La Salle 7 Peters Township 3

La Salle got contributions from all hands Saturday afternoon. The result was a state championship. Seven different players scored goals in the course of a 7-3 win over Peter Township in the Class AAA Pennsylvania Cup championship game at the Robert Morris University Sports Center outside of Pittsburgh.

The win gave the Explorers (16-9-2) their seventh state title, their first since 2019.

“It was a great team effort,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner.

The Explorers broke the game open with four unanswered goals in the second period.

Charlie Kennedy gave La Salle a 1-0 lead with 41 seconds left in the first period when he put in a rebound of his own shot from the right point.

Will Tomko tied the game for the Indians early in the second period off an offensive left-circle faceoff.

But La Salle dominated the remainder of the period. Julian Tarsi, Evan Golato, Chase Hannon, and Ryan Desmond scored goals to give the Explorers a 5-1 lead at period’s end.

Peters Township (18-4-1) which came into the game as the defending state champion, drew closer with a pair of goals that made it a 5-3 game with 11:02 still left in regulation but Michael Zarzycki extended La Salle’s lead at the 7:39 mark.

Max Monzo finished the scoring with an empty net goal with 1:16 remaining.

““The boys truly bought in and gave one of their best performances of the season,” Muehlbronner said. “Our senior leadership this season was outstanding.”

Ice chips—La Salle’s previous state titles came in 1998, 2008-09, 2012, 2016, and 2019.

La Salle 6 Holy Ghost Prep 5

BRSTOL—After an up-and-down season, the La Salle Explorers are ripening like a field full of crops, just as harvest time is drawing near. Evan Golato and James Carpenter scored two goals each as the Explorers held off Holy Ghost Prep 6-5 Monday afternoon at Grundy Arena.

After starting the season by winning just one of its first five games, La Salle stands at 11-8-2 with one regular-season game remaining. The Explorers, who have won their last four starts and six of their last seven, finished Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference play as the regular-season champion with a 6-2 league.

They’ll be seeded first in the conference semifinals, and will face the winner of Thursday’s play-in between Malvern Prep and Hun School on February 22 at Hatfield Ice. Ghost Prep (15-6, 4-2-1-1 in conference) will be the second seed in the playoffs and will take on third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep in the other semifinal on the same day at the same venue.

Golato scored both his goals in the first period as La Salle took a 2-1 lead. The goals were sandwiched a goal from the Firebirds’ Prep’s Colin Bara.

“We expected a dogfight coming into today,” Golato said. “We’re glad we got away with a win. We just want to keep going game by game, winning and winning. That’s all we want as a team.”

Traffic in front of the La Salle net includes the Explorers’ Will Giordano (#3), and Thomas Doucet (#6) along with Holy Ghost Prep’s Kieran Mulholland (#13) and Zach Pers (#72) Photos by Robert Barnes

Carpenter and Holy Ghost Prep’s Brady Baehser traded goals in the second session before John Seravalli tied the game with 6:53 left in the period. But Matt Giordano answered 43 seconds later with a shot from the high slot to give La Salle the lead for good.

Will Gregorio and Carpenter extended the La Salle lead with third-period goals before Ciaran Chambers scored for the Firebirds with 11:11 left in the game. Kieran Mulholland made it a one-goal game with 29 seconds remaining.

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside praised the effort of both teams.

“A great APSC game,” he said. “Two great opponents competed to the bitter end.

“I was really happy with how we kept battling back. Nobody wants to chase the game of course, but I was really proud of the effort there.” 

Both teams shuffled goaltenders. Jake Rossi started for La Salle, before giving way to Aries Carangi, but later returned before yielding to Carangi once more. Colin Mudrick started in goal for the Firebirds before Jack Unger came on in relief. Mudrick later returned but Unger relieved him again in the third period.”

Golato noted the victory was a true team effort.

“It wasn’t just a performance by one person,” he said. “Every single kid stepped up and had a great game for us to plug away and get the win.”

La Salle 2 2 2—6

Holy Ghost Prep 1 2 2—5

First-period goals: Evan Golato (L) from Ryan Desmond and Declan Kelly, 3:00; Colin Bara (HGP) from Brandon Barger, 12:26; Golato (L) from Will Gregorio, 15:45 (pp)

Second-period goals: James Carpenter (L) from Matt Giordano, 5:07; Brady Baehser (HGP) from Barger, 5:15; John Seravalli (HGP) from Baehser, 13:02; Giordano (L) from Julian Tarsi, 13:45

Third-period goals: Giordano (L) from Michael Zaraycki, 1:49 (pp); Carpenter (L) unassisted, 4:19; Ciaran Chambers (HGP) from Ryan Lippy, 5:49; Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Mike Holt and Chambers

Shots: La Salle 32, Holy Ghost Prep 18

La Salle 5 Hun School 2

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J.—Evan Golato scored two goals and three other players scored one goal each as La Salle bested Hun School 5-2 Wednesday afternoon in an APAC game at Ice Land.

The win moved La Salle (9-8-2, 5-2 in conference) into a tie for first place with Holy Ghost Prep in the conference standings.

The Explorers broke the game open with four unanswered goals in the second period. Ryan Desmond, Golato, Ryan Wiley, and Golato again scored goals in a span of 8 minutes, 57 seconds to give La Salle a commanding lead.

Scott Richmond scored for the Raiders (8-11, 2-4 in conference 54 seconds into the third period.

La Salle’s Grant LaGreca and Hun School’s Elian Estulin traded goals to complete the scoring.

Jake Rossi got the win in goal, stopping 40 shots. Stephen Chen made 54 saves for the Raiders in the loss.

La Salle 0 4 1—5

Hun School 0 0 2—2

Second-period goals: Ryan Desmond (L) from Evan Golato and Cam Ross, 3:11; Golato (L) from Will Gregorio and Desmond, 8:00; Ryan Wiley (L) from Tim Whittock and Julian Tarsi, 10:01; Golato (L) from Desmond and Ross, 12:08

Third-period goals: Scott Richmond (HS) from Elian Estulin, :54; Grant LeGreca from Whittock and James Carpenter, 9:33; Estulin (HS) from Justin LaPlante, 11:29

Shots: La Salle 59, Hun School 42; Saves:  Jake Rossi (L) 40, Stephen Chen (HS) 54

La Salle 4 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

WEST GOSHEN—A high-school hockey game features 51 minutes of playing time. Wednesday’s Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal between La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep was decided in a window of roughly two of those minutes.

The Explorers scored three goals in a span of 1 minute 19 seconds at the start of the second period and went on to a 4-1 win over the Hawks at Ice Line.

Evan Golato scored two goals for second-seeded La Salle (8-7-1) which will face top-seeded Malvern Prep next Wednesday, February 23 at Ice Line (8 p.m. start) for the Founders Cup and the APAC championship. Third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep (8-8-1) will be idle until the Flyers Cup tournament which begins March 7; seedings will be announced on February 27.

After a scoreless first frame, La Salle broke the game open in seemingly the blink of an eye. Golato found the back of the net 1:03 into the middle period. Ryan Desmond made it 2-0 just 18 seconds later before Golato added his second goal at 2:22.

“Our momentum shifted right when our shift got out there,” Golato said. “We saw rebounds laying around all game. We buried opportunities and we kept going.”

After La Salle’s third gal, the Hawks called timeout and made a goaltender change with Rocco Bruno taking over for Ajay White. Bruno pitched a shutout the rest of the way; La Salle’s final goal, off the stick of Max Monzo was scored into an empty net with eight seconds left in the game.

La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner expressed concern about his team’s inability to sustain its momentum after its second-period surge.

“I think we had a really great start to the second period,” he said, “The first eight minutes of the second, I thought we played our game.  Other than that, I didn’t think we played a great team game.

St. Joseph Prep’s only goal came from Liam Mooney in the third period.

“They beat us in two-and-a-half minutes,” Giacomin said. “They scored three goals because we didn’t cover anybody, and after that it was up and down. Both teams had chances.”

Will Braun got the win in goal, making 33 saves.

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 1—1

La Salle 0 3 1—4

Second-period goals: Evan Golato (L) from Chase Hannon, 1:03; Ryan Desmond from Jackson Lindmar, 1:15; Golato from Keenan Schneider and Max Maddalo, 2:22

Third-period goals: Liam Mooney (SJP) unassisted, :39; Maddalo (L) from Hannon, 16:52

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 34, La Salle 31

La Salle’s three second-period goals

Video courtesy of Erin Schneider