By: JJ Michalski
Photos/Videos: Gracie Cleveland & JJ Michalski
PHILADELPHIA - We are now over a month into the high school hockey season, with the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference opening play on Jan. 29 and the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League dropping the puck on Jan. 8. Given ongoing concerns and safety guidelines due to COVID-19, both leagues have had minimal postponements and cancellations, a sign that the protocols put in place by APAC and ICSHL officials have succeeded thus far in 2021.
Attendance at games varies, but for the most part parents have been able to support their student athletes from the stands. A return to the ice in 2021 feels just as loud and energetic as we all knew it once to be. That energy was on display in this week’s Game of the Week as La Salle College High School travelled to Skatium to take on St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday night.
APAC Game of the Week
The Explorers (4-1 OVR, 2-3 APAC) entered Friday’s game as the reining APAC champions. Last season La Salle beat St. Joe’s Prep (2-2 OVR, 0-2 APAC) in the final regular season matchup, and again in the semi-finals three days later.
The scoring opened on Friday with a first period powerplay goal from the Hawks. Quinn Egan scored his first goal of the season to put St. Joe’s up 1-0, with assists from Jack Yerger and Charlie Maratea three minutes into the game. Jeffery Hammond scored an even strength goal with the help of Declan Pierce in the first minute of the second period to give St. Joe’s a 2-0 lead.
Play continued for the next twelve minutes with both teams taking a combined six penalties in the second period. Declan Pierce was assessed a ten-minute game misconduct and a boarding minor with 9:40 to play in the period. La Salle would take advantage of his absence finally getting on the board late in the second with a goal from Michael Casey assisted by Andrew Budzynski.
The third period was dominated by La Salle, who came out hard offensively to start the period. Max Maddalo scored the game tying goal with help from Christopher Wnek and Matthew Giordano three minutes in. After the game, St. Joe’s captain Dom Fantozzi said he believed this to be a turning point.
“We played with a lot of heart and I expected us to do that today,” Fantozzi said. “I think early in the third was the turning point when La Salle got their early goal and slowed us down.”
Before you could blink the Explorers found the back of the net for their third unanswered goal, this time off the stick of Daniel Whittock. La Salle went on to win the game 3-2 with Whittock’s game winner ending the scoring for the night. St. Joe’s Prep played the game with just 12 skaters and received praise from head coach David Giacomin for battling through fatigue.
“We battled our butts off and once we have a full team I believe we’ll be a team to contend with,” said Giacomin. “This team is working hard, they’re playing hard, and not quitting.”
APAC League Results Week of 2/8
2/10 – Malvern Prep 4, La Salle College High School 1 (Ice Line)
Malvern Prep Goals: Matt Harris, Jack Costabile, Jimmy Kirk, Gavin Wilson (all 1st period)
La Salle Goals: Chase Hannon (2nd Period)
2/12 – La Salle College High School 3, St. Joe’s Prep 2 (Skatium)
St. Joe’s Prep Goals: Quinn Egan (1st Period), Jeffery Hammond (2nd Period)
La Salle Goals: Michael Casey (2nd Period), Max Maddalo (3rd Period), Daniel Whittock (3rd Period)
ICSHL League Results Week of 2/8
2/8 Roman Catholic 5, Father Judge 4 (Grundy)
APAC Schedule Week of 2/15
2/18 St. Joe’s Prep @ Malvern Prep (Ice Line 6:30 PM)
2/19 La Salle @ Holy Ghost Prep (Grundy 7:30 PM)
ICSHL Schedule Week of 2/15
2/15 Roman Catholic @ Father Judge (Grundy 7:10 PM)
2/15 Archbishop Carroll @ Salesianum (Patriot Ice 7 PM)
2/18 Archbishop Ryan @ Cardinal O’Hara (Skatium 8 PM)
2/19 Bux-Mont Catholic @ Father Judge (Grundy 6:30 PM)
Head Coach Quote of the Week
“Early on in the season, everybody is trying to find their footing… find their groove. Luckily for us, we’re hitting our stride early and we hope to continuing forward.” – Bill Keenan, Malvern Prep
For stats/schedule corrections, email email@example.com attn. JJ Michalski Hockey.