BRISTOL, PA-- On Wednesday afternoon inside of Grundy Arena, the No. 2 seed La Salle College High School Explorers won its second Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference (APAC) Championship defeating No. 1 seed Holy Ghost Prep by a final score of 4-1.
La Salle was the first team to score, as Collin Keiser tallied an unassisted goal six minutes into the game. The goal was just the second shot of the game for the Explorers, who were outshot in total 31 to 25. La Salle’s Keenan Schneider added a second goal in the last minute of the first period to give the Explorer’s a 2-0 advantage.
Holy Ghost would score its only goal of the game in the second period. La Salle set up the opportunity as Chris Wnek and David Kimmel took back to back penalties resulting in a Firebirds’ two-man advantage. Daniel Behr scored the powerplay goal with assists from Byron Hartley and Evan Mudrick. At the end of the second period, La Salle held a 2-1 lead.
La Salle had a pair of insurance goals added in the third period. First David Brunner beat goalkeeper Sean Joyce, who couldn’t freeze the puck, to bury the Explorers third goal of the afternoon. A minute later, Joyce left his net to retrieve the puck off the boards, it took a funky bounce as La Salle cleared into the offensive zone. Initially the puck slid into the back of an empty net for what seemed to be the Explorers fourth goal of the day, but it was waved off and ruled no goal.
Schneider added his second goal of the afternoon on an empty net with half a minute left to put La Salle up 4-1.
As the clock ran out the team stormed the ice to celebrate its second consecutive Founder’s Cup trophy. La Salle senior goaltender Aidan McCabe was in the middle of it all. He had a standout performance for the Explorers allowing just one of Holy Ghost’s 31 shots in the game past him.
La Salle defended its title and for the second year in a row became the only program to win the APAC Championship in the conference's short two-year history.
Entering the APAC finals, Holy Ghost hadn’t lost since their last meeting. The season series was two games to one in favor of Holy Ghost who won the Nov. 6, 2019 and Jan. 31 games. Up until Wednesday, La Salle had only beaten the Firebirds in their matchup on Jan. 10 but, won every game after that point. The Explorers outscored Holy Ghost 8-7 throughout the 2019-2020 regular season.
Flyers Cup Bound:
Both Holy Ghost Prep and La Salle were chosen to be a part of the Flyers Cup, which begins on March 5. Both teams are the highest seed on each half of the bracket with the Firebirds being ranked No. 1, and the Explorers taking the No. 2 ranking
La Salle won the Flyers Cup last year in a 5-2 victory over St. Joseph’s Prep. The Explorers then went on to win the state championship.
The entire APAC will be represented in the Flyers Cup this year with St. Joe’s Prep representing the No. 3 seed and Malvern Prep coming in at No. 4. You can see the entire AAA bracket and schedule for the Flyers Cup here.
Most of the Flyers Cup quarter and semi-final games will be live-streamed on the Flyers Cup YouTube page which can be found by clicking (here).
In a new partnership for 2020, Temple University’s Club Ice Hockey Media Team will be responsible for broadcasting the Flyers Cup Games.
La Salle defeated St. Joe's Prep 5-2 in APAC semifinal round. For more La Salle vs. St. Joe's Prep game photos (click here).