La Salle 5 Hun School 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—The La Salle Explorers were in postseason mode Wednesday afternoon. Dean Carvalho scored two goals and assisted on two others as the Explorers downed Hun School 5-1 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The top-seeded Explorers (12-9-2) will host the Founders Cup championship game next Wednesday. They will learn Sunday if they earned the top seed for the Class AAA Flyers Cup. Fifth-seeded Hun School closed its season at 11-13.

For the Explorers, it was an occasion when all the pieces fit.

“It was just the simple things,” Carvalho said. “Like getting pucks in deep, forecheck, get the pucks on net. Those are the things that Coach Wally (Muehlbronner) has been preaching all year. It definitely paid off today.”

Matt Giordano opened the scoring for the Explorers 2:12 into the first frame with a shot from the right point that took an odd bounce and caromed past Raider goaltender Josh Arsenault, Michael Zarzycki made it a 2-0 game with 49.5 seconds left in the opening session.

James Carpenter contributed a goal and two assists to the win. He spoke to the importance of the fast start.

“Obviously, it’s very good to start with a quick 2-0 lead,” he said. “We just worked the puck deep in little areas and outworked them overall.”

Carvalho extended the La Salle lead 5:08 into the second period.

Hun School had a chance to get back in the game with 9:13 left in the middle period when it found itself with a 93-second two-man advantage after the Explorers’ Ryan Warner and Chase Hannon were sent to the box. 

But Aries Carangi came up with two quality saves in the La Sale net and a penalty to Josh Sooner eliminated the Raiders’ advantage.

Hun School coach Ian McNally considered calling his timeout prior to the power play but decided against the move. “I said ‘Let’s just leave it, I think they’ll figure it out and score,” he said. “Not only did we not score, we took a penalty. That was a big turning point.”

 Carpenter, La Salle’s leading  scorer in APAC play, scored his seventh conference goal 1:16 into the final period.

Simon Gregoire got the Raiders on the scoreboard at the 2:43 mark.

A pileup in front of the La Salle net with 4:09 remaking precipitated a tag-team bout that saw all 10 skaters on the ice receive roughing penalties. Carvalho scored into an empty net with 2:30 remaining.

Hun School 0 0 1—1

La Salle 2 1 2—5

Firsts-period goals: Matt Giordano (L) from Grant LaGreca, 2:12; Michael Zarzycki (L) from Giordano and Dean Carvalho, 16:11

Second-period goals: Carvalho (L) from James Carpenter, 5:08

Third-portion goals: Carpenter (L) from Carvalho and Cam Ross, 1:16; Simon Gregoire (HS) from Ryan Levesque, 2:43 Carvalho (L) from Carpenter, 14:30

Shots: Hun School 35, La Salle 35; Saves: Julian Arsenault (HS) 30, Aries Carangi (L) 34

Hun School 5 Malvern Prep 2

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J.—The playoff environment gave The Hun School Raiders a spring in their step. Brendan Marino scored goals as the Raiders kicked off the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference Tuesday afternoon with a 5-2 win over Malvern Prep in a play-in game at Ice Land.

The win advances the fourth-seeded Raiders (10-12 overall) to the APAC semifinals; They’ll oppose La Salle on February 22 at 4:00 at Hatfield Ice. Fifth-seeded Malvern Prep (8-7) will be idle until the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament next month.

The Raiders’ aggressive style worked to their advantage as they physically dominated the Friars from the outset. 

“I think we’ve got an older team” Marino said, “a big, strong team and I think it helped us early in the game, because we’re able to get physical, get pucks in, get pucks out, and play together as a team.”

Hun School coach Ian McNally noted the referees were tolerant of physical play early on. There were no penalties called in the first period. There were seven whistled in the second period and 10 in the third.

“The first two periods there weren’t many penalties being called,” McNally said. “That let us kind of set the tone.”

Malvern Prep was laboring under the additional burden of being shorthanded; offensive catalysts Jimmy and Jeremy Jacobs were away on club duty.

By the time the first period ended, the Friars were in a 2-0 hole.

Hun School’s Justin LaPlante and Malvern Prep’s Pax Hoshik barrel in front of the Malvern Prep net. (photo: Robert Barnes)

Josh Sosner got things started for the Raiders 10:30 into the opening period off an offensive zone faceoff. Marino made it 2-0 with 32 seconds left in the period when he topped in Aidan Shine’s shot from the right point.

Gavin Wilson got Malvern Prep on the board 3:08 into the second frame when he beat Stephen Chen in the Hun School net.

The Raiders answered back almost six minutes later with one of the most picturesque goals of the APAC season. Charles Etienne-Jeffe played the puck  the puck up the center of the ice from the midway point on his own defensive zone and caught Ryan Levesque in full stride. Levesque beat the Friar defense and goaltender Brandon Novabilski to make it a 3-1 game at the 9:04 mark.

Just 31seconds later, Elian Estulin gave the hosts a 4-1 lead.

Aidan Kelly cut onto that lead when he scored for the Friars with 4:09 left in the period.

Going into the third frame, Jared Ingersol, who filled in for Bill Keenan behind the Malvern Prep bench (Keenan was absent due to a family issue) thought his team still had a shot as it started the third period with a 72-second power play; Marino was serving a high-sticking sentence.

“We thought we were right there coming out of the second period,” Ingersol said. “Hopefully we could get a power-play goal and get us back in the game.”

Alas for the Malvern Prep faithful, it wasn’t to be. The Raiders killed the remaining penalty time and Marino scored his second goal of the game and what turned out to be the only goal of the third period, just nine seconds after his penalty expired.

McNally saw the win as a season’s worth of effort paying off.

“We’ve had a lot of games where we work hard,” he said. “We shoot the puck, I think we’re playing physical, but we don’t score the clutch goals when we need them.

“And today was back-to-back breakaways and a guy coming out of the box for a breakaway goal. Those goals are clutch goals at the right time.”

Ice Chips—Hun School and La Salle will open the semifinal doubleheader next Wednesday at 4:00. The second semifinal matching second seed Holy Ghost Prep and third seed St. Joseph’s Prep will follow at 6:15. The Founders Cup title game is set for March 1. It will be hosted by the highest seeded finalist.

Malvern Prep 0 2 0—2

Hun School 2 2 1—5

First-period goals: Josh Sosner (HS) from Aidan Shine and Justin LaPlante, 10:30; Brendan Marino (HS) from Shine and Ryan Levesque 16:28

Second-period goals: Gavin Wilson (MP) from Matt Barbacane and Teague Murray, 3:08; Ryan Levesque (HS) from Charles Etienne-Jeffe, 9:04; Elian Estulin (HS) from Levesque and Charles Guida,9:35; Aidan Kelly (MP) from Murray and Jack Sharer, 11:51 (pp)

Third-period goals: Brendan Marino (HS) from Vincent Gregoire, 1:23

Shots: Malvern Prep 24, Hun School 52; Saves: Brandon Novabilski (MP) 47, Stephen Chen (HS) 22

Hun School 2 Malvern Prep 1

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP N.J.— The playoff seedings in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference are now set in stone.

The Hun School took care of business Wednesday afternoon with a 2-1 win over Malvern Prep at Ice Land.

Charles Guida scored the deciding goal with 1:44 remaining in the third period.

The win assured the Raiders (9-12, 3-5 in conference play) of a fourth-place regular-season finish. The Friars (7-6, 1-5-0-1 in conference) will finish fifth regardless of the result of their regular-season finale against St. Joseph’s Prep Thursday night.

Hun School will host Malvern Prep Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 in a play-in game, with the winner to advance to the playoff semifinals against the winner of Monday’s game between Holy Ghost Prep and La Salle.

Wednesday was Senior Night at Hun School and appropriately, Raider goaltender Stephen Chen was at his best, making 40 saves. Brandon Novabilski in the Malvern Prep net was outstanding as well, recording 35 saves of his own.

“(Novabilski) played very good as well,” Chen said. “it was tough for us to score.”

Chen had a sense early on that it would be a good day for goaltenders.

“You kind of get a feel at the beginning of the game,” he said. “You get the first couple shots and you kind of know you’re in that zone and you’ve got to kind of focus and keep yourself in there. I think it was a great effort by our defensemen as well, just to help me stand there with the saves and the rebounds. I think it was a huge team effort.”

Stephen Chen at work, making a save in Wednesday’s game (photo by MaxMangigian)

Brendan Marino gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead when he beat Novabilski with a slapshot from between the two circles with 5:03 left in the opening period.

The two netminders were perfect after that until the midway point of the third frame. Both were tested.

“This was what we were used to the first half of the year,” said Hun School coach Ian McNally. “We’re up by one in the third period, how do we close out the game and when? It was nice to be talking about that again.

“Stephen is a huge part of that. He stopped like four breakaways a couple two-on–oh chances.  It was certainly nice to see him back in that form.”

Malvern Prep didn’t roll over however. Jimmy Jacobs tied the game 8:47 into the third period off a right-wing, neutral-zone faceoff.

From that point on there was a sense the next goal would decide matters. Guida’s game winner came on a shot from the left point that beat Novabilski inside the right post to the goaltender’s left.

For Malvern Prep, it was another case of ‘Almost but not quite.’

“Hun is a very good, sound defensive team” said Friars’ coach Bill Keenan. “They’re fast, they’re physical, they have two very good goaltenders. I thought both teams played well, but we’ve got to find that way to win.”

Malvern Prep 0 0 1—1

Hun School 1 0 1—2

First-period goal: Brendan Marino (HS) from T.J. Walsh, 11:57

Third-period goals: Jimmy Jacobs (MP) from Aidan Kelly and Steven Getsie, 8:47; Charles Guida (HS) from Eliian Estulin and Ryan Levesque, 15:16

Shots: Malvern Prep 41, Hun School 37; Saves: Brandon Novabilski (MP) 35, Stephen Chen (HS) 40 

CLICK HERE for more information about The Hun School

CLICK HERE for more information about Malvern Prep

Hun School Proving a Good Fit for Justin LaPlante

When Justin LaPlante first stepped on the ice for The Hun School this season he was uncertain about where and how he’d fit in.

“When the first practice (was held) I was wondering,” he said. “I was in doubt, But I figured my role would be pretty big from the start. I took that role and now I’m one of the leaders of the team. I really like that role.”

A junior at Hun School, LaPlante has played in all 20 of the Raiders’ games this season, scoring 15 goals and adding 19 assists.

His coach, Ian McNally, cites his blend of abilities.

“I think Justin is a rare combination of skill, speed and strength,” McNally said. “Whenever he takes off, someone on the bench is inevitably going to yell out “See ya” because he just flies by people, whether he has the puck on his stick already or he’s racing someone to a loose one.  

“He exudes power; he can skate, he can shoot and he can hit.  He made an immediate impact with us this year because he’s just a great kid. He’s mature and personable and he wants to win. We’re lucky to have him.”

Justin LaPlante (photo: Tamara Gillon Photography)

LaPlante’s arrival at Hun School this past fall was something of a matter of happenstance. A native of Quebec City, where he played football as well as hockey, LaPlante was dealing with an injury when first crossed paths with McNally.

“I had broken my wrist playing football two months prior to meeting Coach McNally,” LaPlante recalled. “I was supposed to be out for another due to my wrist. But I decided to play in a Montreal showcase. I talked to (McNally) and he watched me play and the rest is history.”

LaPlante played football for the Raiders and found himself having to adjust to U.S. rules after learning the game in Canada.

“It was a really big step,” he said. “The Hun football program is simply incredible. I had my role here and I was playing on the special units a lot. I made some big plays throughout the year and it was really fun. I really enjoyed my time playing football.”

For all the adjustments LaPlante has made on the ice and on the football field, his greatest challenges have some in the classroom.

“It’s been a challenge for sure,” he said, “because English is not my first language and English classes here are pretty hard, so I would say that’s my biggest academic challenge. But otherwise, I’ve always been really good in school and I’ve never really struggled with anything, so I’m doing all right.”

While English is not LaPlante’s first language, no one engaging in conversation with him would realize it.

“I adapted to it really well,” he said. “When I speak to my family in English, they tell me that I’ve really improved, that I’ve adapted myself really well.

“I would say the people that spoke just French in my family was the older generation because they never really got English classes, but for the new generation, we got really good English teachers and classes so it’s been easier for me to learn that way.

“Listening to hockey and football in English, and watching the TV too has been really helpful so I think I’ve adapted really well since being here.”

McNally says playing football helped ease LaPlante’s transition to a new setting.

“He fit in seamlessly,” McNally said. “I think by playing football in the fall he was able to come to pre-season before school actually started, move into the dorms early and make friends right away with teammates.

“Hockey is maybe what led him to look at boarding schools, the experience of being away is the real takeaway and I think and so he’s jumped right in. Hun has kids from all over the world, so most of them are initially adapting. It makes it easier when they are all in the same boat.”

Even with the adjustments he’s had to make, in the classroom and as an athlete, LaPlante’s time at The Hun School has been enjoyable and satisfying.

“Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is life on the border here is pretty crazy and insane,” he said, “because on the weekends you get to do a lot of stuff that other schools can’t.

“I went to see a couple of (NCAA D-1) games, either football or basketball and I’m going to watch an NHL game in a few weeks. Those are experiences that I’ve never had in my life.

 “As far as hockey goes, I would say that I’ve never been that much of an offensive guy or the star of a team so it feels good to experience that this year and being one of the best players on my team and being able to be a leader.”

Hockey-wise, it’s been an up-and-down season for the Raiders as they approach their APAC regular-season with Malvern Prep on Wednesday. They stand 8-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play as of February 7. But LaPlante says the team has played better than its record indicates.

“It has been up and down,” he said. “But I feel like we should have won five of those losses so it’s still a really good season for us. 

“We haven’t played really bad, it’s just that we can’t close out games. But we’ve been holding up against really good teams, so that’s hopeful for us.

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

Holy Ghost Prep 6 Hun School 4

BRISTOL—Experience paid off for Holy Ghost Prep Friday afternoon. Midway through the third period, the Firebirds found itself backed into a corner, down by a goal and facing a two-man disadvantage for a full two minutes.

But they weathered the storm, killing off the twin penalties before goals from Kieran Mulholland and Shaun Moore propelled them to a 6-4 win over The Hun School at Grundy Arena.

The win lifted the Firebirds into first place in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference with a 3-0-0-1 conference mark (8-2 overall). The Raiders dropped to 4-6 overall (1-3 in conference).

The Firebirds controlled play for most of the afternoon but after two periods had little to show for it; they held a 26-8 advantage in shots but thanks to Stephen Chen’s work in the Hun School net the teams were deadlocked at 2-2.

“The mindset was just overcoming adversity,” Moore said. “It was a tie game (but we thought we should have been up early in the game. We thought we needed to pick it up big time going into the third period.”

Brandon Barger gave the hosts the lead with a power-play goal 1:51 into the final session but Ryan Levesque answered for Hun School just 57 seconds later.

The key point in the period and the game came with 8:56 remaining in regulation and Hun School holding a 4-3 lead. In an instant, the Firebirds found themselves two men short. Barger was called for roughing while at the same time Patrick Slook was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Raiders an extended five-on-three power play.

But that disappeared when Scott Richmond was called for tripping with 7:27 left in regulation and the Firebirds were able to weather the remainder of the sequence. Twenty-two seconds after the twin penalties expired, Mulholland scored the tying goal. Moore delivered the game winner with 3:24 remaining. Afterward, he credited his teammates for how they dealt with adversity.

“That’s huge,” Moore said. That’s getting our guys ready for that big moment.”

Hun School coach Ian McNally viewed the sequence as the key to the game.

“We had a five-on-three for a minute and a half,” he said, “and all of a sudden, when we take a penalty and we’re shorthanded, all the guys you want out there are tired. It was pretty tough to make it through the last 10 minutes.”

The Raiders were without forwards Elain Estulin and Brendan Marino, forcing several players to play out of position.

“Unfortunately guys were in positions that they don’t normally find themselves,” McNally said. “(Holy Ghost Prep) moved the puck around very well, they find the open guy, and that definitely hurt us. We could have used a coupled more legs.”

Holy Ghost Prep’s John Seravalli assisted on three of his team’s goals, including the game winner. He noted his teammates’ efforts to solve Chen eventually paid off with the four third-period goals.

“We had to get pucks low,” he said. “Try to test him, go side to side. And luckily, we got a quick goal from (Barger). It was difficult, a little bit, but we got to him.”

Ice Chips—Chen still made 32 saves; the Firebirds enjoyed a 38-13 shot advantage. Seravalli’s father John filled in for Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside who missed the game due to illness.

Hun School 1 1 2—4

Holy Ghost Prep 1 1 4—6

First-period goals: Logan Stoudt (HGP) from Brady Baehser, 9:19 (sh); Scott Richmond (HS) from Vincent Gregoire and Ryan Levesque, 14:07 (pp)

Second-period goals: Shaun Moore (HGP) from John Seravalli and Stout, :47 (pp); Josh Sosner (HS) from Levesque, 2:04

Third-period goals: Brandon Barger (HGP) from Patrick Slook, 1:51 (pp); Levesque (HS) from Justin Laplante and Mark Gall, 2:48; Levesque (HS) from Laplante and Richmond, 5:32 (pp); Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Stout and Seravalli, 10:26 (pp); Moore (HGP) from Seravalli and Baehser, 13:36 (pp); Slook (HGP) unassisted, 16:02 (en)

Shots: Hun School 13, Holy Ghost Prep 38; Saves: Stephen Chen (HS) 32, Colin Mudrick (HGP) 9

For more about The Hun School CLICK HERE

For More about Holy Ghost Prep CLICK HERE

La Salle 3 Hun School 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—There wasn’t a lot of artistry on display when Hun School and La Salle took the ice Wednesday afternoon. Instead, the Raiders and the Explorers engaged, in a gritty, grind-it-out encounter before La Salle emerged with a 3-1 win at Hatfield Ice Arena.

The win extended the Explorers’ unbeaten streak to four games and lifted them to 4-3-1 overall (3-1 in the APAC).

The Raiders, who were missing several players due to illness, dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in conference.

“It wasn’t a pretty game for either side,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We were just happy to get through it on top.”

Three of the game’s four goals came in the first period. Justin Laplante gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at the 2:51 mark; Ryan Desmond answered for the Explorers at 10:19. Dean Carvalho put his team in front for good when he deposited a rebound of Cam Ross’s shot behind Raider goaltender Julian Arsenault just before the period-ending buzzer.

For most of the rest of the last two periods the teams battled failed to find the net. Muelbronner juggled his lineup in a bid to generate more offense.

“We were mixing things around quite a bit,” he said, “trying different guys in different spots. Nothing seemed to really click.”

Hun School coach Ian McNally had to do some juggling of his own, albeit for different reasons.

“Unfortunately we had four guys out,” he said. “That’s not an excuse for why we lost but it just created enough of a disturbance in lines and power plays and everything.

“We did have to come up with a different game plan. The goal was to be within five minutes with a chance to win because some of the guys who weren’t able to play were the guys who score goals for us. We knew we wouldn’t be scoring five goals, but we knew if there was five minutes left and we were within one or up one or tied, that was the goal.”

Hun School received a power-play chance with 5:45 left in regulation when La Salle’s Chase Hannon was booked for a hooking in fraction but Explorer goaltender Aries Caranagi stood tall, he went on to finish the game with 20 saves. His best effort with just under eight minutes left in regulation when he turn aside a blast from the Raiders’ Scott Richmond.

“When we make mistakes, we know he has our backs,: Desmond said. “To build us back up. And save us when we need him.”

It was wasn’t a stylish performance, but the Explorers got the result they wanted.

“We pulled it together toward the end and came out with the victory,” Desmond said. “That’s all that matters.”

Ice Chips—Julian Arsenault made 34 saves in the Hun School net. The Raiders will face Holy Ghost Prep on Friday before pausing for the holidays while La Salle will travel to the Mount St. Charles tournament in Rhode Island after Christmas. It marks the first time the tournament will be held in three years because of Covid.

Hun School 1 0 0—1

La Salle 2 0 1—3

First period goals: Justin Laplante (HS) unassisted, 2:51; Ryan Desmomd (L) from Chase Hannon, 10:19; Dean Carvalho (L) from Cam Ross and James Carpenter 17:00

Third-period goal: Hannon (L) from Desmond and Evan Golato, 15:29

Shots: Hun School 21, La Salle 37; Saves: Julian Arsenault (HS) 34, Aries Carangi (L) 20

Mark Gall Says Sports Should Be Fun

Mark Gall thinks sports should be fun. That may seem like an obvious statement but many young athletes lose their love of sports for one reason or another.

Gall didn’t want that to happen to his 7-year old brother Robert. So, he’s spending part of his spring helping coach his brother’s travel baseball team.

A native of Summit, N.J. and a junior at The Hun School, where he’s a forward on the hockey team, Gall seized on the opportunity to have an impact on his brother’s life.

“I understand the importance that a coach can play in an athlete’s life,” he said. “So, when I was presented with the opportunity, I felt like I could make a positive impact on these kids because they’re so young.

“My dad came with the idea and I thought it would be great because I want to interact with my little brother, especially now since I’m going to college. I thought like I could have an impact on the team as a whole and my little brother.”

Gall played baseball growing up, but the former shortstop put away his bat and glove at age 13 to concentrate on hockey. He speaks to the importance of young athletes having fun.

“The most important part is that you have fun,” he said. “You don’t want any kid to feel like they’re being forced to play. You want them to feel like you want to play, so I feel like can make things more fun, because the head coach of the baseball team is pretty serous. So, I like to come in and kind of relax everybody and make it more of and fun experience.”

Gall says Ian McNally his coach at Hun School, is committed to giving his players a positive experience.

“I started playing for Ian after I quit baseball,” Gall said, “but he definitely teaches about what it’s like to have a great team environment and overall how to be a better man.

“He gives everybody a shot. There’s not only one team that he lets sit on the bench and rot away their potential. He gives everybody a shot and if he sees somebody that’s disengaged, he makes sure that they’re (involved).”

Gall says he wasn’t so fortunate earlier in his hockey career when he played for a coach who wasn’t as focused on his players having fun.

 “It was more kike just a business,” he recalls. “It was just all around a tough experience, he’s a tough coach. It was to the point where you would be afraid to make a mistake or mess up a drill. 

“That circles back to Ian McNally and his caching style. He has his players not afraid to do something wrong.”

Gall says committed to seeing that his brother and his teammates enjoy their foray into team sports.

“I want them to experience the fun part of it,” he said, “and I want them to realize that if they are ever presented with a coach that is going to basically scold them and talk bad about them, that that’s not really what the game is all about. It’s about having fun and getting better and learning to be a better man.”

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

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