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 4 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP—Three different players scored goals as Holy Ghost Prep downed St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1 Wednesday evening at Hatfield Ice in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference semifinal at Hatfield Ice.

The second-seeded Firebirds (16-6) will face La Salle in the Founders Cup final next Wednesday at 4 p.m., also at Hatfield Ice. The Hawks fell to 14-6-2. Both teams will learn on Sunday where they will be seeded for the Class AAA Flyers Cup tournament, which begins the week of March 6.

Brady Baehser paced Holy Ghost Prep with with two goals, giving him 12 in APAC play this season. Kieran Mulholland and Zach Pers also scored for the winning side.

It was also a day that saw Jack Unger turn in a stellar performance in goal. Given the starting nod because veteran  Colin Mudrick was unavailable, Unger a sophomore, recorded 18 saves and was the epitome of poise.

Mulholland gave Holy Ghost Prep a 1-0 lead when he beat St. Joseph’s Prep netminder Rocco Bruno on a deflection 8:41 into the opening period. Baehser made it a 2-0 game on a breakaway at the 10:59 mark of the second frame.

“I liked our start,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “We haven’t been starting off games very well of late but today I liked our jump. and we had four lines contributing, which is great.” 

Playing with a lead allowed Unger to settle in.

“I think the biggest thing is being able to stay comfortable,” he said. “When we get off to a quick start like that, I’m really comfortable. I know I can trust the forwards, trust the defense. I know that they’ve got my back and  I’ve got their backs.”

Unger’s effort earned effusive praise from his coach.

“It was nice to see that from Jack,” Whiteside said. “He’s worked all year and gotten some spots here and there throughout the season, but tonight was a total effort from Jack and our guys just fed off of him.”

Jeffrey Hammond got St. Joseph’s Prep on the scoreboard 6:44 into the third period but the Hawks were stymied much of the night; they managed just 19 shots.

“I think they wanted it more than us today for whatever reason,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin. “It’s hard to get in the minds of kids (but) they had a lot of jumps, especially in the beginning of the game,

“They wanted it a little bit more than us and they played a really good game.”

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 1—1

Holy Ghost Prep 1 2 1—4

First-period  goal: Kieran Mulholland (HGP) unassisted, 8:41

Second-period goal: Brady Baehser (HGP) from Ryan Lippy and Landon Stout, 10:59; Zach Pers (HGP) from Kieran Mulholland and John Seravalli, 14:16 (pp)

Third-period goal: Jeffrey Hammond (HGP) unassisted, 6:44; Baehser (HGP) from Seravalli and Mulholland, 11:54;

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 19, Holy Ghost Prep 33; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 29, Jack Unger (HGP) 18

St. Joseph’s Prep 2 La Salle 0

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— The evening’s festivities didn’t feature an abundance of artistry. The matchup between St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle was a gritty, grind-it-out hockey game between two foes intimately familiar with each other.

It was Hawks who emerged from the scrum victorious by a count of 2-0 in a Class AAA semifinal Wednesday night at Hatfield Ice. 

Jeffrey Hammond scored both goals to propel the third-seed Hawks (10-8-1) into next week’s final against top-seeded Malvern Prep. The junior spoke to the level of familiarity between the Hawks and the Explorers, who are traditional rivals in every sport.

“All the videos of our games are on You Tube,” he said. “All the players and coaches watched a lot of our games, over and over again and we picked out what we needed to do to come out with a win today.”

Hammond said all the preparation paid off. “We definitely came prepared,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Everyone expected it. Everyone played like they had to to get the job done.”

Hammond gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead 4:27 into the first period when he scored off a scramble in front of the La Salle net, beating Explorer netminder Will Braun. The early goal set the tone.

Jeffrey Hammond scores the game’s first goal.

“We knew going into it that they’ve got the speed,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin said  of the Explorers. “They are strong, they like to bang the body.

“I told them as long as we keep them on the outside, don’t give up the little gritty goals, take away the behind the net,  we would have a chance. 

“We were lucky enough to get two good goals early, and they had to play catchup, which is hard to do.”

Hammond scored a statement goal for the Hawks 8:31 into the second session. With his teammate Nick Storti serving a two-minute sentence for a slashing infraction, Hammond found space on right wing  and beat Braun with a wrister.

That was it as far as scoring was concerned, although the game’s emotional temperature remained at a fever pitch.

Jeffrey Hammond scores his second goal of the game.

But try as they might the second-seeded Explorers (8-9-1) couldn’t find a way to sustain momentum in their offensive zone or solve Hawks’ goaltender Rocco Bruno who finished with 26 saves.

“We just couldn’t seem to get any bounces or any momentum going,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “I think the shorthanded goal we gave up really hurt us.

“I think St. Joseph’s Prep played a great game. They were opportunistic. They played a really good game.”

Emotions boiled over in the late going. With 1:38 left in the third period La Salle’s Chase Hannon was called for elbowing before being accessed three additional penalties, resulting in his banishment.

A series of penalties with 36 seconds left resulted in the teams finishing the game with three skaters each on the ice although La Salle had already pulled Braun to add an extra skater.

St. Joseph’s 1 1 0—2

La Salle 0 0 0—0

First-period goals: Jeffrey Hammond (SJP) fro Joey Samango and Christian Short, 4:27

Second-period goals: Hammond (SJP) unassisted, 8:31 (sh)

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 20, La Salle 26; Saves Rocco Bruno (SJP) 26, Will  Braun (L) 18

Video provided by Erin Schneider

La Salle 3 St. Joseph’s Prep 1

HATFIELD— The supporting cast stepped into feature roles for La Salle on Wednesday afternoon. With several players sidelined because of suspensions and injury, the Explorers had to juggle the lineup. The revisions proved fruitful. La Salle scored three times in the third period to post a 3-1 win over St. Joseph’s Prep at Hatfield Ice.

The Explorers concluded the regular season at 7-7-1 and the APAC campaign in second place at 4-3-0-1. The Hawks will head to the post season at 8-7-1 and 3-3-0-2 in the APAC; they’re slotted third in the conference at present.

La Salle senior Gavin O’Connell said it was a game when some of LaSalle’s less-heralded performers needed to step up and they did. “Especially since we were missing some of our key players,” he said. “We needed the guys that don’t get as many minutes to step up and everyone was chipping in. Everyone was getting minutes they don’t usually get.”

The only goal of the first two periods was the ultimate bad goal. The Hawks’ Tristan Winata moved through center ice, moved to his left and sent a puck in the direction of the La Salle net from the left face-off circle’ it ended up in the back of the net, behind Explorer netminder Aries Carangi.

The Hawks had the better of the opening period, outshooting their foes 15-6. Momentum started shifting La Salle’s way in second period but the Hawks still led 1-0 as the teams  headed to their dressing rooms at period’s end.

“I thought we played really well in the second,” said La Salle coach Wally Muehlbronner. “We just couldn’t score any goals. But we had good opportunities, we were playing  the way we’ve been playing of late down low, working hard and creating some opportunities.”

Keenan Schneider broke the La Salle scoring drought 70 seconds into the third period off a Hawk turnover. Jackson Lindmar poked in a loose puck at 8:41 to put La Salle in front for good. Patrick Brace finished the scoring at 12:19.

St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin felt the Explorers had more energy in the third period. “Whether our kids did not have their legs, or whether they didn’t feel the need to compete, obviously, La Salle wanted it more,” he said. “Those kids really busted their butts, they played great.”

O’Connell says the Explorers have been getting contributions from a variety of sources in recent weeks. “I think we’ve seen guys who we haven’t seen much of before,” he said. “Maybe they’ve been playing a lot more and we’ve been seeing what they can truly do. “So we’ve definitely had more depth than we thought and we can do a lot more things.”

Tristan Winata scores the game’s first goal

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 0 0—1

La Salle 0 0 3—3

First-period goal: Tristan Winata (SJP) unassisted, 7:16

Third-period goals: Keenan Schneider (L) from Evan Golato, 1:10; Jackson Lindmar (L) from Gavin O’Connell, 8:41; Patrick Brace (L) from Schneider, 12:19

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 29, La Salle 37; Saves: Rocco Bruno (SJP) 34, Aries Carangi (L) 28

Video provided by Erin Schneider

Holy Ghost Prep 5, St. Joseph’s Prep 4 OT

Standing on the edge of the abyss, Holy Ghost Prep refused to yield. The Firebirds scored the last three goals of the evening to overcome a 4-2 second-period deficit and record a 5-4 overtime win over St. Joseph’s Prep in an APAC contest at the Skatium that was a splendid advertisement for high-school hockey.

Brady Baehser scored the  game winner with 1:21 remaining in the three-on-three overtime, his second goal of the game.

The win was the third straight for Holy Ghost Prep (2-0 in the APAC).  Joey Samango scored twice for the Hawks (2-1 against high-school competition), who were opening their conference schedule 

Midway through the second period, things were going pretty much the Hawks’ way. With the game tied 1-1, Dante Passio, Joey Samango, and Christian Short scored goals inn a span of 5 minutes, 21 seconds to put the hosts up 4-1 with 6:47 left in the period, prompting Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside to use his timeout.

Colin Moore’s  power-play goal with 2:20 left brought Holy Ghost Prep a bit closer but the Firebirds still started the third period two goals down, albeit in full possession of their resolve.

“We don’t get down on each other,” Baehser said. “We stay together, stay positive, talk about what we need to do, and get the job done.”

Baehser delivered a power-play goal 2:52 into the third period to make it a one-goal game. For the rest of the third period the two goaltenders, St. Joseph’s Prep’s Rocco Bruno and Holy  Ghost Prep’s Colin Mudrick, took turns making quality saves.

Bruno yielded just once more, when Zach Pers tied the game with 1:53 remaining in regulation.

Baehser’s overtime effort was a memorable conclusion to the evening.

“I’m really proud of our boys,” Whiteside said. “I told them at the beginning of the season I was going to ask two things from them, that they work hard, have a good work ethic, and I want you to be a good teammate.

“I think you saw that in the third period and overtime. We stuck together. I think we really settled our game down, once we called that timeout. We chased the game a little bit, which you never want to do, but I was really proud of the effort and proud of our senior leadership.”

Holy Ghost Prep 1 1 2 1—5

St. Joseph’s Prep 1 3 0 0—4

First-period goals: Landon Stout (HGP) from Kieran Mulholland and Shaun Moore, 6:27 (pp); Joey Samango (SJP) from Quinn Egan, 13:36

Second-period goals: Dante Passio (SJP) from Nick Storti, 4:52 (pp); Samango (SJP) from Luca Palachick and Egan, 6:03; Christian Short (SJP) unassisted, 10:13 Colin Moore (HGP) from John Seravalli and Luke Penepresso, 14:40 (pp);

Third-period goals: Brady Baehser (HGP) from Seravalli and Moore, 2:52 (pp); Zach Pers (HGP) from Stout and Mulholland, 15:07.

Overtime goal: Baehser (HGP) from Marshall,  3:39

Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 25, St. Joseph’s Prep 25; Saves: Colin Mudrick (HGP) 21, Rocco Bruno (SJP) 20

Joey Samango scores the game’s first goal.

Video courtesy of Jost Winata

Malvern Prep 7, St. Joseph’s Prep 0

WEST GOSHEN— A lot of people stepped up for Malvern Prep Monday afternoon. Jack Constabile scored two goals and five other players scored one goal each as the Friars downed St. Joseph’s Prep 7-0 in an Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game at Ice Line.

The win gave Malvern Prep the APAC regular season title and essentially assured the Friars (10-1 overall, 5-1-2-0 in conference) of the top seed for the Class AAA Flyers Cup, which begins April 5.
The Hawks, who were missing several players for an assortment of reasons (they dressed just 16 players) dropped 3-5 overall and 1-5 in conference.

As has been the case for Malvern Prep all season long everyone helped out. “We’re sticking to our basics,” Constabile said. “Everyone is putting in a part, they all have a role. Everyone is doing their job.

“We’re moving pucks fast, getting second opportunities in front of the net. I think that’s been a big part of our success this year.

The first period was contested almost exclusively on Malvern Prep’s offensive side of the red line, but the Friars couldn’t solve Andrew Custer in the St. Joseph’s Prep net; he stopped 12 shots in the period and went on to make 42 saves in the game. His teammates did good work in front of him early on to deprive their opponents of quality chances.

“Our first period, we didn’t play the game we wanted to,” Constabile said. “We weren’t getting guys in front, second opportunities. It was not our typical game but in the second period we started to play our game.”

St. Joseph’s Prep’s Jeffrey Hammond (in red) and Malvern Prep’s Matt Harris follow the play in Monday’s game. (photo by Gracie Cleveland)

The Friars certainly did. Matt Harris beat Custer with a shot from between the faceoff dots at the 2:13 mark for the day’s first goal before he and his teammates broke the game open with a three-goal spurt late in the period.

Quinn Dougherty finished off an end-to-end rush up the right wing before beating Custer with a backhander at 11:34. Constabile made it 3-0 42 seconds later when he finished off a game of tic tac toe with Harris and Jimmy Kirk. When Hayden Campbell found the back of the net at the 14:33 mark, it was Malvern Prep’s third goal in a span of 2:59.

Jeremy Jacobs, Chris Blango, and Constabile all scored goals in the third period.

Senior forward Ryan Sambuco finished the afternoon with two assists. He noted his team thrived on a back-to-basics approach, in part because of its depth.

“We have big depths going into the games,” he said. “We can get consistent from our first through our fourth line. It’s huge going into it and it makes it easier for us to kept it simple and just roll the lines and keep moving forward throughout the game.”

Ice Chips— Anthony Puerto made 15 saves in the Malvern Prep net before being relieved by Riley McCarry with 5:11 left in the game. McCarry made four saves of his own and preserved the shutout … The Friars were listed first in the Class AAA Flyers Cup rankings that were released Monday, while the Hawks were ranked fourth. No further rankings will be published prior to the tournament field being announced on Sunday, March 28. The APAC playoffs will not affect the Flyers Cup seedings.

St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 0—0
Malvern Prep 0 4 3—7
Second-period goals: Matt Harris (MP) from Pierre Larocque and Jack Constabile, 2:13; Quinn Dougherty (M) unassisted, 11:34; Constabile (MP) from Kirk and Harris, 12:16; Hayden Campbell (MP) from Matt Donatucci and Chris Blango, 14:33
Third-period goals: Jeremy Jacobs (MP) from Jack Sharer, :58 (pp); Blango (MP) unassisted, 8:25 (pp): Constabile (MP) from Blango, 14:27
Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 19, Malvern Prep 49; Saves: Andrew Custer (SJP) 42, Anthony Perti (MP) 15 and Riley McCarry (MP 4

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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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