La Salle’ Keenan Schneider Keying Up For Flyers Cu

Keenan Schneider is looking forward to the Flyers Cup tournament.

The La Salle senior forward will be counted on to play a significant role when the Explorers face off against St. Joseph’s Prep Wednesday night in a Class AAA semifinal (6:00 at Hatfield Ice).

The Flyers Cup tournament is the highlight of the scholastic hockey season and teams, players, and coaches alike embrace it. But the tournament might mean more to Schneider than most. Just two days before Thanksgiving he suffered a shoulder injury in a game against Christian Brothers Academy. In its aftermath, Schneider thought his season and La Salle career might be at an end.

“In the heat of the moment, in the back of my head, I was thinking at it was the end of my high-school career,” he said, “and all could think about was just watching my team play on the sidelines while was out for the season. But thankfully, I got a lot of tests done, I’ve been through rehab the past four or five months. Every day I still have to work on it, my shoulder, and I’m just staying positive and keeping my strength up in my shoulder so I can prevent a further injury from happening.

It was during this period that Schneider’s teammates and in fact the entire La Salle community rallied around him. That support mean a lot to him.

“It’s one of the most important things,” he said. “The most important things about a team is sticking together. And making sure everyone is on the same page. When I got hurt, my teammates, my coaches and even some teachers were just praying for me and hoping for the best. And they were just saying “Keep your head high, it will all work itself out.”

Keenan Schneider (provided by Erin Schneider)

Schneider was able to return to the lineup and finished the APAC season with five goals and two assists. The Explorers wound up losing the Founders Cup final to Malvern Prep.

The Flyers Cup tournament offers a fresh start. The Explorers will have had a two week break before taking the ice for their semifinal, which has given Head Coach Wally Muehlbronner and his players time to do some fine tuning in practice.

“This is the most practices we’ve had in a while,” Schneider said, “because of our game schedule, and dealing with (club) and stuff.

“Basically right now, we’re just going over our system, we’re just focusing on what our game is and what we need to do to be successful.”

 Schneider, who has played approximately 85 games this season between his high school and club teams, is using the break to recharge mentally and physically.”

“I just try to stay calm and collected,” he said. ”I try to balance out (his hockey commitments) fairly evenly and just take care of my body as I get some days of rest. I just love the game so nothing can really bring me down that much where I can’t play.

“I’m always wanting to play and always wanting to compete.  And basically, just mentally staying focused on what the goal is, and that’s winning the Flyers Cup.”

Schneider’s four years of high school coincide with the APAC’s first four seasons. “The APC is probably one of the most competitive leagues I have ever played in,” Schneider said. If you don’t come out with your A game, any team can beat anyone. 

“That’s the best part about it, just how each team is competitive. Every team is good enough to beat the others. It’s always the team that shows up is the one that wins.”

Schneider cites the respect that the conference’s players and coaches display on the ice.

“Our coach and I believe every other coach, they all stress the fact to respect the game,” he said. “Every school wants to respect not only themselves but each other and who they play, to keep the game just a game and not let emotions fall though.

“I think every school is pretty respectful of each other and every school has the same goal. It can get very competitive and that’s why our league is so much more disciplined because we have that level of respect for each other.”

Explorers, Friars Set to Play for Founders Cup

Last year’s championship matchup never happened because of Covid issues. But La Salle and Malvern Prep are letting nothing stand in their way this season. The Explorers and the Friars will meet Wednesday night at Ice Line for the Founders Cup and the championship of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference. Game time will be 8:00.

The two teams were scheduled to meet for the Cup last season but that game was cancelled and the APAC title declared vacant. due to Covid Malvern Prep went on to defeat La Salle in the Class AAA Flyers Cup final and later won the state championship.

La Salle won the first two Founder Cup titles in 2019 and ‘20

La Salle

Coach: Wally Muehlbronner

Record: 8-7-1/4-3-0-1 in the APAC seed 2

Semifinals: def. St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1

Top scorers (APAC games only)

Keenan Schneider 5 goals, 2 assists 7 points

Max Maddalo 3 goals 3 assists 6 points

Chris Wnek 2 goals 4 assists 6 points

Malvern Prep

Coach: Bill Keenan

Record: 13-3/5-1-2-0 in APAC seeed 1

Semifinals: def. Holy Ghost Prep 4-1

Top scorers (APAC games only)

Matt Harris 11 goals, 9 assists, 20 points

 Jim Jacobs    8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points

  Jeremy Jacobs  7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points

  Pierre Larocque 5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points

Earlier this season:

November 5

Malvern Prep 2 La Salle 0—Pierre Larocque scored the winning goal with 5:55 remaining in regulation in the APAC season opener at Hatfield Ice. Matt Harris added an empty net goal.

January 24

Malvern Prep 5 La Salle 4 OT—Matt Harris scored with 1:08 remaining in overtime to give the Friars the win at Ice Line. LaSalle forced overtime. Harris and Jimmy Jacobs scored two goals each.

La Sale forced overtime with goals from Keenan Schneider and Chris Wnek in the final 87 seconds of regulation.

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La Salle 2 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP—Despite the winter chill outside, the air inside the Skatium was crackling with intensity Friday. That’s a common occurrence when La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep square off, whatever the sport.

Keenan Schneider’s power-play goal 6:12 into the first period proved decisive as the Explorers prevailed 2-1 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup.

The win lifted La Salle to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in APAC play. The Hawks fell to 4-5-1 and 1-2-0-2.

La Salle, which has won four of its last five games, jumped in front when the Hawks coughed up the puck in front of and just to the left of their own net. Patrick Brace was one hand to coral the puck and put it behind Hawk netminder Rocco Bruno just 93 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Schneider’s goal came off a faceoff in the circle to Bruno’s right.

Keenan Schneider scores the game-winning goal

St. Joseph’s Prep countered when Nick Storti beat La Salle goaltender Aries Carangi from the left side of the slot 6:12 into the second session.

That was the last goal of the night but both teams maintained a high level of intensity and physicality the rest of the way. Through the first two-and-a-half periods the referees called 11 minor penalties, six against the Explorers, five against the Hawks, but passed on incidents that might have been whistled down on another occasion.

Emotions boiled over with 1:28 remaining in the third period and La Salle trying to protect its one-goal lead.

Eight players, four from each team, were accessed a total of 72 penalty minutes. Two La Salle players Carangi and forward Tim Whittock, were given game misconducts for receiving four penalties during the game and will serve one-game suspensions as a result.

Muehlbronner also faces a suspension; his team was accessed 16 penalties.

When all the penalties were sorted out, St. Joseph’s Prep had a power play. Coach David Giacomin pulled Bruno at that point, giving his team a six-skaters-to-four advantage for the duration of the game but the Hawks couldn’t score.

Will Braun took over for Carangi in the La Salle goal. His only warmup came while the officials were sorting out the penalties but he made two saves over the final 88 seconds of playing time.

“I was happy that we hung on,” Muehlbronner said. “We had a lot to overcome in the third period.”

Muehlbronner made his thoughts clear regarding the late-game incident. “In my eyes, that’s very preventable, what took place,” he said. “It’s not what I expect.

“I don’t think the lack of discipline came on our part. It was a disgrace, what happened at the end. I expect my guys to play hard, play the game the right way. “Thankfully we did that in the first period and that’s what got us through.”

Giacomin noted the teams took turns dictating the flow of the game.

“It was up and down,” he said. “They had a really good first period, I think we played really good in the third period, and that made for an interesting third period, at least the first part of it.”

Giacomin indicated the rivalry between the two schools contributed to the altercation.

 “You don’t like to see it,” he said, “but you understand why it happens You’ve just got to hopefully teach the kids from this point on that that’s not the way we play, period. Both teams.”

La Salle 2 0 0—2

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 1 0—1

First-period goals: Patrick Brace (L) unassisted, 1:33; Keenan Schneider (L) from Charlie Kennedy, 6:12 (pp)

Second-period goals: Nick Storti (SJP) from Joey Samango and Dante Passio, :49

Shots: La Salle 38, St. Joseph’s Prep 34; Saves: Aries Carangi (L) 31 and Will Braun (L) 2, Rocco Bruno (SJP) 36

For more information about La Salle College High School CLICK HERE

For information about St. Joseph’s Prep CLICK HERE

La Salle 8, Roman Catholic 1

HATFIELD— Keenan Schneider is playing his first season of varsity hockey for La Salle. But the sophomore is making his presence felt, night in and night out. Schneider scored four goals and added two assists Thursday night as the Explorers rolled over Roman Catholic 8-1 in a Class AAA Flyers Cup quarterfinal game at Hatfield Ice.

Next up is the semifinal round; the Explorers will face third-seeded St. Joseph’s Prep in a game that is tentatively set for next Wednesday or Thursday. The site and time are expected to be finalized sometime Friday.

Schneider, who plays left wing, had plenty of help from his linemates. Center David Kimmel, a junior, scored a goal and assisted on five others, including all four of Schneider’s. Right wing Jake Hannon, also a junior, added a goal and an assist.
The trio joined forces in midseason. Coincidentally, it wasn’t long after that that La Salle’s fortunes took a great leap forward.

“We just have good chemistry together,” Schneider said. “We get along in school, we’re good friends. We just play. Once we get one, we want to get a lot more.”
La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner credited the line for giving La Salle some early momentum Thursday night. “That line has had really good chemistry,” he said. “We kind of stumbled into that line, by default almost, but they’ve really clicked.”

Second-seeded La Salle 13-11-2-2 overall) skated the scoring at the 5:43 mark of the first period when David Kimmel beat Cahillite goaltender Michael Smith with a forehander from midway between the two circle. The Explorers had much of the better of the play from there and finished the first frame with a 12-3 edge in shots.

La Salle broke the game open in the second period as Schneider completed a natural hat trick in a span of exactly four minutes to make it a 4-0 game with 6:04 left in the period.

The seventh seeded Cahillites (10-10) rallied briefly when Brandon Finnimore scored 23 seconds into the third period but Schneider answered with his fourth goal of the night just 66 seconds later before Hannon, Max Maddallo, and Dan Dolan added additional goals.

Tempers flared with 8:33 left in the game and four players were caught up in the ensuing altercation. Roman’s Brennan Whittaker drew a major penalty for fighting plus an automatic game misconduct. His teammate Andrew Hotolitz was booked for two minutes for head contact plus a 10-minute misconduct. Maddalo along with the Explorers’ Jake Armstrong were also received minor penalties plus misconducts for head contact.

La Salle finished with a 42-15 edge in shots.

In other Class AAA Flyers Cup quarterfinals
#1 Holy Ghost Prep 8 #8 Bishop Shanahan 0
#5 Father Judge 6 #4 Malvern Prep 2
#3 St. Joseph’s Prep 3, #6 Cardinal O’Hara 2

The semifinals will match La Salle against St. Joseph’s Prep and Holy Ghost Prep against Father Judge, Those games are tentatively set for next Wednesday or Thursday.

Roman Catholic 0 0 1—1
La Salle 1 3 4—8
First-period goals: David Kimmel (L) from Keenan Schneider and Andrew Budzynski, 5:43;
Second-period goals: Schneider (L) from Jake Hannon and David Kimmel, 5:56; Schneider from Kimmel, 6:45; Schneider (L) from Jake Hannon and Kimmel, 9:56.
Third-period goals: Brandon Finnimore (RC) unassisted, :23; Schneider (L) from Kimmel, 1:29; Hannon (L) from Kimmel and Schneider, 5:46; Max Maddalo (L) from Jake Armstrong and Collin Keiser, 7:14; Dan Dolan (L) from Francis Ford, 14:56.
Shots: Roman Catholic 15, LaSalle 42; Saves: Michael Smith (RC) 34, Aidan McCabe (L) 14