Malvern Prep Wins APAC Opener 2-0 Over La Salle

There was an abundance of raw competitive energy on display when Malvern Prep and La Salle took the ice Friday evening. Just not a lot of goals.

Pierre Larocque scored off a neutral-zone faceoff and a La Salle turnover with 5:55 remaining in regulation and Matt Harris added a goal into an empty net in the waning seconds to give the Friars a 2-0 win at Hatfield Ice Arena in the opening game of the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference campaign.

Friday’s game was a rematch off the Friars’ overtime win in the Class 3A Flyers Cup final last April and although some names and faces had changed, the two teams seemingly picked up where they left off.

“We knew La Salle was going to be tough,” said Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan. “We picked up right where we left off last year in a tough battle.

“We got returning guys, they’ve got returning guys, we knew it would be a tough game and we were up for the challenge.”

Friday’s game soon became a goaltending duel with the Friars’ Anthony Perti and the Explorers’ Aries Carangi squaring off at opposite ends of the ice. Between them, the pair stopped 65 shots.

“You don’t see (a goaltending duel) a lot,” Perti said, “but my guys savored this game, we knew it was going to be a tough game; expectations were met.

“You’re going to get the bounce if you play the right way.”

Keenan, who saw his team improve to 2-1 overall, noted both goaltenders came up big when their best was needed. “Anthony has been great,” he said. “He was the MVP last year. He’s looked good so far this year, and a credit to La Salle’s goalie. We peppered him with shots and he came up big a lot.”

La Salle head coach Wally Muehlbronner noted that his team paid a high price for a mistake. “We turned it over and they capitalized like they certainly can,” he said “They’re a good team. But for a first game, I think it was probably good for both teams.”

Muehlbronner was asked what adjustments are required of players at the APAC level, whether they are new to the lineup entirely, or assuming new roles.

“They do play on good teams outside of La Salle so they do play at a pretty good pace,” he said. “The physical side shift to shift could be a little different, so I think that’s going to be an adjustment they’re going to have to get used to, but all in all, I think the young guys did a pretty sound job.”

Malvern Prep (in blue) and La Salle open the APAC conference schedule

Malvern Prep 0 0 2—2

La Salle 0 0 0—0

Third-period goals: Pierre Larocque (MP) from Matt Harris, 11:05; Harris (MP) unassisted (empty net), 16:47

Shots Malvern Prep 32, La Salle 35: Saves: Anthony Perti (MP) 35, Aries Carangi (L) 30

To learn more about Malvern Prep CLICK HERE

To learn more about La Salle CLICK HERE

Malvern Prep 4, La Salle 3 OT

WEST GOSHEN— It was the game that high-school hockey enthusiasts hoped it would be. Jimmy Jacobs scored 1:39 into overtime to give Malvern Prep a 4-3 win over La Salle Monday night in the Class AAA Flyers Cup final in front of an energized audience at Ice Line.

Jeremy Jacobs set up the winning goal when he split two La Salle defenders and got off a quality shot. Explorer netminder Liam Gross made the save but Jimmy Jacobs put the rebound in the back of the net.

The win gave the Friars the 11th Flyers Cup title in school history and their first since 2005. It also qualifies them for the Pennsylvania state championship game on Saturday. The Friars will face North Allegheny at the UPMC Sports Complex in Cranberry, PA, near Pittsburgh (4:30 start).

“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Jimmy Jacobs said. “It’s great that we finally won.”

The two top seeds in the tournament delivered a performance fitting for a championship final. Top-seeded Malvern Prep (14-1) got off to a fast start when Jacobs sailed up the right wing and sent a pass to the middle of the ice for Ryan Sambuco who beat Liam Gross 2:42 into the first period.

Jack Constabile made it a 2-0 game at 6:08 when he collected a turnover at the Malvern blue line and went the length of the ice before scoring on a breakaway.

La Salle (10-5) responded when Jake Hannon scored the evening’s only power-play goal at the 10:05 mark after the Friars were whistled for having too many men on the ice. They tied the game 3:12 into the second frame when David Kimmel scored directly off an offensive left-circle faceoff, surprising Malvern Prep goaltender Anthony Perti in the process.

Jimmy Jacobs put the Friars back in front at the 12:37 mark, but it took Hannon just 10 seconds to respond. That was the last goal until the game winner.

As disappointing as the loss was, La Salle head coach Wally Muehlbronner knew his team had much to be proud of.

“We got ourself in a little bit of a hole at the start,” he said. “We battled back, kind of the way we’ve been playing throughout this year; we grew together as a team.”

Muehlbronner praised both goaltenders, who made 78 saves between them. “Gross made some tremendous saves,” he said. “Perti made some great saves. “It could have wen either way a couple times. Both teams battled hard.”

Sambuco, one of his team’s captains, said winning the Flyers Cup was the climax of a career of effort. “We’ve been through the grind for four years,” he said. “And especially for a few of the guys (whose fathers and uncles played hockey for Malvern Prep). It’s special for us to get that cup finally.”

Ice Chips: The Friars’ Matt Harris was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player … Chris Blango, the Friars’ top defenseman and one of their captains, didn’t dress because of an injury … The game featured just three minor penalties, all against the Friars. The last one was called at the 10:28 mark of the second period …The Friars have won three of four meetings from the Explorers this season They could meet a fifth time if the postponed Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference championship game is rescheduled …La Salle was attempting to become the first team to defend a Flyers Cup AAA title since the Explorers won the last of four in a Row in 2014.

La Salle 1 2 0 0—3
Malvern 2 1 0 1—4
First-period goals: Ryan Sambuco (MP) from Jimmy Jacobs, 2:42; Jack Constabile (MP) from Jimmy Kirk, 6:08; Jake Hannon (L) from Max Maddalo and Andrew Budzynski, 9:47 (pp)
Second-period goals: David Kimmel (L) from Michael Casey, 3:12; Jeremy Jacobs (MP) from Aidan Kelly and Constable, 12:37; Hannon (L) from Maddalo, 12:47
Overtime goal: Jimmy Jacobs (MP) from Jeremy Jacobs and Sambuco, 1:39
Shots; La Salle 41, Malvern Prep 44; Saves: Liam Gross (L) 40, Anthony Perti (MP) 38