La Salle 5 Holy Ghost Prep 3

HATFIELD— A late surge got La Salle over the finish line. The Explorers scored three times in the third period Thursday night to score a 5-3 decision over Holy Ghost Prep in a Class AAA Flyers Cup semifinal at Hatfield Ice. The Explorers (10-4), the second seed in the tournament, will face top-seeded Malvern Prep Monday at Ice Line (8:15 start) in the title game.

Michael Casey scored two goals in the third period, including the game winner, and assisted on the the third. He noted that Thursday’s effort was quite a turnaround from the Explorers’ subpar, albeit winning performance against Father Judge in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.

“We did not play good our first game,” Casey said. “We got the win but it wasn’t good enough. We knew Ghost was going to give us a way harder game.”

The first half of the opening period was a feeling out process, akin to two fighters sizing each other up in the early rounds of a championship bout. Holy Ghost Prep struck first when Brian Butler made a run down left wing to set up Sean Marshall for the game’s first goal at the 10:23 mark. ‘

La Salle got a chance to respond when the Firebirds’ E.J. Pohl was whistled for slashing at 13:35. It took the Explorers just seven seconds to take advantage. Max Maddalo scored the goal with help from Keenan Schneider.

The Explorers took their first lead when Dan Whittock scored with just 53 seconds remaining in the period.

Holy Ghost Prep answered with a power-play goal 6:07 into the second frame, when Anthony Sparo scored from long range. It turned out to be the only goal of the period. After a break for the ice to be resurfaced, the teams returned, one period away from the final, or one period from elimination.

“We basically said it had to be one of our best periods of the season,” Casey said. “We had to go out there and go hard. We had to put more shots in the net; we weren’t generating enough shots,”
Casey scored what proved to be the winning goal 7:09 into the third frame when he rocketed a shot from the slot that beat Firebird netminder Bobby Baehser. He set up David Kimmel for an insurance goal at 9:11.

Holy Ghost Prep (7-7) had a last -ditch opportunity when the Maddalo drew a holding penalty with 4:45 left in regulation but 34 seconds later Whittock and the Firebirds’ Evan Mudrick squared off.

Each received a minor penalty for head contact plus an automatic 10-minute misconduct. After the two players reached the penalty box, Mudrick received a game misconduct as well.

Casey scored into an empty net with 1:20 remaining before Jake Marek scored for Holy Ghost Prep with 41 seconds left.

Firebird coach Gump Whiteside praised his team’s effort. “I thought that was one of the best games of the year for us,” he said. “I really liked our mentality coming into the game. “I’m just so proud of these kids.”

The Firebirds had a 40 shots to La Salle’s 24 but Liam Gross in the Explorer net stopped 37 of them. Ironically, Gross nearly had to leave the game with 7:16 left in the third period because of a problem with one of his skates but La Salle head coach Wally Muehlbronner used his timeout and the situation was resolved.

“It was a great team win,” Muehlbronner said. “Ghost really took it to us for a good portion of that game. We had tremendous goaltending from Gross and a pretty darn good performance out of MIke Casey.”

Notes: Both teams in Monday’s final will be seeking their 12th Flyers Cup title. Monday’s game will not be considered the Atlantic Prep athletic Conference championship game. APAC Commissioner Jim Britt that game, which will also match La Salle and Malvern Prep, will hopefully be scheduled at a later date following the state championship game.

Holy Ghost Prep 1 1 1—3
LaSalle 2 0 3—5
First-period goals: Sean Marshall (HGP) from Brian Butler, 10:28; Max Maddalo L) from Keenan Schneider, 13:42 (pp) Dan Whittock (L) from David Kimmel, 16:07
Second-period goals: Anthony Sparo (HGP) from Landon Stout, 6:07 (pp)
Third-period goal: Michel Casey (L) from Keenan Schneider, 7:09; Jake Kimmel (L) from Casey, 9:11; Casey (L) unassisted, 15:40 (en); Jake Marek (HGP) from Eric Pohl, 16:19
Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 40, La Salle 24; Saves: Bobby Baehser (HGP) 19; Liam Gross (L) 37

La Salle 5, Malvern Prep 2

HATFIELD— All season long, La Salle has been waiting for its offense to kick into high gear. It finally happened Wednesday afternoon. Keenan Schneider scored twice and three other players added one goal each as the Explorers built off a fast start and went on to defeat Malvern Prep 5-2 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Hatfield Ice.

The win was La Salle’s second in five APAC starts and improved the Explorers to 3-4 overall. The loss was the first for the Friars in eight games (2-1-2-0) in conference) and left then a point behind Holy Ghost Prep in an ongoing battle for first place in the APAC standings.

La Salle came out swarming and in less than four minutes built a 2-0 lead. Michel Casey beat Anthony Perti in the Friars’ net just 33 second after the opening faceoff and Schneider extended the lead at the 3:49 mark.
“We talked before the game about how differently we play if we score first,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “That definitely gave us a lot more spark.”

Jack Constabile got cut the La Salle lead in half when he put the puck past Liam Gross with 2:05 left in the period.

Max Maddalo responded for the Explorers 2:07 into the second session when he put in a rebound of Schneider’s original shot from directly in front of the net.

The La Salle penalty killing unit came up big later in the period when Max Mozo (interference) and Dan Whitock (unsportsmanlike conduct) drew simultaneous penalties. The Explorers ended up two men short for 91 seconds but the Friars were unable to capitalize.

Casey was on the ice for the Explorers for the entire kill. “It was a big kill,” he said. “We needed it. We knew they had a really good power play, that’s where they got most of their chances.”

Casey, a senior, spoke to the discipline necessary for a penalty killing unit to perform at its best. “It takes a lot of patience,” he said. “You have to be disciplined, you can’t get overaggressive. That’s what we did. We just stayed in our triangle, kept them out of the middle of the ice, and let them take their shots from the outside.”

Just 20 seconds after the twin penalties expired, Schneider scored to give the Explorers a three-goal lead. Tim Whitock made it a 5-1 game 54 seconds after that.

Malvern Prep’s Matt Harris put in a rebound of a Chris Blango shot with 9:20 left in regulation for what proved to be the only goal of the third period.

Friars coach Bill Keenan anticipated the Explorers’ quick start. “We knew La Salle was going to come out fast,” he said. “They popped in two goals in the first four minutes of the game and our guys just never found their legs.”

• Perti was shaken up during a second-period collision. He was checked by a trainer at period’s end but played solidly in the third frame, making 14 saves.

Malvern Prep 1 0—2
La Salle 2 3 1—5
First-period goals: Michael Casey (L) from Dan Whitlock and David Kimmel; Keenan Schneider (L) unassisted, 3:49; Jack Constabile (MP) unassisted, 13:55
Second period goals: Max Maddalo (L) from Schneider and Jake Hannon, 2:07; Schneider (L) from Jake Hannon, 12:49; Tim Whitlock (L) from Chase Hannon, 13:43.
Third-period goal: Matt Harris (MP) from Chris Blango, 6:40.
Shots: Malvern Prep 22, La Salle 34; Saves: Anthony Perti MP) 29, Liam Gross (L) 20

La Salle 3, St. Joseph’s Prep 2

HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP— When the time came to step up, La Salle met the challenge. Matt Maddalo and Dan Whitock scored goals 31 seconds apart early in the third period and the Explorers held off St. Joseph’s Prep 3-2 Friday night in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup at the Skatium.
Maddalo found the back of the net at the 2:58 mark before Whitock beat Rocco Bruno with what proved to be the game winner at 3:29.

It was La Salle’s first win in four starts, all in conference play.

Michael Casey assisted on the winning goal. “We needed this one really badly,” he said. “We were all over them the first and second periods. In the third period, we had a lot of shots so we knew we could do it. We went out there and just kept pounding them.”

La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner was pleased with his team’s all-around effort. “I thought we played probably the best game we’ve played for three periods,” he said. “We’re not capitalizing on good opportunities. We did score a couple good goals by going to the net and hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.”

St. Joseph’s Prep (2-2, 0-2 in the APAC) was quick to take advantage of two early La Salle penalties. Quinn Egan scored from the left circle 3:09 into the opening period while his team was enjoying a two-man advantage; it turned out to be the only goal of the period.

Jeffrey Hammond made it a 2-0 game with an even-strength goal 66 seconds into the second stanza.
La Salle had a power-play chance of its own minutes later one that included a brief two-man advantage when the Hawks’ Declan Pierce drew a boarding penalty that included an automatic 10-minute misconduct, but couldn’t capitalize. Casey eventually got the Explorers on the scoreboard with 2:30 left in the period.

The Hawks were missing five regulars because of injuries and club duty including three of their top defensemen. Their coach David Giacomin was more than satisfied with his team’s effort, despite the defeat.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” he said. “To be shorthanded as bad as we were and to come out and play as hard as we did for the whole game, it’s fun to watch. “And it’s great to be a coach.”

La Salle 0 1 2—3
St. Joseph’s Prep 1 1 0—2
First-period goal: Quinn Egan (SJP) from Jack Yerger and Matt Moresco, 3:09 (pp)
Second-period goals: Jeffrey Hammond (SJP) from Declain Pierce, 1:06; Michael Casey (L) from Andrew Budzynski, 13:30.
Third-period goals: Matt Maddalo (L) from Matt Giordano and Chris Wnek, 2:58; Dan Whitock(L) from Casey, 3:29.
Shots: La Salle 35, St. Joseph’s Prep 27; Saves: Aries Carangi (L) 25, Rocco Bruno (SJP) 32

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LaSalle Win Class AAA State Title

By Rick Woelfel

Sam Lipkin and Michael Casey combined for five goals as LaSalle defeated North Allegheny 6-3 Saturday afternoon to win the Class AAA Pennsylvania Cup at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center in Pittsburgh.

Daniel Sambuco scored a goal and added three assists as LaSalle won its sixth state championship, scoring three times in the third period to do it.

LaSalle’s top line of Lipkin, Casey, and Sambuco, the Explorers’ top line all season, accounted for just all six goals but four of the team’s five assists.

“The Casey, Lipkin, Sambuco line was clutch again,” said LaSalle coach Wally Muehlbronner.

Lipkin gave the Explorers (23-6) the lead just 20 seconds into the opening period on his team’s first shot of the game. Tyler Putnam tied the game for the Tigers 8:50 into the opening frame but Casey answered back just 28 seconds later to give LaSalle a 2-1 lead after one period.

Casey scored his second goal of the game at the 3:24 mark of the second period to give LaSalle a 3-1 lead but Aaron Miller scored twice for North Allegheny in a span of 2 minutes, 10 seconds to tie the game. His second goal came on a breakaway off a LaSalle turnover in the neutral zone to make it a 3-3 game with 1:40 left in the second period.

At the start of the third period, LaSalle picked up its intensity level. ““The start of the third period was key,”  Muehlbronner said. “We came out hard and confident. We played a simple game in the third period. And (goaltender Aidan) McCabe was solid.”

Lipkin’s shorthanded goal at 7:39 of the period proved to be the game winner. It came while Sambuco was in the box serving a cross-checking penalty. The Tigers coughed up the puck behind their own net and Sambcuco was on hand to score on wraparound.

The sophomore completed his hat trick by scoring into an empty net with 1:07 left before Sambuco did the same thing with 18 seconds remaining.

“I’m very proud of the boys,” Muehlbronner said. “We battled hard the past three weeks (through the Flyers Cup tournament) and showed a lot of character when facing adversity.

“I’m very happy for all the players, especially our four seniors (Zach Baker, Brandon Leer, Sean Keaveney, Bryan Evans).


Notes: LaSalle’s previous state titles came in 1998, 2008, ’09, 2012, and 2015 …LaSalle’s six Class AAA Titles put it second on the all-time list in that class, behind Meadville, which has won seven … The Tigers won a state title of their own in 2007 … In Saturday’s other Pennsylvania Cup games, West Chester Rustin won a record sixth consecutive Class A title 11-3 over Montour. Pine Richland defeated Downingtown East 3-0 in the Class AA final.

LaSalle 2 1 3—6

North Allegheny 1 2 0—3

First-period goals: Sam Lipkin (L) from Daniel Sambuco, :20; Tyler Putnam (NA) unassisted, 8:30; Michael Casey (L) from Lipkin and Sambuco, 8:58.

Second-period goals: Casey (L) from Sambuco, 3:24; Aaron Miller (NA) from Haden Shimko, 13:10; Miller (NA) from Tyler Lamark and Luke Turkovich, 15:20.

Third-period goals: Lipkin (L) unassisted, 7:39, (sh); Lipkin (L) from Zach Baker, 15:53 (en); Sambuco (L) unassisted, 16:42 (en).

Shots: LaSalle 46, North Allegheny 34; saves: Aidan McCabe (L) 31, Rich Karapandi (NA) 40.

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APAC Scoring Leaders

Here are the top scorers in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference as of 1-29-19; conference games only.


GP     G     A     Pts

Sam Lipkin Ls                      6          7       9     16

Michael Casey Ls                   6         5       9   14

Daniel Sambuco Ls               6         5       9     14

Nick Martino MP                   5        7        5     12

Kyle Washkalavitch MP        6      3         4       7

Byron Hartley HGP               5       4          1      5

Jan Olenginski Ls                   5       2           3      5

Eric Pohl HGP                         6       2          2       4

Charlie Andress MP              5        1          3       4

Brandon Leer Ls                   6         3          1       4

Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference Scoring Leaders

Through 11-29-18            G          A          Pos

Daniel Sambuco LaSalle   2       4            6

Sam Lipkin LaSalle           2       2            4

Michael Casey LaSallr.    2        2            4

Nick Martino Mal. Pr       3         0            3

Brandon Leer LaSalle      2          1          3