Desmond Celebrates La Salle APAC Title

In the wake of a 7-3 win over Holy Ghost Prep in Wednesday’s Founder Cup final, the La Salle Explorers are celebrating their third outright APAC title.

Senior Ryan Desmond contributed four assists to the winning effort. He spoke with Hockey happenings following the game.

La Salle’s Ryan Desmond (#13 in white) takes a face-off against Holy Ghost Prep on Wednesday #19 is his teammate Evan Golato. La Salle won the Founders Cup final 7-3 at Hatfield Ice.

La Salle 7 Holy Ghost Prep 3

By Rick Woelfel

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— La Salle’s big guns came up big when it mattered most. The line of Chase Hannon, Evan Golato ands Ryan Desmond combined for four goals and five assists as the Explorers bested Holy Ghost Prep 7-3 Wednesday afternoon in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference’s Founders Cup Championship Game in front of a full house at Hatfield Ice.

The win gives the Explorers (13-9-2) their third outright championship in the APAC’s five-year history; they shared a fourth.

La Salle will be the top seed in the Class AAA bracket of the Flyers Cup tournament, which begins next week. The Explorers have a bye  into the semifinals and will face either Malvern Prep or Father Judge the week of March 13.

Hannon spearheaded his team’s effort on Wednesday  by scoring three goals. Golato added a goal and an assist while Desmond contributed four assists.

Hannon said the key to the win was taking care for the basics.

“Our game plan was to get pucks deep and get on them,” he said. “I think we did that, and it clearly worked for us.”

La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner considered Wednesday’s game his team’s best start-to finish effort of the season.

“I think we had really good focus,” he said. “The guys really played hard, they came to play tonight.”

La Salle capitalized on a Firebird turnover to score the game’s first goal. Chase Hannon corralled the lose puck in the neutral zone, found space and weaved his way trough three opponents to beat Jack Unger with a forehander from the leading edge of the left circle 4:12 into the opening session.

The Firebirds drew even when the Explorers’ Evan Golato (roughing) and Ryan Desmond (tripping) drew back-to back penalties, giving Holy Ghost Prep a two-man advantage for 46 seconds. It took Landon Stout just 14 seconds to score the tying goal off a rebound of Brady Baehser’s original shot at the 9:20 mark.

The second period produced an abundance of offensive fireworks and a total of seven goals, five of them from the Explorers.

Evan Golato put La Salle in from just five seconds into the period with a shot from the left point. Hannon scored his second goal of the game during a power play at 3:57.

 Baehser answered for the Firebirds with a power-play goal of his own at 5:37 but Hannon completed his hat trick just 17 seconds later. John Seravalli’s goal cut the Explorer lead to 4-3 with 3:27 left in the period but Will Gregorio and Charlie Kennedy scored for La Salle before the period ended.

Evan Mudrick replaced Unger in the Firebird net following Kennedy’s goal.

Tim Whitock scored the only goal of the third period at the 8:10 mark. He cited his team’s veteran experience as a factor in the win.

“Senior leadership I guess,’ he said. “Got to get the younger guys going. Do whatever you can.”

For Holy Ghost Prep (16-7) which has yet to win an APAC title, the loss was a disappointing end to the conference season.

“It was not one of our best efforts,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “I thought we didn’t execute very well. Our structure wasn’t there the whole game. There were some things we did really well but it wasn’t a total team effort.

Ice chips—The Firebirds are seeded second for the Class AAA Flyers Cup and will face seventh-seeded Cardinal O’Hara in a quarterfinal game at Grundy Arena Monday night.

La Salle’s previous Founders Cup titles came in 2019 and ‘20, the APAC’s first two seasons. They shared the title with Malvern Prep two years ago when the Founders Cup final wasn’t played because of the pandemic.

Holy Ghost Prep 1 2—3

La Salle 1 5 1—7

First-period goals: Chase Hannon (L) unassited, 4:12; Landon Stout (HGP) from Brady Baehser and John Seravalli, 9:20 (pp)

Second-period goals: Evan Golato (L) from Ryan Desmond, :05 Hannon (L) from Desmond and Golato, 3:57 (pp); Baehser (HGP) from Landon Stout and X, 11:23; Hannon (L) from Desmond, 11:40; Seravalli (HGP) unassisted, 13:33; Will Gregorio (L) from Desmond, 14:29 (pp); Charlie Kennedy (L) rom Max Monzo and Tim Whitock, 16:42

Third-period goals: Whitock (L) from Thomas Doucet, 8:10

Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 40, La Salle 45 Saves: Jack Unger (HGP) 26 and Colin Mudrick (HGP) 14; Aries Carangi (L) 37

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

APAC Sets Playoff Dates

The Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference has set dates for the Founders Cup playoffs.

The postseason will commence the week of February 13 with a play-in game between fourth seed Hun School and fifth seed Malvern Prep on Tuesday, February 14 at 4:00. Hun School will ahve home-ice advantage. The winner swill advance to the semifinals and face the top seed, the winner of Monday’s game between Holy Ghost Prep and La Salle.

The semifinals will be played as a doubleheader on Wednesday, February 22 at Hatfield Ice, with game times set for 4:00 and 6:00. The Holy Ghost Prep-La Salle loser will be seeded second and face St. Joseph’s Prep, which will be seeded third

The Founders Cup championship game will be played Wednesday, March 1 and hosted by the highest seeded finalist.

That means the APAC champion will be determined after the Flyers Cup seedings are unveiled on February 26.

Malvern Prep 4 La Salle 1

WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP—Their opportunity was delayed 12 long months. Which made their accomplishment all the more satisfying.

Malvern Prep scored twice in the first period and went on to a 4-1 win over La Salle Wednesday night to claim the Founders Cup, symbolic of the championship of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference, at Ice Line.

An enthusiastic audience was on hand to see the Friars (14-3) claim the championship they did not have the opportunity to play for last season because of Covid issues; the scheduled conference final between the Friars and the Explorers was never contested.

Even after Malvern Prep went on to win the Class AAA Flyers Cup and state titles, there was something missing from a glittering resume. Wednesday’s result perhaps helped fill that void.

“It’s super satisfying,” said Friars captain Matt Harris. “We don’t have to share that trophy any more and we can bring it back to Warren Avenue and not have to split it between two teams.

“It’s good to have a full season and get what we deserve. We put in the work on Mondays in practice and brought it back to Warren Ave.

The Friars jumped in front 2:47 into the first period. Brady Doyle launched a knuckleball from just inside the blue line that caught the top right corner of the net.  According to LaSalle coach Wally Muehlbronner, goaltender Aries Carangi was screened on the play and never saw the puck.

Teague Murray hit the same corner of the net on Carangi’s glove side to make it a 2-0 game at the 13:47.From that moment on, La Salle (8-8-1) was trying to climb a very steep hill.

“They had a lot of jump,” Muehlbronner said of the Friars. “They scored some really nice goals on some really good shots. We did not have a whole lot of jump tonight. We did not give them the game that I was hoping we were going to.”

Muehlbronner said his team needed to respond of Larocque’s early goal, but didn’t. “We needed a spark after we went down 1-zip,” said,. We didn’t get it.We had a couple opportunities around the net, but nothing that was really a strong opportunity.”

At period’s end, Muehlbronner made a goaltender change, with Will Braun replacing Carangi.

Harris, the APAC’s scoring champion, extended the Friars’ lead 12:10 into the second period on what was most certainly one of the most picturesque goals of the season. The senior made a move down the right wing, cut to his left and split two defenders before beating Braun.

La Salle got on the scoreboard  on a goal from Patrick Brace 9:12 into the final period before Harris scored into an imply net with 1:47 remaining.

Brace’s goal was the only blemish on Anthony Perti’s record, the Malvern Prep netminder stopped 37 shots.

“We wanted to come in and win (the Founders Cup) for ourselves,” he said. “Keep it for ourselves and ourselves only.”

Perti said Wednesday’s game was reminiscent of last year’s Flyers Cup final, which saw the Friars top the Explorers. “Same type of game, same type of atmosphere,” he said. “Honestly I was pretty calm, didn’t think too much of it. Just another game.”

La Salle 0 0 1—1

Malvern Prep 2 1 1—4

First-period goals: Brady Doyle (MP) unassisted, 2:47; Teague Murray (MP) from Gavin Wilson, 13:47

Second-period goal: Matt Harris (MP) from Jack Shaver, 12:10

Third-period goals: Patrick Brace (L) from Ryan Desmond, 9:12; Harris (MP) from Quinn Dougherty, 15:13 (en)

Shots: La Salle 38, Malvern Prep 40; Saves: Aries Carangi (L) 12 and Will Braun (L) 24;  Anthony Perti (MP) 37

The game’s first goal

Matt Harris extended Malvern Prep’s lead in the second period.

Patrick Brace scores for La Salle

Video courtesy of Erin Schneider

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Explorers, Friars Set to Play for Founders Cup

Last year’s championship matchup never happened because of Covid issues. But La Salle and Malvern Prep are letting nothing stand in their way this season. The Explorers and the Friars will meet Wednesday night at Ice Line for the Founders Cup and the championship of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference. Game time will be 8:00.

The two teams were scheduled to meet for the Cup last season but that game was cancelled and the APAC title declared vacant. due to Covid Malvern Prep went on to defeat La Salle in the Class AAA Flyers Cup final and later won the state championship.

La Salle won the first two Founder Cup titles in 2019 and ‘20

La Salle

Coach: Wally Muehlbronner

Record: 8-7-1/4-3-0-1 in the APAC seed 2

Semifinals: def. St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1

Top scorers (APAC games only)

Keenan Schneider 5 goals, 2 assists 7 points

Max Maddalo 3 goals 3 assists 6 points

Chris Wnek 2 goals 4 assists 6 points

Malvern Prep

Coach: Bill Keenan

Record: 13-3/5-1-2-0 in APAC seeed 1

Semifinals: def. Holy Ghost Prep 4-1

Top scorers (APAC games only)

Matt Harris 11 goals, 9 assists, 20 points

 Jim Jacobs    8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points

  Jeremy Jacobs  7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points

  Pierre Larocque 5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points

Earlier this season:

November 5

Malvern Prep 2 La Salle 0—Pierre Larocque scored the winning goal with 5:55 remaining in regulation in the APAC season opener at Hatfield Ice. Matt Harris added an empty net goal.

January 24

Malvern Prep 5 La Salle 4 OT—Matt Harris scored with 1:08 remaining in overtime to give the Friars the win at Ice Line. LaSalle forced overtime. Harris and Jimmy Jacobs scored two goals each.

La Sale forced overtime with goals from Keenan Schneider and Chris Wnek in the final 87 seconds of regulation.

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Malvern Prep 4 Holy Ghost Prep 1

WEST GOSHEN—There wasn’t much to choose between Malvern Prep and Holy Ghost Prep Wednesday night. The end result, a 4-1 victory for the Friars, was somewhat misleading.

With two minutes remaining in regulation the two teams were locked in a 1-1 standoff but Malvern Prep scored three times in a span of 1 minute, 25 seconds to emerge victorious in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal at Iceline.

The top-seeded Friars (13-3) will host Founders Cup  final next week on a date and at a time to be announced. The fifth-seeded Firebirds fell to 10-11. Both teams will be part of the Class AAA Flyers Cup field next month; the Friars are the defending champions.

Jeremy Jacobs scored what proved to be the winning goal with 1:29 left in regulation in the midst of a scramble in front of the Firebirds’ net off a setup from Matt Harris and Larocque. 

Harris added a goal from long range with 1:02 remaining before scoring into an empty net with four seconds left. He noted the game was up for grabs entering the final stanza.

“We knew (Holly Ghost Prep) was going to come out strong,” he said. “We knew they had beaten Hun School 9-4 (in Monday’s play-in game) so we knew we had to keep the pressure on the whole game.”

The Firebirds controlled the first minutes of the opening period but, in a prelude of things to come, couldn’t solve Anthony Perti in the Friars’ net and eventually momentum shifted Malvern Prep’s way.

Pierre Larocque gave the Friars a 1-0 just past the midway point of the opening period on a goal off an offensive-right-wing faceoff.

That was all the scoring there was until Kieran Mulholland tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep 2:54 into the final period.

It was a testament to both goaltenders that there wasn’t more scoring; both came up big. Perti stopped 31 of the 32 shots he saw. His counterpart, Jason Soule made 36 saves including a stop on a backhander from Harris that kept the score 1-0 at the time.

Harris lauded  Perti’s work. “It meant a lot,” he said. “Our goalie has ben playing phenomenal. During this last stretch it’s pretty much win or go home. The goalies have to be hot.”

Firebird coach Gump Whiteside felt his team deserved better. “A credit to Malvern Prep,” he said. They had our number tonight, they’ve had our number all year. (But) we have the Flyers Cup to look forward to.”

Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 1

Malvern Prep 1 0 3—4

First-period goal: Pierre Larocque (MP) from Brayden Baum and Hayden Campbell, 8:27

Third-period goals: Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Dominic Lombardo and Brandon Barger, 2:54; Jeremy Jacobs (MP) from Matt Harris and Larocque, 15:31 Harris (MP) unassisted, 15:58; Harris (MP) unassisted 16:56

Shots: Malvern Prep 40, Holy Ghost Prep 32; Saves: Jason Soule (HGP) 36, Anthony Perti (MP) 31

Holy Ghost Prep 9 The Hun School 4

Hamilton Township, N.J.— It is often said that the postseason marks a new beginning. So it was for Holy Ghost Prep Monday afternoon. The Firebirds produced their best offensive output of the season over the course of a 9-4 win over The Hun School in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference play-in game at Iceland in front of an audience that included as substantial number of Holy Ghost Prep supporters.

Brady Baehser scored three goals and assisted on two others for fifth-seeded Holy Ghost Prep (10-10).

The Firebirds move on to face top-seeded Malvern Prep in a Founders Cup semifinal game Wednesday night at Ice Line (6:45 start). Seth Kaplan scored three goals for fourth-seeded Hun School, which finished its season at 8-9.

Wednesday’s result comes less than 72 hours after the Raiders handed the Firebirds a 2-1 loss in Friday’s regular-season finale.

But Baehser said he and his teammates have refocused of late. “Over the past two weeks, after the losing streak, we kind of regrouped,” he said. “Our coaches gave us a new plan for practice. I think Friday we came out and played well, we just couldn’t score. Today, we just found the back of the net a lot more.”

Six different Firebirds scored goals on Wednesday, a total of 12 were listed on the scoresheet.

“It was nice to see Point Night for the Firebirds finally,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “It was a great effort. We never gave up on our guys. It’s attribute to them, the way they played three solid periods.”

Baesher scored one goal and assisted Dominic Lombardo’s effort as Holy Ghost Prep took a 2-1 first-period lead.

Perhaps the biggest surprised of the afternoon came after Sean Marshall scored the first of his two goals 7:41 into the second frame. At that point, Hun School coach Ian McNally made a goaltender change, inserting Stephen Chen in place of starter Jack Borek who surrendered three goals on 10 shots

Riley Frost scored for the Raiders at the 10:04 mark to make it a one-goal game but the Firebirds responded with three unanswered goals to take a 6-2 lead 2:24 into the third period and were more or less in control thereafter.

Borek returned to the net for the start of the third period after Chen allowed two goals on 11 shots.

“Once we’d score, we  were never able to build on it,” McNally said. “They’d score seconds later and you could never keep any momentum going.”

While Monday brought the Hun School season to an end, it was a season that saw the Raider hockey program get back on track; the 2020-21 season was limited to three games because of Covid issues. This season, Hun School participated in the APAC for the first time, which assured the Raiders of a postseason to point toward.

“I think it’s been great,” McNally said. “We don’t have a state tournament because there aren’t enough teams of like size or teams that want to participate. 

“This kind of gives us a taste of what it can be like to finish our season with games that mean something and the potential to host games, so we’re very happy.”

Holy Ghost Prep 2 3 4—9

Hun School 1 1 2—4

First-period goals: Seth Kaplan (SH) from Elian Estolin and Christian Clover, 11:13; Brady Baehser (HGP) from Landon Stout, 11:40; Dominic Lombardo (HGP) from Baehser 13:27 (pp)

Second-period goals: Sean Marshall (HGP) from Brian Butler, 7:41; Riley Frost (HS) from Josh Oullette, 10:04; Baehser (HGP) from Shaun Moore, 12:31; Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Baehser 14:59 (pp)

Third-period goals: Baehser (HGP) from Landon Stout, 2:24; Kaplan (HS) unassisted, 6:59; Marshall (HGP) from John Seravalli and Colin Moore, (pp); Shaun Moore (HGP) from Mulholland, 9:46; Kaplan (HS)  from Estulin and Frost, 11:55 (pp) Logan Barnes (HGP) from Brandon Barger and Michael Holt , 15:37                                                                

Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 33, Hun School 32; Saves: Jason Soule (HGP) 28, Jack Borek (HS) 15 and Stephen Chen (HS) 9

For more information about The Hun School CLICK HERE

For more about Holy Ghost Prep CLICK HERE

Hun School 2 Holy Ghost Prep 1


BRISTOL—Holy Ghost Prep and The Hun School left everything they had on the ice Friday night. There was little to separate the two teams, save for Josh Ouelette’s goal 21 seconds into the third period that gave the Raiders a 2-1 win in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference’s regular-season finale at Grundy Arena.

The two teams will do it all over again Monday afternoon at 4:00 at Ice Land in the play-in game that will kick off the postseason. The Raiders (8-8, 3-4-1-0 in conference) tied St. Joseph’s Prep for third place in the regular-season standings but lost a tiebreaker for the third slot on goal differential and are seeded fourth for the APAC playoffs. The Firebirds (9-10, 1-5-1-1 in the APAC) are seeded fifth.

The winning goal came off a faceoff in the Raiders’ offensive right wing circle.

“I was surprised that I even scored right off the faceoff,” Ouelette said. “I just put it in.”

Ouelette embraced the atmosphere in the building in what was the Firebirds’ Senior Night. “The whole crowd was electric,” he said.

Prior to Hun School joining the APAC this season, Head Coach Ian McDonald regularly brought the Raiders to Grundy Arena for non-league games.

“We’ve been coming here for eight or nine years, playing Holy Ghost in this rink,” he said. “The game is always awesome, close, up and down the ice, scoring chances each way.”

Holy Ghost Prep, which was trying to end an eight-game losing streak, had much the better of a scoreless first period, but was unable to solve Stephen Chen in the Raider net; the junior made 14 saves in the opening 17 minutes.

Kieran Mulholland gave the Firebirds a 1-0 lead 2:53 into the second session when scored a shorthanded goal on a scramble in front of the Raider net.

Hun School drew even at 7:10 when Brendan Marino hit Ryan Croddick in full stride, allowing the latter to move in on Firebird goaltender Jason Soule. Soule made a quality save but Crodddick put in the rebound.

Four-and-a-half minutes later Croddick was excused for the evening after a disagreement with Holy Ghost Prep’s Brendan Schultz. Schultz drew a roughing minor but Croddick was accessed a five-minute major for head butting plus an automatic game misconduct, meaning he’ll be suspended for Monday’s playoff game.

That was the end of the fireworks until the winning goal.

Holy Ghost Prep captain Sean Marshall praised the efforts of his teammates, despite the loss. “Just from the way we’ve been playing the last couple months, we knew we had to have a great game here,” he said. “I thought we played great. I thought we won pretty much every 50-50 battle in the corners. “We had tons of chances, we just, I don’t know, ran into a hot goalie.”

Firebird coach Gump Whiteside thought his team deserved a better fate. “I thought the boys deserved better,” he said, “But that’s why you play three periods. I thought we played really well today.”

Hun School 0 1 1—2

Holy Ghost Prep 0 1 0—1

Second-period goals: Kieran Mulholland (HGP) unassisted, 2:53 (sh); Ryan Croddick (HS) from Brendan Marino, 7:10

Third-period goal: Josh Ouellette (HS) from Simon Gregoire, :21

Shots: Hun School 26, Holy Ghost Prep 33; Saves: Stephen Chen (HS) 32, Jason Soule (HGP) 24

Playoff Ponderings 

The Founders Cup playoff schedule is as follows

Monday, February 14 Play In 

(5) Holy Ghost Prep at (4) Hun School 4 p.m. at Ice Land

Wednesday, February 16

Monday’s winner vs (1) Malvern Prep 6:45 ay Ice Line

(3) St. Joseph’s Prep vs (2) La Salle 8:45 at Ice Line

Founders Cup final will be played February 23 or 24 and hosted by the highest-seeded finalist.