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