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