Holy Ghost 9, Father Judge 5

By Rick Woelfel


BRISTOL— Holy Ghost Prep didn’t play its best hockey Wednesday night. But the Firebirds did enough to advance in the Flyers Cup tournament.

Byron Hartley delivered a hat trick and Evan Mudrick and Colin Costello scored twice as the Firebirds downed Father Judge 9-5 in a Class AAA quarterfinal game at Grundy Arena.

Fourth-seeded Holy Ghost Prep (9-13) will face top-seeded LaSalle in next Thursday’s semifinals. Fifth-seeded Father Judge closes its campaign at 16-9.

The Firebirds built a 3-1 first-period lead on goals from Mudrick, Costello, and Eric Pohl. But Thomas Scannell and Kevin Rue scored goals for 90 seconds apart to tie the game 3-3 and, with 4:14 gone in the second period, it seemed as if the two teams were starting over from scratch.

The Firebirds regained the lead on Hartley’s first goal of the game at the 4:36 mark. They stayed in front the rest of the way but what may have been the key point in the occurred just over a minute later when the Crusaders’ Keith Wiercinski made a move on goal and collided with Firebird netminder Sean Joyce, knocking him to the ice, and sparking a scrum near the Firebirds’ net.

Wiercinski was accessed a minor penalty for charging plus an automatic 10-minute misconduct. Judge’s Cade McKee and Holy Ghost Prep’s Sean Marshall drew coincidental roughing minors while the Crusaders’ Owen Newhose, who had assisted on a goal earlier in the period, was hit with a game misconduct.

The net result of all this on the ice was the Firebirds had a two-minute power player and the Crusaders were without one of their top offensive for the balance of the game.

Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside saw the incident as a turning point in the game. “That was huge,” he said. “That could have gone either way. Our kids kept their composure and kept things in perspective. We were able to kind of calm the waters a bit and get settled back into the game.”

Hartley spoke of the importance of he and his teammates keeping their emotions in check.

“Sean played a big part in it,” he said. “You never want to see your starting goalie hurt. He told us “…Put a puck in the net and that’s how we’ll get them back.”

Costello extended his team’s lead to two goals when he scored from just inside the blue line just before the sounded to end the second period.

The two teams combined for six goals in the third period. Matt Ryan’s power-play goal with 3:47 remaining in regulation got Judge to within two at 7-5 before Hartley completed his hat trick by scoring into an empty net with 1:40 remaining. Cole Stevens finished the scoring 18 seconds later.


Father Judge 1 2 2—5

Holy Ghost Prep 3 2 4—9

First-period goals:  Evan Mudrick (HGP) from Alex D’Angelo, 8:07; Colin Costello (HGP) from Byron Hartley and Luke Panepresso, 9:52; Sean Melso (FJ) from Michael Levush, 14:42 (pp); Eric Pohl (HGP) from D’Angelo and Jake Marek, 14:53.

Second-period goals: Thomas Scannell (FJ) from Matt Ryan and Owen Newhose, 2:44 (pp); Kevin Rue (FJ) from Robert Werner, 4:14; Hartley (HGP) from Panepresso, 4:36; Costello (HGP) unassisted, 15:59.

Third-period goals: Hartley (HGP) from Costello, 1:31; Remy Garant (FJ) from Collin Furey and Melso, 4:14; Mudrock (HGP) from Pohl, 5:21; Ryan (FJ) from Melso, 12:123 (pp); Hartley (HGP) from D’Angelo, 14:20 (en); Cole Stevens (HGP) from Panepress and Carlos Rodriguez, 14:38.

Shots: Father Judge 32, Holy Ghost Prep 40; Saves: Colin McKee (FJ 31. Sean Joyce (HGP) 27

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Friars and Firebirds Make Memories at the Wells Fargo Center

A lot of history has been made at the Wells Fargo Center since the building opened 12-and-a-half years ago. Holy Ghost Prep and Malvern Prep made some history of their own Wednesday night when they met in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game, but mostly, the players made lasting memories for themselves, memories they’ll be able to share for decades with teammates, family, and friends.

Kenny Connors scored two goals for the Friars in their 3-2 overtime win, including the game winner. He had skated on the Wells Fargo Center in the past as a participant in Mites on Ice, but playing a regulation game there was another matter. ”The environment with the (Malvern Prep student body) coming was a lot different,” he said. It was a lot more noisy environment, fun to play in.”

Connors said stepping on the ice for the warmup was a unique experience. ”You come to games here and you watch the guys play,” he said, “and to be able to be on that same ice as them is something special. And to have people come and watch and to be able to get a win out of it was something that was great for us.”


Malvern Prep 3, Holy Ghost Prep 2 OT

By Rick Woelfel

It was a finish fit for the wetting. Kenny Connors scored a dramatic goal 2minutes, 23 seconds into overtime to give Malvern Prep a 3-2 win over Holy Ghost Prep Wednesday night in front of an energized audience at the Wells Fargo Center.

The game-winner came moments after the Firebirds’ Byron Hartley fired wide at the other end. Malvern’s Nick Martino corralled the rebound and shot up the right wing, sending a cross-ice pass to Connors as the two plyers crossed the blue line. Connors delivered a forehander that beat Firebird netminder Sean Joyce.

“(Martino) had a really great look across and got me open,” the sophomore said. “The goalie came out too far, I thought.

“It was a great win. We played great defense and scored in transition.”

Connors scored two goals for Malvern Prep (11-3, 5-2 in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference) and assisted on the third.

It took a goal from Kyle Washalavitch with 1:18 left in the third period for the Friars to force overtime.

The Firebirds took a 2-1 lead on Byron Hartley’s goal with 6:48 left in the third frame.

But following a Malvern Prep timeout at the 1:21 mark, the Friars won a faceoff in their offensive left wing circle and got the puck back to Waskalavotch at the point who beat Joyce with a wrister.

The teams traded goals in the first period. Connors put the Friars up just 80 seconds into the game. Evan Mudrick answered for Holy Ghost Prep (6-11, 0-7 in conference) when he scored in the midst of a flurry in front of Malvern Prep goaltender Dan Dougherty.

For Holy Ghost Prep, the result was another in a season-long string of frustrations. The Firebirds have lost four game this season in either overtime or a shootout.

“I didn’t think we played a very good second period,” said Firebird coach Gump Whiteside, “but our first period and our third period were great. In overtime, we had a lot of chances. We just can’t find a way to win right now. It’s frustrating.”




Notes—It’s the second this season the Friars have staged a late rally to get a win. They trailed St. Joseph’s Prep 1-0 with 2:52 left in the game on January 11th and won the game with a pair of shorthanded goals.

Malvern Prep swept the three-game series with Holy Ghost Prep this season. All three games were decided by one goal …. There was plenty of hitting but no nonsense. Referee Greg Liscino let the players play and didn’t call a single penalty.




Malvern Prep 1 0 1 1—3

Holy Ghost Prep 1 0 1 0—2

First-period goals: Kenny Connors (MP) from Quinn Dougherty, 1:20; Evan Mudrick (HGP) from Eric Pohl and Alex D’Angelo, 14:21

LaSalle Edges Holy Ghost Prep 3-2 in OT

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—It was a hockey game that featured a bit of everything, including a dramatic finish and an outstanding effort in goal; from the losing goaltender.

Jan Olenginski scored off a faceoff 2:23 into overtime to give LaSalle a 3-2 win over Holy Ghost Prep Friday night at Hatfield Ice in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference matchup between the two longtime rivals.

The goal came off a draw in the circle to the left of Holy Ghost Prep goaltender Sean Joyce. Sam Lipkin drew the puck back to the top of the circle where Olenginski was waiting to launch a shot that beat Firebird netminder Sean Joyce.

“I didn’t really have to do too much,” Olenginski said. “He went right to me and I just shot it.”

LaSalle (10-2, 6-0 in the APAC) dominated the bulk of the last two periods. That the Firebirds were able to take the game to overtime was a testament to Joyce’s efforts in goal. He made 39 saves, two of them on penalty shots.

“He’s a competitor,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “He comes to play every game, that’s all you can ask for. And that just gets our guys going.”

The Firebirds (4-7, 0-6) essentially started the evening with a one-goal advantage. LaSalle’s Eric Ford drew a cross-checking penalty just 59 seconds after the opening faceoff. Colin Costello put his team in front just 11 seconds after that.

Max Levenberg responded for the Explorers with a shot from the right side off a scramble in front with 17 seconds remaining in the period.

In the second period the game turned from physical to chippy. Ten penalties were called in the period but the most significant of them came with 2:21 remaining when the Explorers were awarded a penalty shot when the Firebirds’ Jake Marek was whistled for closing his hand over the puck in the crease.
Lipkin took the penalty shot but Joyce turned his forehander aside.

Andrew Budzynski gave LaSalle it’s first lead with 8:15 left in the third period on a play that Michael Casey started with a move down the right wing. Casey went cross ice to Lipkin who in turn found Casey who deposited the puck in the lower right-hand corner of the net.

All three players involved in the play, along with Olenginski, are sophomores.

“A lot of those guys that are sophomores now had a year to play together here , to know the way we want them to play when they’re playing for LaSalle,” said Explorer coach Wally Meuhlbronner. “I think the best quality about them is that they’re unselfish and they work hard and play together well.”

Alex D’Angelo tied the game for Holy Ghost Prep with 6:31 remaining off a feed from Jack Kelly.

Before overtime however, the Firebirds to weather another storm. With les than two minutes left in regulation, Lipkin found himself on a breakaway for the Explorers when Kelly threw his stick along the ice at him. This time it was Olenginski who took the penalty shot but again, Joyce proved impenetrable.

LaSalle finished with a 42-22 edge in shots.
Holy Ghost Prep 1 0 1 0—2
LaSalle 1 0 1 1—3
First-period goals: Colin Costello (HGP) from Eric Pohl and Evan Mudrick, 1:10 (pp); Max Levenberg (L), 15:43.
Third-period goals: Andrew Budzynski (L) from Sam Lipkin and Michael Casey, 7:49; Alex D’Angelo (HGP) from Jack Kelly, 9:29.
Overtime goal: Jan Olenginski (L) from Lipkin, 2:23.
Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 22, LaSalle 42; Saves: Sean Joyce (HGP) 39, Aidan McCabe (L) 20

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To learn more about Holy Ghost Prep CLICK HERE