Holy Ghost Prep 3 St. Joseph’s Prep 2 OT

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— Veterans step up when they’re needed most. John Seravalli did just that for Holy Ghost Prep Tuesday night. His goal 1:41 into sudden death overtime gave his team a 3-2 win over St. Joseph’s Prep in a Class AAA Flyers Cup semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The second-seeded Firebirds will face La Salle for the title Tuesday at 8:30 at this same venue.

Holy Ghost Prep trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before rallying to pick up their 17th win of the season against seven losses. Third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep closed the season at 14-7-2.

Seravalli’s goal came when he found space between the two circles and beat Hawks’ goaltender Rocco Bruno.

“It was a little nerve-wracking at first,” Seravalli said of going into the extra period. “They’ve got some good players. But we competed, our goalie (Colin Mudrick) played a great game in overtime I was lucky I got the shot that went in”

Both goaltenders were stellar for a period and half.  The first goal of the night didn’t come until the 8:54 mark of the second period. It came off the stick of the Hawks’ Joe Samango off a dump into the St. Joseph’s Prep left-wing corner.

The score stayed 1-0 until Landon Stout tied the game for the Firebirds 4:34 into the third period off a scramble in front of the Hawks’ net. The aftermath of the goal was a scrum near the net and the result of it all a roughing penalty to the Firebirds’ Cieran Chambers, who also drew a 10-minute misconduct.

It took St. Joseph’s Prep just 37 seconds to score a power-play goal. Mudrick denied Caiden Kelly on a backhander, but the Firebirds couldn’t clear the puck out of the crease and Shane O’Neill put the puck in the back of the net to give the Hawks the lead for the second time.

Just 62 seconds later, the game was tied once more thanks to Shaun Moore, who converted a feed from Ryan Lippy.

That set the stage for overtime and Seravalli’s game winner. The senior noted the Firebirds responded to the pressure of the moment.

“We got the little jitters out that first period,” he said. “But we caught on, and we (played through it).”

Holy Ghost Prep celebrates its victory. (Robert Bernes)

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside praised his team’s tenacity.

“I thought we played a great game,” he said. “We told them (after the second period) to just keep doing what you’re doing, try to find another level, and they stayed with it. They just battled.”

It was an emotional loss for St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin, who will be saying goodbye to the 12 seniors on his Flyers Cup roster.

“Both teams played their butts off,” he said.”It comes down to a break here or there and unfortunately, they got it.”

The Firebirds finished with a 41-28 shot advantage.

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 1 1 0—2

Holy Ghost Prep 0 0 2 1—3

Second-period goal: Joe Samango (SJP) from Jake Schultz, 8:54

Third-period goals: Landon Stout (HGP) from Zach Pers, 4:34; Shane O’Neill (SJP) from Caiden Kelly, 5:11 (pp) Shaun Moore (HGP) from Ryan Lippy, 6:13

Overtime goal: John Seravalli (HGP) from Ciaran Chambers, 1:41

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 28, Holy Ghost Prep 41; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP)) 38, Colin Mudrick, HGP 26

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 4, Holy Ghost Prep 1

BRISTOL—Few things are more impressive or imposing than a goaltender standing tall. Aidan McCabe did just that for La Salle Wednesday afternoon to help the Explorers successfully defend its Founders Cup title. The senior netminder stopped 30 of the 31 shots he saw as La Salle bested Holy Ghost Prep 4-1 at Grundy Arena to retain the championship of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference.

The Explorers (15-13), who have won six of their last seven games will carry an abundance of momentum with then into next Thursday’s opening round of the Class AAA Flyers Cup where they are seeded second behind the Firebirds (15-5-1).


LaSalle captains Nathan Benner (L) and Ryan Ferry accept the Founders Cup from APAC Commissioner Jim Britt (photo by Liz Diretto)

Holy Ghost Prep, the top seed in the APAC playoffs, had the better of the play in the early going; at one time they had an 8-1 edge in shots, but McCabe kept them at bay and the second-seeded Explorers broke through at the 5:15 mark when David Kimmel took a shot from the left point, a single stride inside the blue line that beat Firebird netminder Sean Joyce. Keenan Schneider made it 2-0 with 56 seconds left in a period that saw McCabe make 13 saves.

“We had a good warmup,” McCabe said, “and we were doing a good job of keeping the shots to the outside so I could see the puck and track it in.”

Senior forward Ryan Ferry, one of La Salle’s captains, said McCabe’s early efforts energized his teammates. “McCabe has been good all year,” he said. “I expect nothing less.”

The Firebirds took advantage of an extended power play to score the only goal of the second period after the Explorers’ Chris Wnek and Kimmel drew back-back-penalties. Byron Hartley took a shot from the right circle that Dan Behr tipped past McCabe at the 11:15 mark.

But that was all the offense the hosts could generate. No one was more impressed with McCabe’s performance than Holy Ghost Prep assistant coach John Seravalli, who took charge behind the bench in the absence of Gump Whiteside, who missed the game because of illness.

“He made every good save,” Seravalli said. “He kept his rebounds intact. They blocked shots when we got shots off and he made great saves.”

David Brunner extended LaSalle’s lead with a goal at the 8:28 mark of the third period. Schneider scored his second goal of the game into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining.

Ferry noted that it took time for this year’s team to meld. “We just got closer as a team,” he said. “We had a lot of young kids on our team this year, a loot of seniors that were on JV last year so we didn’t know each other that well. We got a lot closer, started understanding how to play with reach other, and got s lot more chemistry.”

Ice Chips—La Salle will face Roman Catholic next Thursday in its Flyers Cup opener while the Firebirds will go against Bishop Shanahan. The Firebirds had a 31-25 edge in shots.

La Salle 2 0 2—4
Holy Ghost Prep 0 1 0—1
First-period goals: Collin Keiser (L) unassisted, 5:15 (sh); Keenan Schneider (L) from David Kimmel, 15:04.
Second-period goal: Dan Behr (HGP) from Byron Hartley and Evan Mudrick, 11;15 (pp)
Third-period goals: David Bruner (L) from Collin Keiser, 8:28; Schneider (L) unassisted, 15:35 (en).
Shots: La Salle 25, Holy Ghost Prep 31; Saves: Aidan McCabe (L) 30, Sean Joyce (HGP)) 21