0 until Landon Stout tied the game for the Firebirds 4:34 into the third period off a scramble in front of the Hawks’ net. The aftermath of the goal was a scrum near the net and the result of it all a roughing penalty to the Firebirds’ Cieran Chambers, who also drew a 10-minute misconduct.

It took St. Joseph’s Prep just 37 seconds to score a power-play goal. Mudrick denied Caiden Kelly on a backhander, but the Firebirds couldn’t clear the puck out of the crease and Shane O’Neill put the puck in the back of the net to give the Hawks the lead for the second time.

Just 62 seconds later, the game was tied once more thanks to Shaun Moore, who converted a feed from Ryan Lippy.

That set the stage for overtime and Seravalli’s game winner. The senior noted the Firebirds responded to the pressure of the moment.

“We got the little jitters out that first period,” he said. “But we caught on, and we (played through it).”

Holy Ghost Prep celebrates its victory. (Robert Bernes)

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside praised his team’s tenacity.

“I thought we played a great game,” he said. “We told them (after the second period) to just keep doing what you’re doing, try to find another level, and they stayed with it. They just battled.”

It was an emotional loss for St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin, who will be saying goodbye to the 12 seniors on his Flyers Cup roster.

“Both teams played their butts off,” he said.”It comes down to a break here or there and unfortunately, they got it.”

The Firebirds finished with a 41-28 shot advantage.

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 1 1 0—2

Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 2 1—3

Second-period goal: Joe Samango (SJP) from Jake Schultz, 8:54

Third-period goals: Landon Stout (HGP) from Zach Pers, 4:34; Shane O’Neill (SJP) from Caiden Kelly, 5:11 (pp) Shaun Moore (HGP) from Ryan Lippy, 6:13

Overtime goal: John Seravalli (HGP) from Ciaran Chambers, 1:41

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 28, Holy Ghost Prep 41; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP)) 38, Colin Mudrick, HGP 26

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

St. Joseph’s Prep 7 The Hun School 1

HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP —All the pieces fit together for St. Joseph’s Prep Friday night. 

Joe Samango scored three goals and assisted on three others and Jeffrey Hammond added two goals and two assists as the Hawks, with the heart of their roster on hand, celebrated Senior Night with a 7-1 win over The Hun School 7-1 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at the Skatium.

The win assured St. Joseph’s Prep (14-4-2 overall, 3-3-1-0 in the APAC) of a third-place finish in the conference regular-season standings; the Hawks will conclude conference play against Malvern Prep on Thursday.

The Raiders to 8-12 overall and 2-5 in the APAC.

It was a night when the Hawks had their big guns on hand. That hasn’t always happened this season; there have been multiple occasions on which they were shorthanded because of key players being away on club duty.

After witnessing his team’s effort Friday night, it was impossible for Coach David Giacomin not to speculate on what they might have achieved, and might accomplish going forward.

“I know we’re a really good team when we have everybody here and healthy,” he said.

The Hawks were shorthanded when they absorbed a 7-0 loss to the Raiders on December 7 and Giacomin said that result motivated his team Friday night.

“This was basically all the seniors having that will and desire,” he said. “They didn’t want to lose on Senior Night. That’s what it came down to.

Goals from Samango and Shane O’Neill, sandwiched around a goal from Hun School’s Brendan Marino, gave the hosts a 2-1 lead after one period before they broke the game open with four goals in the second frame, two from Hammond and one each from Samango and Tristan Winata, the Hawks’ number-one line.

Samango completed his hat trick in the third period. The trio accounted for 14 points.

“When we play together as one unit, we score a lot of goals,” Hammond said. “But when we don’t, we break apart.

“Games where we find each other and play s one unit we (do well).

The Raiders outshot the Hawks 31-29 but only Marino could solve Rocco Bruno in the Hawk net. The visitors’ frustrations boiled over on occasion; they were whistled for nine of the game’s 14 penalties.

“Obviously (St. Joseph’s Prep) they flipped the script here today,” said Hun School coach Ian McNally. “That’s kind of been the storyline for two weeks now. “It’s like, we’re trying really hard, we outshoot them, but we basically have very few actual scoring chances. And, every five minutes we let a team rush to the other end and score.”

Hun School 1 0 0—1

St. Joseph’s Prep 2 4 1—7

First-period goals: Joe Samango (SJP) from Patrick Sweeney and Shane O’Neill, 1;53; Brendan Marino (HS) from Justin LaPlante, 11:24; O’Neill (SJP) from Jeffrey Hammond and Samango, 14:04 (pp)

Second-period goals: Hammond (SJP) from Tristan Winata and Samango: 23; Samango (SJP) 5:33 (pp) Winata (SJP) from Hammond, 7:46; Hammond (SJP) from Samango, 14:21;

Third-period goal: Samango (SJP) from Winata and Hammond, 14:33

Shots: Hun School 31, St. Joseph’s Prep 29; Saves: Julian Arsenault (HS) 22; Rocco Bruno (SJP) 30

CLICK HERE for more about The Hun School

CLICK HERE for more about St. Joseph’s Prep

World Junior Tournament Offers Learning Opportunities for High School Players

    The ongoing IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, which features players age 20 and younger, offer an opportunity for hockey fans to watch future NHL player in action.

For high-school players, the tournament offers insights into what it takes to play the game at an elite level.

Neshaminy coach Matt DeMatteo looks at the tournament as a learning experience for his players.

“The kids playing are only a few years removed from where our high school players are at this moment in their lives,” he said. “They are really still maturing and learning and making some of the same mistakes our guys do. It’s good for them to see that in such a high-level tournament.

“This (tournament) is more relatable because of the age of the players and where they are in life. They’re not millionaires (yet) and are working hard to be able to play at the next level. There is still an urgency in their game.”

St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin encourages his athletes to observe the players competing in the Junior World and incorporate aspects of their games into their own; specifically a strong worth ethic.

“I think when watching elite-caliber players you try to find something in a player you like and try to emulate it into your game,” he said. “Playing at that speed and performing like they do takes a lot of practice and hard work.”

DeMatteo notes the significance of a work ethic and cohesiveness at the pinnacle of junior hockey.

“I loved seeing the Czechs upset Canada (5-2 on December 26),” he said. “Talent alone will not guarantee a win. (Canadian coach) Dylan Guenther’s quote after the game was spot on and something we try to preach to our players; “We’re trying to skill our way through it, we’re trying to toe-drag, beat guys one-on-one. To win, you have to play the right way, play together and play as a team. It starts with the simple side of the game. Winning battles.” To me, that statement sums it all up.”

In addition to being the head coach at Central Bucks West, Dave Baun has been USA Hockey coaching instructor for almost two decades. He’s been following the World Junior tournament and tweeting insights to his own players.

 “Probably the most important on-ice point is the need for players to follow their shots to the net and establish net presence,” he said. “This is something that Coach (Rand) Pecknold mentioned in his talk-up but a skill so many of our American players don’t learn in youth hockey. Our players all want to be perimeter players and going to the net is not part of their game habits.”  

Another topic Baun addressed was game tempo and, along with it, players’ proficiency at changing lines on the fly.

“Everyone wants to play fast,” he said. “Coach Pecknold encouraged his team to play fast. But, playing fast isn’t just a function of just having fast skaters. It’s a combination of playing well without the puck and making and receiving passes.  A bobbled pass that bounces three feet away from a player in the WJC is a turnover, it’s probably two feet in the NHL.

“When I poll our Atlantic District coaches on whether they work on line changes in practice, one or two Tier I coaches out of 80 may raise their hands. The vast majority just aren’t working on line changes here in practices at all. Knowing to dump the puck bench side, have F1 angle while D, then Forwards, change behind is a skill that we all need to work on. Pro teams do this in practice.  Effective changes help you gain tempo. When you can only change at the whistle, the refs are setting our Team’s tempo, not us. Teams that can change effectively can play faster. This is true of the USA WJC team, NHL teams, and our SHSHL teams.”

Rocco Bruno’s Time at St. Joseph’s Prep Has Seen Him Evolve On and Off the Ice

It could be argued that a hockey goaltender occupies the most demanding position in any team sport More so than a quarterback in football, or a baseball pitcher, a goaltender puts his team his shoulders every time out.

Rocco Bruno has embraced that challenge. The St. Joseph’s Prep senior and Springfield Township, Delaware County resident has achieved success on the ice and in the classroom.

Bruno prides himself on his ability to maintain his concentration in the heat of battle. He considers that attribute that one of his strengths.

“It’s definitely (about) staying focused,” he said. “Not letting anything distract you. I’ve got to make sure I’m paying attention to my D-men and I’m talking to them.

I have to keep control of a lot of things at once, but I can’t get distracted by anybody other than who’s on the ice.”

Bruno has enhanced his ability to concentrate in the classroom as well, although admittedly that ability didn’t come easily. He learned about St. Joseph’s Prep though his coach, David Giacomin.

“I did a couple of open houses and I fell in love with the school,” Bruno recalls.

Adapting to academic rigors of St. Josephs Prep proved challenging at first.

“I definitely had to learn it the hard way,” Bruno said. “Freshman year was a struggle for me, just because I really didn’t know how to manage my time the correct way, but as the year went on, I started to figure stuff out. I took a lot of bad grades on tests but I definitely got in shape the last three years.”

Over time, Bruno learned that meeting his academic responsibilities while also playing high-school and club hockey demanded that he reorder his priorities.

Rocco Bruno (photo by. R. Woelfel)

“(Make) sacrifices honestly,” said. “A lot of late nights studying, a lot of early getting to school and finishing up things that I didn’t get done the night before. At school, in my free periods, getting work done, trying to stay ahead of the game so I don’t fall behind and just time management. Managing my time was the biggest part in making sure everything was done.”

Bruno has enjoyed his time at St. Joseph’s Prep and bonding with his teammates and classmates.
“I’ve met a lot of great people there,” he said. “It’s something you have to be a part of to understand, honestly.”

Bruno sees the college application process as a reward for all the hours he’s spent pursuing better grades.

“The most satisfying thing has been just getting into the colleges,” he said. “It’s really weird right now for me because I’m going through the who college application process. Getting into colleges, and then acknowledging my hard word that I put into high school. It’s really, really refreshing.”

To learn more about St. Joseph’s Prep CLICK HERE

Malvern Prep 6 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP— Malvern Prep put on a hockey clinic Monday night. The Friars came out storming right from the opening faceoff and rolled to a 6-1 win over St. Joseph’s Prep in the Class AAA Flyers Cup final at Ice Line.

With the win, the Friars (16-3) became the first team to successfully defend the Class AAA Flyers Cup since 2014. It’s the 10th Cup title in school history.

“I think our mentality is just ‘We want it back,’” said senior Matt Harris. “That’s been the message all year. We knew that we had a mark on our back, but we knew, coming out here, we had to give our all and that for the seniors, it could be our last game out here.”

Harris shouldered his share of the load and then some. He scored three goals and assisted on another Monday night and finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with seven goals and two assists in two games while being named the winner of the Bobby Clarke Award as the tournament’s most valuable player.

Pierre Larocque, Jimmy Jacobs, and Jonathan Holt also scored goals for the Friars. Jacobs and Quinn Dougherty each contributed a pair of assists.

“We have the mentality on our team that anybody can step up and fill a role,” said Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan. “I have guys that play club and I’ve got guys that don’t play club. 

“For me, it’s just looking for the right fits in our lineup every day. When the guys come to practice, they compete, they work hard, and they fill in the roles. It’s a ‘Next guy up’ mentality in this locker room and I think that’s what keeps the guys going.”

It didn’t take the top-seeded Friars long to gain a firm hold on the proceedings. Jeremy Jacobs found Larocque in front of the Hawks’ net and Larocque put the puck behind Rocco Bruno just 1:39 into the opening period.

Harris made it a 2-0 game at the 13:08 mark with a shot from the deep right wing off a deflection. He scored his second goal of the night 3:25 into the middle period when he put in a rebound of Jacobs’ shot from the low slot.

Holt found the back of the net at the 4:56 mark, leaving the third-seeded Hawks (10-9-1) down 4-0, prompting their coach, David Giacomin, to use his timeout.

“Unfortunately we gave up that one early,” he said. “The momentum we had coming out of the locker room I thought would have been high. But any time that happens and you’ve got a bunch of young kids, their heads drop a little bit and it took a little while for us to get our legs moving.”

The Friars celebrate with their fellow students following their win over St. Joseph’s Prep Monday night.

St. Joseph’s Prep got a goal from Nick Storti 1:49 into the final frame but Jacobs and Harris scored two minutes apart late in the period to clinch the Cup and send the Hawks into the state championship game against Penguins Cup champion Peters Township Saturday at Ice Line (5:00 start).

No Class AAA team has successfully defended the state title since 2009.

Notes—The All-Tournament team selected by the Flyers Cup Committee, included Harris, Jacobs, and Jeffrey Hammond from St. Joseph’s Prep at forward, Larocque and Storti on defense, and Malvern Prep’s Anthony Perti in goal.

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 1—1

Malvern Prep 2 2 2—6

First-period goals: Pierre Larocque (MP) from Jeremy Jacobs, 1:39; Matt Harris (MP) from Caiden Canale and Jimmy Jacobs, 13:08

Second-period goals: Harris (MP) from Jimmy Jacobs and Steven Getsie, 3:25; Jonathan Holt (MP) from Gavin Wilson and Aidan Kelly, 4:56

Third-period goals: Nick Stori (SJP) from Christian Short, 1:49; Jimmy Jacobs (MP) from Harris and Dougherty, 13:14 (pp); Harris (MP) from Dougherty, 15:12 (sh)

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 31, Malvern Prep 35; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 29, Anthony Perti (MP) 30

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St. Joseph’s Prep 2 La Salle 0

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— The evening’s festivities didn’t feature an abundance of artistry. The matchup between St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle was a gritty, grind-it-out hockey game between two foes intimately familiar with each other.

It was Hawks who emerged from the scrum victorious by a count of 2-0 in a Class AAA semifinal Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice. 

Jeffrey Hammond scored both goals to propel the third-seed Hawks (10-8-1) into next week’s final against top-seeded Malvern Prep. The junior spoke to the level of familiarity between the Hawks and the Explorers, who are traditional rivals in every sport.

“All the videos of our games are on You Tube,” he said. “All the players and coaches watched a lot of our games, over and over again and we picked out what we needed to do to come out with a win today.”

Hammond said all the preparation paid off. “We definitely came prepared,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Everyone expected it. Everyone played like they had to to get the job done.”

Hammond gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead 4:27 into the first period when he scored off a scramble in front of the La Salle net, beating Explorer netminder Will Braun. The early goal set the tone.

Jeffrey Hammond scores the game’s first goal.

“We knew going into it that they’ve got the speed,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin said  of the Explorers. “They are strong, they like to bang the body.

“I told them as long as we keep them on the outside, don’t give up the little gritty goals, take away the behind the net,  we would have a chance. 

“We were lucky enough to get two good goals early, and they had to play catchup, which is hard to do.”

Hammond scored a statement goal for the Hawks 8:31 into the second session. With his teammate Nick Storti serving a two-minute sentence for a slashing infraction, Hammond found space on right wing  and beat Braun with a wrister.

That was it as far as scoring was concerned, although the game’s emotional temperature remained at a fever pitch.

Jeffrey Hammond scores his second goal of the game.

But try as they might the second-seeded Explorers (8-9-1) couldn’t find a way to sustain momentum in their offensive zone or solve Hawks’ goaltender Rocco Bruno who finished with 26 saves.

“We just couldn’t seem to get any bounces or any momentum going,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “I think the shorthanded goal we gave up really hurt us.

“I think St. Joseph’s Prep played a great game. They were opportunistic. They played a really good game.”

Emotions boiled over in the late going. With 1:38 left in the third period La Salle’s Chase Hannon was called for elbowing before being accessed three additional penalties, resulting in his banishment.

A series of penalties with 36 seconds left resulted in the teams finishing the game with three skaters each on the ice although La Salle had already pulled Braun to add an extra skater.

St. Joseph’s 1 1 0—2

La Salle 0 0 0—0

First-period goals: Jeffrey Hammond (SJP) fro Joey Samango and Christian Short, 4:27

Second-period goals: Hammond (SJP) unassisted, 8:31 (sh)

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 20, La Salle 26; Saves Rocco Bruno (SJP) 26, Will  Braun (L) 18

Video provided by Erin Schneider

La Salle 3 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HATFIELD— The supporting cast stepped into feature roles for La Salle on Wednesday afternoon. With several players sidelined because of suspensions and injury, the Explorers had to juggle the lineup. The revisions proved fruitful. La Salle scored three times in the third period to post a 3-1 win over St. Joseph’s Prep at Hatfield Ice.

The Explorers concluded the regular season at 7-7-1 and the APAC campaign in second place at 4-3-0-1. The Hawks will head to the post season at 8-7-1 and 3-3-0-2 in the APAC; they’re slotted third in the conference at present.

La Salle senior Gavin O’Connell said it was a game when some of LaSalle’s less-heralded performers needed to step up and they did. “Especially since we were missing some of our key players,” he said. “We needed the guys that don’t get as many minutes to step up and everyone was chipping in. Everyone was getting minutes they don’t usually get.”

The only goal of the first two periods was the ultimate bad goal. The Hawks’ Tristan Winata moved through center ice, moved to his left and sent a puck in the direction of the La Salle net from the left face-off circle’ it ended up in the back of the net, behind Explorer netminder Aries Carangi.

The Hawks had the better of the opening period, outshooting their foes 15-6. Momentum started shifting La Salle’s way in second period but the Hawks still led 1-0 as the teams  headed to their dressing rooms at period’s end.

“I thought we played really well in the second,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We just couldn’t score any goals. But we had good opportunities, we were playing  the way we’ve been playing of late down low, working hard and creating some opportunities.”

Keenan Schneider broke the La Salle scoring drought 70 seconds into the third period off a Hawk turnover. Jackson Lindmar poked in a loose puck at 8:41 to put La Salle in front for good. Patrick Brace finished the scoring at 12:19.

St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin felt the Explorers had more energy in the third period. “Whether our kids did not have their legs, or whether they didn’t feel the need to compete, obviously, La Salle wanted it more,” he said. “Those kids really busted their butts, they played great.”

O’Connell says the Explorers have been getting contributions from a variety of sources in recent weeks. “I think we’ve seen guys who we haven’t seen much of before,” he said. “Maybe they’ve been playing a lot more and we’ve been seeing what they can truly do. “So we’ve definitely had more depth than we thought and we can do a lot more things.”

Tristan Winata scores the game’s first goal

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 0 0—1

La Salle 0 0 3—3

First-period goal: Tristan Winata (SJP) unassisted, 7:16

Third-period goals: Keenan Schneider (L) from Evan Golato, 1:10; Jackson Lindmar (L) from Gavin O’Connell, 8:41; Patrick Brace (L) from Schneider, 12:19

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 29, La Salle 37; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 34, Aries Carangi (L) 28

Video provided by Erin Schneider

St. Joseph’s Prep 3 Hun School 1

HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP—With just eight days remaining in the APAC regular season, teams are striving to climb over each other and gain a foothold that strengthens their position not only in the conference standings but also in the minds of the members of the committee that will seed the Class AAA portion of the upcoming Flyers Cup tournament. 

St. Joseph’s Prep took a step up on Friday night, climbing over The Hun School 3-1 on Senior Night at the Skatium.

Cathal Dowd, Liam Mooney, and Joey Samango all scored goals for the Hawks (7-6 overall) who moved into second place in the APAC standings with a 3-2-0-2 conference mark, one point ahead of La Salle. The Hawks and Explorers will meet on Wednesday to conclude their respective league schedules.

Hun School (7-7 overall) stands at 2-3-1-0 in the conference with games remaining against Malvern Prep on Wednesday and Holy Ghost Prep next Friday.

The first meeting between the two teams (a 1-0 Hun School win) was decided on the last shot of a shootout and Friday’s game was closely contested as well, despite the Hawks’ margin of victory.

“They played hard,” Mooney said of the Raiders. “They’re hard to play against. They had a couple good lines; they were a couple guys short (due to suspensions) but I thought we played them pretty tough, played them pretty well.”

Hun School Coach Ian McNally noted that Friday’s game featured a rematch between the goaltenders who hooked up in the teams’ first meeting; the Hawks Ajay White and the Raiders Stephen Chen. He was impressed with White’s winning performance.

“We scored one (regulation) goal; in two games against this kid. He was in our kitchen.”

Mooney noted Friday’s game had a different flow than the first meeting and the Hawks generated more opportunities.

“(Chen) played really good last time,” he said. “Today, we just got more shots on him. That was the key to winning today.”

Cathal Dowd gave St. Joseph’s Prep a 1-0 lead 10:34 into the first period when he scored off a turnover just to the right of Chen in front of the Raider’s net. The fast-paced first sessions saw the teams generate 30 shots between them.

Play slowed a bit in the second frame and it was still a 1-0 game early in the third period before Mooney’s goal extended his team’s lead.

Elian Estulin cut that lead in half when he scored off a Hawk turnover but Nick Storti cemented the victory for the hosts when he scored a power-play goal with 1:52 remaining in regulation.

”In our league, every team battles to the end,” said Hawk coach David Giacomin. “It was basically a one-goal game up until the power play.”

In two meetings against each other, Chen and White combined to stop 131 of 135 shots in regulation and overtime. Chen made 66 saves and White 65

Hun School 0 0 1—1

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 0 2—3

First-period goal: Cathal Dowd (HGO) from Dante Passio, 10:34

Third-period goals: Liam Mooney (SJP) from Charles Maratea, 3:52; Elian Estulin (HS) from Seth Kaplan, 7:54; Nick Storti (SJP) from Jeffrey Hammond, 15:08 (pp)

Shots: Hun School 34, St. Joseph’s Prep 35; Saves; Stephen Chen (HS) 32, Ajay White (SJP) 32

For more about St. Joseph’s Prep CLICK HERE

Foe more about The Hun School CLICK HERE

La Salle 2 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP—Despite the winter chill outside, the air inside the Skatium was crackling with intensity Friday. That’s a common occurrence when La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep square off, whatever the sport.

Keenan Schneider’s power-play goal 6:12 into the first period proved decisive as the Explorers prevailed 2-1 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup.

The win lifted La Salle to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in APAC play. The Hawks fell to 4-5-1 and 1-2-0-2.

La Salle, which has won four of its last five games, jumped in front when the Hawks coughed up the puck in front of and just to the left of their own net. Patrick Brace was one hand to coral the puck and put it behind Hawk netminder Rocco Bruno just 93 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Schneider’s goal came off a faceoff in the circle to Bruno’s right.

Keenan Schneider scores the game-winning goal

St. Joseph’s Prep countered when Nick Storti beat La Salle goaltender Aries Carangi from the left side of the slot 6:12 into the second session.

That was the last goal of the night but both teams maintained a high level of intensity and physicality the rest of the way. Through the first two-and-a-half periods the referees called 11 minor penalties, six against the Explorers, five against the Hawks, but passed on incidents that might have been whistled down on another occasion.

Emotions boiled over with 1:28 remaining in the third period and La Salle trying to protect its one-goal lead.

Eight players, four from each team, were accessed a total of 72 penalty minutes. Two La Salle players Carangi and forward Tim Whittock, were given game misconducts for receiving four penalties during the game and will serve one-game suspensions as a result.

Muehlbronner also faces a suspension; his team was accessed 16 penalties.

When all the penalties were sorted out, St. Joseph’s Prep had a power play. Coach David Giacomin pulled Bruno at that point, giving his team a six-skaters-to-four advantage for the duration of the game but the Hawks couldn’t score.

Will Braun took over for Carangi in the La Salle goal. His only warmup came while the officials were sorting out the penalties but he made two saves over the final 88 seconds of playing time.

“I was happy that we hung on,” Muehlbronner said. “We had a lot to overcome in the third period.”

Muehlbronner made his thoughts clear regarding the late-game incident. “In my eyes, that’s very preventable, what took place,” he said. “It’s not what I expect.

“I don’t think the lack of discipline came on our part. It was a disgrace, what happened at the end. I expect my guys to play hard, play the game the right way. “Thankfully we did that in the first period and that’s what got us through.”

Giacomin noted the teams took turns dictating the flow of the game.

“It was up and down,” he said. “They had a really good first period, I think we played really good in the third period, and that made for an interesting third period, at least the first part of it.”

Giacomin indicated the rivalry between the two schools contributed to the altercation.

 “You don’t like to see it,” he said, “but you understand why it happens You’ve just got to hopefully teach the kids from this point on that that’s not the way we play, period. Both teams.”

La Salle 2 0 0—2

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 1 0—1

First-period goals: Patrick Brace (L) unassisted, 1:33; Keenan Schneider (L) from Charlie Kennedy, 6:12 (pp)

Second-period goals: Nick Storti (SJP) from Joey Samango and Dante Passio, :49

Shots: La Salle 38, St. Joseph’s Prep 34; Saves: Aries Carangi (L) 31 and Will Braun (L) 2, Rocco Bruno (SJP) 36

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