Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference All-Conference Team 2023

The 2023 All-APAC team as selected by the conference coaches.

First Team

F Brady Baehser  Holy Ghost Prep        Sr.

F Chase Hannon   La Salle                      Sr.

F Joey Samango   St. Joseph’s Prep      Sr.

D Matt Giordano   La Salle                      Sr.

D Ryan Lippy        Holy Ghost Prep      So.

G Stephen Chen  Hun School                Sr.

G Aries Carangi  La Salle                       Sr.

@ The vote for goaltender ended in a tie

Second Team

F Jeremy Jacobs     Malvern Prep            Jr.

F Jeffrey Hammond St. Joseph’s Prep    Sr.

F Justin LaPlante     Hun School              Jr.

D Brady Doyle         Malvern Prep          Jr.

D John Lynch          St. Joseph’s Prep     Jr.

G Rocco Bruno        St. Joseph’s Prep    Sr.

Honorable Mention

F Jim Jacobs          Malvern Prep             Sr.

F Elian Estulin       Hun School                Sr.

F Kieran Mulholland Holy Ghost Prep   Sr.

F John Seravalli         Holy Ghost Prep    Sr.

F Ryan Desmond      La Salle                   Sr.

F TimWhittock          La Salle                   Sr.

D Scott Richmond      Hun School           Sr.

D Michael Holt            Holy Ghost Prep  Jr.

D Jack Sharer               Malvern Prep      Sr.

D   RyanWarner               La Salle               Sr.

D Shane O’Neill              St. Joseph’s Prep Jr.

G  Brandon Novabilski  Malvern Prep       Sr.

G Colin Mudrick           Holy Ghost Prep    Sr.

Trainer Sal Raffa Doing His Part to Make Hockey a Safer Game

By Rick Woelfel

He is one of hockey’s unsung heroes. Whether he is working for the Philadelphia Flyers or covering an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game for La Salle, Sal Raffa is always on alert when he’s at an ice rink. 

After more than two decades as an athletic trainer, Raffa is well aware of the risks that accompany the game of hockey, and cognizant of his responsibility to minimize those risks. When he’s on duty, very little happens on or around the ice that escapes his detection.

“You look for body language for one,” he said. “Whether it be a puck to the foot or hand, or writs, or elbow.

“You’re looking for body language. Typically, it’s body reaction. If you get hit in the throat, your hands automatically go to your throat.

“A lot of times, you look for the environmental stuff, meaning external, like the boards and things like that.  A lot of times, if you’re not paying attention and I’ve seen it in my career, athletes will leave a door open for instance to the bench; you can impale a vital organ.”

Just as athletes must (or should) understand basic fundamentals of their sport, so it is for trainers. Raffa never takes that fundamental knowledge for granted.

“Every night, before I cover an event, I go through a process in my head even on the bench I remember the ABCs, (airways, breathing, circulation)” he said. “On the bench I’m looking and watching everything. You don’t know really what’s going to happen but the ABCs, just know that, and kind of practice that when you’re out of this environment, when you’re at home, and just practice, practice, practice.”

Raffa’s vigilance, and that of his colleagues, is particularly important at the high-school level.

“Myself and the other trainers, we’re the only medical professionals here,” Raffa points out.  “Typically for a professional hockey game, you have physicians, you have an emergency room physician, you have paramedics, you have surgeons, you have everybody. “For (a high-school game) you’re going on your instincts, you’re looking for something that’s going on. The best thing you can do is rely on what you learn and what you know.”

‘What you know’ in Raffa’s case encompasses a broad knowledge base acquired through his years in the profession. When he staffs an event, his medical kit will contain everything from an AED to tourniquets to QuikClot® so he’s prepared in the event of an emergency.

“I have a whole bunch of stuff like that,” Raffa said. “You’re relying on your instincts, you’re holding pressure, calling 9-11.”

One of trainer’s most important attributes is the ability to control his or her emotions in an emergency.

“You gave to remain calm if a kid is choking,” Raffa says. “The worst thing you want to do is freak out. Calm cool collected. 

“Same thing on the ice. You see blood, Okay. It’s blood. Control the situation as best as you can. The environment is not a controlled situation because you’re (in a rink) but you can control it as best as you can.”

Raffa stresses the importance of knowing the emergency action plan of each rink he works in, whether be Hatfield Ice Arena, the Wells Fargo Center, or elsewhere. something he says all trainers should do.

“Before you work any events know what you’re dealing with,” he said. “Know where you’re going, and know the surroundings. Know 911, the paramedic’s number, know the closest hospital know all that stuff. You should know that before you cover any event.”

SHSHL Compresses Playoff Field

The Suburban High School Hockey League playoff brackets will be more compact this season.

The fields in both divisions will be reduced; the National Division playoff bracket will contain six teams instead of the eight that has been customary in recent years, while the American Division bracket will feature three teams rather than four.
The SHSHL has not announced playoff dates; the regular season is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, February 16 subject to weather-related postponements and ice availability.

The National Division bracket will see the top two seeds receiving byes into the semifinals while the third seed will face the sixth seed and seeds four and five will square off in the opening round.

In the American Division, the regular-season champion will receive a bye into the championship game while seeds two and three will face off in a semifina

Game of the Week YouTube Schedule

The Flyers Cup Committee has announced its Game of the Week streaming package. All 10 games will be televised live on the Flyers Cup YouTube Channel

Monday 12-12 5:15 La Salle vs. Malvern Prep

Friday 12-16. 8:45 Lower Dauphin vs. Hershey

Thursday 12-22 7:00 Conestoga vs. Penncrest

Thursday, January 5 7:10 Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Abington

Friday, January 13 6:30 Radnor vs. Owen J. Roberts

Friday, January 20 9:00 Eastern vs. Washington Township

Friday, January 27 6:30 Father Judge vs. Salesianum

Wednesday, February 1 7:20 Pennridge vs. Council Rock South

Friday, February 10 6:30 West Chester East vs. Avon Grove

2-13 9:00 West Chester Rustin vs. Conestoga Girls

APAC Names All-Conference Team

   Founders Cup champion Malvern Prep has three players named to the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference  All-Conference first team.

Forward Matt Harris, defenseman Quinn Dougherty, and goaltender Anthony Perti were named to the team by the conference’s head coaches.

Harris and Dougherty were unanimous selections.

Harris, Perti, and Brady Baehser of Holy Ghost Prep were first-team selections a year ago.

First Team

Matt Harris              F     Sr.        Malvern Prep

Brady Baehser         F     Jr.        Holy Ghost Prep

Jeff Hammond         F     Jr.        St. Joseph’s Prep

Quinn Dougherty    D     Sr.       Malvern Prep

Nick Storti                D    Sr.        St. Joseph’s Prep

Anthony Perti          G    Sr.        Malvern Prep

Second Team

Jimmy Jacobs           F      Jr.        Malvern Prep

Keenan Schneider   F      Sr.        La Salle

Pierre Larocque       F      Sr.        Malvern Prep

Gavin O’ Connell     D     Sr.        La Salle

Brian Butler             D     Sr.        Holy Ghost Prep

Rocco Bruno            G     Jr.         St. Joseph’s Prep

Honorable Mention

Stephen Chen        G                   Hun School

Chase Hannon       D                   La Salle

Brady Doyle           D                   Malvern Prep

Dan Whitlock         F                    La Salle

Brendan Marino    F                    Malvern Prep

Flyers Cup Schedule for Tuesday March 8

Class AA First Round

Pennridge 5 Ridley 2

Downingtown East 5 Cumberland Valley 4

Pennsbury 7 Owen J. Roberts 3

Avon Grove 2 Central Bucks East 1

Council Rock South 5 Abington 1

Downingtown West 6 C.B. South 2

Neshaminy 6, Conestoga 5 2OT

Haverford 9 Souderton 0

Results for Monday, March 7

Class A First Round

Radnor 10 Plymouth Whitemarsh 8

Council Rock North 7 Penncrest 3

Palmyra 9 Strath Haven 4  

West Chester Henderson 6 Wissahickon 0

Partial Schedule for Thursday, March 10

Thursday, Match 10

Class A Quarterfinals

1 West Chester East vs 9 Radnor 6:45 at Ice Line 1

4 Hershey vs 5 Council Rock North 8:30 at Ice Line 3

3 West Chester Bayard Rustin vs 6 Palmyra 8:45 at PNY

2 Springfield Delco vs 7 West Chester Henderson 6:30 at Ice Line 3

Class AAA First Round

4 Holy Ghost Prep vs 5 Father Judge  6:00 at Hatfield Gray

3 St. Joseph’s Prep vs 6 Cardinal O’Hara 6:45 at PNY

Pennridge vs Downingtown East

Pennsbury vs Avon Grove

Council Rock South vs Downingtown West

Neshaminy vs Haverford

Sites, times to be announced

SHSHL Updated Playoff Schedule

Wednesday, February 23

Class AA Quarterfinals

1 CR South vs. 8 Souderton 7:50 at Rev. Ice Gardens

4 C.B. South vs. 5 C.R. North 8:30 at Hatfield Ice

2 Pennridge vs. 7 C.B. East     7:20 at Hatfield Ice

3 Pennsbury vs. 6 Neshaminy  7:20 at Grundy Arena

Thursday, February 24

Class A Semifinals

1 Abington vs 4 Quakertown 7:10 at Hatfield

2 Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. 3 Wissahickon 8:50 at Hat. Ice

Wednesday 3-2

Class AA Semifinals at Hatfield

7:10 Top half of Bracket

7:50 Bottom half of Bracket

Thursday Match 3

Championship Night at Hatfield

7:10 Class AA Final

8:30 Class A Final

The Grundy Skate Shop is a full-service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services.  We do a full range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. Owner Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!

Stephen Chen’s Remarkable Hockey Journey

Like many high-school hockey players, Stephen Chen is looking forward to the Olympic tournament.

The U.S. men will see their first action of the Olympic Games Thursday morning against China. Game time is set for 8:10 a.m. Eastern Time but Chen, a junior goaltender at The Hun School, is hoping to follow the action in some way, shape, or form.

A native of Beijing, Chen is looking forward to seeing the Chinese national team make history. 

“It’s definitely a special feeling,” he said, “especially considering this is the first time the men’s team has ever competed in the Olympic Games. Even if the Chinese national team can’t squeak out a win, even scoring a goal would be a very special moment.”

Chen started playing hockey at the age of 5 ½. He’s been a goaltender from the start.

“When I started my coaches said ‘This kid’s pretty chubby so he can fill the net,” he recalls “but I fell in love with the position since then.

Chen emigrated to Southern California at age 10 and continued his hockey career there. When it came time for high school he sought a school on the East Coast that was strong academically and would allow him to pursue his hockey ambitions. He applied to a number of schools before being accepted at and enrolling at The Hun School (An older brother is a college graduate and living in California).

Chen has returned to China twice in the years since, most recently in the summer of 2019 to tend goal for a team that represented Beijing and won the 18-and-under division of the Chinese national championship tournament.

“Representing my hometown, it was a special feeling,” he said, “because you’re playing a sport you love, but also getting to represent the people you grew up with in your city and all the ideals your city represents and what you believe your city represents as well. 

“Playing for that was a special feeling and being able to win the tournament at the end was beyond amazing.”

Chen, who is 16, notes that hockey has grown in popularity in his homeland during his lifetime.

“Obviously, it cannot be compared to the very developed systems and teams and whatnot in North America,” he said. “But, I think it’s a definitely growing market. There’s a lot talented young kids that are just getting to the game of hockey in China.

“Although hockey is a very old game I would have to say that I am one of the earlier generations of hockey players in China recent years.

“It’s definitely a developing market. It’s not as complete as other countries but I think there is already a certain skill level there.”

Chen notes that Beijing is home to the Kunlun Red Star, which competes in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), although the team relocated to Russia to ease travel in preparation for the Olympics.  Red Star players makes up the bulk of the Chinese Olympic roster, which included three Americans and 10 Canadians.

Besides watching the Olympic tournament as a fan, Chen will be watching each team’s goaltenders and hoping to pick up traits to add to his own game.

“I definitely watch out for some technical details that goaltenders really focus on and normal people wouldn’t,” he said. “The depth a goaltender takes when it’s a two on one or two on two, odd man rushes, those kind of small things are what I notice. 

 “But, other than that, I definitely still enjoy the game just from the average fan’s viewpoint.”

Unsurprisingly Chen would like to represent his homeland in international completion one day. 

“I think it’s every kid’s dream to represent their country,” he said, “and I’m no exception. It’s a wish to represent the country at the highest level someday in the future.

“I’m already part of the U-20 China national team, so that’s a pretty good start for me already but yeah I definitely look forward to one day wearing that sweater and playing for all the people I love back home.”

Pennsbury 10 C.B. West 3

HATFIELD—Reece Millman had a big night Wednesday night. The Pennsbury senior scored three goals and assisted on another as the Falcons downed Central Bucks West 10-3 in a SHSHL Class AA game at Hatfield Ice.

The win was another step for the Falcons (6-3-1, 4-2-1 in divisional play) as the seek to keep pace with the SHSHL’s elite and impress the committee that will select and seed the Flyers Cup tournament field.

“We just of kind of kept the momentum we started since coming back from the holiday break,” said Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley. “It was kind of a little bit of a hiccup (Monday night in a loss to Pennridge) but we picked up where we left off. (Pennsbury is 3-1 in January).
Millman said the Falcons are jelling at the right time as they focus on what’s ahead.

“The Flyers Cup is the end goal,” he said. “The league is cool and all but it’s just like (club hockey) districts, you want to go to nationals. Just like the Flyers Cup we want to compete to win that. That’s the end goal.”

Millman stressed the importance of the veterans on the Pennsbury roster showing the way for their younger teammates.

“I think it’s very important,” he said. “It’s like a family when you’re playing ice hockey here, or ice hockey at any high school where there’s many different ages. The freshmen and sophomores obviously are going to look up to the juniors and seniors because we’re kind of leading the way and I think it’s good. Because they’re picking up the pace too and kind of follow our footsteps.”

The Bucks (3-8, 0-7) actually took the early lead; Zane Sanders found the back of the net 2:30 into the opening period. But the Falcons scored nine straight goals over two-and-a-half periods, including three from Millman.

Evan Eisler scored two goals for the Falcons and added an assist while five other players scored one goal each.

West coach Dave Baun noted that his team played better than the score indicated; Pennsbury’s shot advantage was just 32-27.

“All in all, I think we played pretty well,” he said, “and my sense of it was that the shots were more indicative of the game than the score.

“The score got away from us during the game. But, I was happy. It’s another game we can build on.”

Pennsbury 3 3 4—10

C.B. West 1 0 2—3

First-period goals: Zane Sanders (CBW) from Grant Funseth, 2:30; Reese Picker (P) from Logan Doyle, 11:25; Brendan Macainsh, 14:19; Reece Millman (P) from Doyle and Conor Kane, 15:51

Second-period goals: Colin Michalek (P) unassisted, 1:58; Marcus Roberts (P) from Frankie Kolanko, 12:49; Millman (P) unassisted, 16:55

Third-period goals: Evan Eisler (P) from Kane, 2:58 (pp); Eisler (P) unassisted, 5:08; Millman (P) from Eisler, 6:59; Billy Loughnane (CBW) from Nick Bruno, 8:19; Andrew Falkenstein (P) from Millman, 9:48; Anthony Dowd (CBW) from Evan Hee and Loughnane, 11:08

Shots: Pennsbury 32, C.B. West 27; Saves: Aaron McDaniel (P) 24, Kyle Fasolak (CBW) 22

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Arcadia University Limiting Hockey Spectators

Until further notice, the general public will not be permitted in the Gray Rink at Hatfield Ice for Arcadia University hockey games. The university has revised its spectator policy due to Covid concerns. That policy reads in part:

Attendance at home indoor athletic events will be limited to University community members and approved guests. There will be no general admission, and Arcadia will not permit fans from visiting institutions. Arcadia students, faculty, and staff with a valid KnightCard will be admitted to the event. Also, guests of Arcadia student-athletes may be added to a spectator pass list. 

The revised protocols impact the Kuch Center (including Lenox Pool and Alumni Gymnasium) and Hatfield Ice Arena and pertain to the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s ice hockey.

Spectators that are allowed inside Arcadia athletic events are required to wear a mask, per the university’s indoor masking policy.