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ICE HOCKEY: 2024 Season Recap as APAC and ICSHL Playoffs Commence

By Morgan Killian-Moseley, Mike Holden & Zac Wilson, 02/20/24, 4:30PM EST


By: Morgan Killian-Moseley, Mike Holden, Zac Wilson

Photos/Videos: Zack Beavers, Chelby Elam, Mike Holden, Joe Mancini, Michael Rosenthal, David Wagstaff & Zac Wilson 


It has been a wild winter for APAC, ICSHL and IHL hockey. Overtime clashes were plentiful and perennial powers have continued to assert their dominance on the ice.

Most recently, on Feb. 13, the Haverford School graced the ice at UPenn against Episcopal Academy to win the 2024 Independence Hockey League championship in a 3-2 overtime thriller. (Click here to read more!).

This afternoon, APAC playoffs commence, as Holy Ghost Prep will take the ice vs. the Hun School in a first-round play-in game at Grundy. Winner will advance to play top-seeded La Salle on Wednesday at the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Rink at 4 p.m. The Class of 1923 Rink will showcase the APAC semifinals in a double-header. The ensuing semifinal at 6:15 p.m. will include No. 2 seeded Malvern Prep against No. 3 St. Joseph’s Prep. This game has the potential to be a barn burner. Earlier in the season, the Hawks defeated the Friars 4-3 and then Malvern Prep won the second meeting against St. Joseph’s Prep 4-1. The 2024 APAC Founder’s Cup championship is slated to be played on Weds. Feb. 28th – time and place TBD.

2024 IHL Championship Highlights - Haverford School vs. Episcopal Academy - PSD Video by Zack Beavers

Heading on over into the ICSHL, Devon Prep leads PCL standings with a 9-3 record, followed by Father Judge (8-2-2), Salesianum (8-2-1), Archbishop Carroll/Pope John Paul (2-10) and Shanahan-Coatesville (1-11). The ICSHL PCL semifinals will be held on Monday, Feb. 26 at the Northeast Skatezone and at the University of Delaware. The 2024 ICSHL PCL championship is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 29 at 9:00 p.m. at Skatium.

On the horizon: The 2024 Flyers Cup Selection Show will be held this Sunday (Feb. 25) at 8 p.m. on the Flyers Cup YouTube channel.

Let’s take a look back at some of the key match-ups from the 2023-24 season (Featuring: St. Joseph's Prep, Malvern Prep, Holy Ghost Prep, La Salle, Roman Catholic, Father Judge, Salesianum, Archbishop Ryan, Devon Prep, Haverford School, Germantown Academy & Springside Chestnut Hill) :

La Salle Dominates, Beats Malvern Prep 3-0

By: Mike Holden

HATFIELD, PA – The La Salle Explorers defeated Malvern Prep 3-0 on Weds. Jan. 17. The Explorers, led by head coach Wally Muehlbronner, dominated all three periods of play against Malvern Prep to secure a 3-0 victory.

Alistair St Hilaire got the scoring started late in the first period to give the Explorers a 1-0 lead heading into the second period. The Explorers controlled not only shots, but possession as well, not giving Malvern Prep many opportunities on net. La Salle had 12 shots on goal to Malvern Preps eight. Malvern Prep did a good job in halting a lot of the Explorers opportunities on net. 

Goalie Matthew Crawford for Malvern had 40 saves total in the game. He made some great stops and really kept Malvern in the game and prevented a blowout, but the Explorers would only continue to add on in the second period. 

Charles Kennedy opened the second period scoring with a deflection goal to give La Salle a 2-0 lead. La Salle continued to dominate shots on goal ending the period with 16 to Malvern Prep’s eight, but only had one goal to show for it. La Salle was also hampered with penalties in the second period, racking up three in the second period alone, but Malvern Prep was not able to capitalize on the powerplay, largely to the Explorers penalty kill and goaltender Jacob Rossi, who only recorded 23 saves, but that's all it took to record yet another shutout and dominant performance.

Post game interview with La Salle goalie Jacob Rossi - PSD Video by Mike Holden

Rossi made an outstanding kick save to keep Malvern Prep off the board early in the third period. La Salle would continue to dominate, netting a late goal to give the Explorers some extra cushion, but Malvern Prep had no answers. La Salle cruised to yet another victory and stay atop the APAC standings. 

Germantown Academy’s Offense Too Much for Springside Chestnut Hill in IHL Action

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

COLMAR, PA - The Germantown Academy Patriots came into their matchup against the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils in the co-ed Independence Hockey League on January 23 having just gotten back to .500. GA had won four titles in five seasons prior to the 2022-23 campaign, but suffered a stunning, heartbreaking defeat in last year’s IHL semifinals to the eventual champion Episcopal Academy in a game that saw the Churchmen come back from four goals down to come away with an 8-7 win. Episcopal would take down the Haverford School in the 2023 finals to claim their first IHL title.

SCHA has had long-lasting struggles, coming into the matchup winless and having managed only one win and one tie over the previous two seasons. The Devils have not finished with a winning record since the 2018-2019 season, when they were defeated in the IHL finals by Germantown Academy.

SCHA, who forfeited a game to Episcopal earlier in the season due to lack of players, could only bring twelve to Hatfield Ice. GA took care of business as the Patriots took down the Blue Devils 7-2.

The Patriots scored three goals in the first seven minutes of the game. Senior captain Colin Rink buried a helper from fellow senior captain Richie Podulka to open the scoring, then Podulka added a marker of his own 91 seconds later. Junior Danny Alexander would get into the act just over two-and-a-half minutes after that. The Blue Devils broke through with one of their own with just under 4:30 left, as Jake LaGage delivered on a breakaway. But Podulka would respond with his second goal 52 seconds later to give GA a 4-1 lead.

GA vs. SCH Game Highlights by Morgan Killian-Moseley

That lead would hold for the rest of the 1st period and through the 2nd. But the Pats would salt the game away by scoring three more unanswered in the first 3:30 of the 3rd period. Podulka finished off his hat trick 47 seconds into the final stanza, then Alexander would tally his second goal 37 seconds later. Alexander would then make it three points on the night as he set up 8th grader Mick Tronoski on the power play. SCHA’s Sam Bevan would score a power play goal of his own with less than two minutes left in the game, with Asa Zimmerman picking up the assist; but it was only cosmetic for the Devils at that point.

In addition to Podulka’s and Alexander’s multi-point performances, sophomore JP McGill had two assists for GA; picking up helpers on Podulka’s third goal and Alexander’s first.

The GA defense made it difficult for SCHA to get sustained scoring opportunities. The Patriots outshot the Blue Devils 32-9, though the middle 15 minutes were much closer than the rest of the game with GA having only a 5-4 advantage in the 2nd stanza.

GA Senior Captain Lucy Fassler #30 - Photo courtesy of GA Athletics

Senior Lucy Fassler only had to make seven saves in the win for GA. Sophomore Mike Nikolucci made 25 saves in the losing effort for SCHA.

The Pats went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Bevan’s goal came on the only power play opportunity for the Blue Devils. All three penalties came in the final period.

“Everyone was moving the puck well and we were just working hard,” said Podulka. “[The Blue Devils] have some good skaters, they like to stretch the ice; maintaining our composure defensively was pretty big.”

Podulka also plays for the Philadelphia Little Flyers National-Elite squad in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League 18 & Under League. Podulka’s father, also named Rich, played hockey for GA and for Penn State in the 1990s, and is an assistant coach for his son’s AYHL team.  

GA first-year head coach DeLane Doyle praised his team being able to take care of business as well as their puck movement and the disruption of SCHA’s attacking opportunities but added that he felt the Pats could do even better in those aspects and at finishing their own offensive opportunities.

“We’ve always been buzzing together,” said LaGage. “We’re always fired up and having a great time, got to have fun while it lasts.”  LaGage added that he’d like to see the team finish their shots more efficiently.

“I thought we broke out the puck pretty decently, we just couldn’t get sustained pressure,” said SCHA head coach Julian Madden. “We got the puck out of the [defensive] zone all right, but we couldn’t finish.”

“We have a very short bench,” Madden added. “We have some guys staying out there for 40 out of the 45 minutes in the game, so we’ve battled hard, and we’ve got a lot of guts, but we need to execute better.”

Devon Prep Leans On its Star Players For Crucial Divisional Win

By: Zac Wilson

WEST CHESTER, PA – Kieran Crossan scored his PCL league leading 29th goal with 56.1 seconds left in the third period as Devon Prep hockey team rallied back late in the third period to capture a crucial 6-5 win over Salesianum

“One on one, I'll put Kieran up against any defenseman in the league,” Devon Prep hockey Coach Matt Fabrizio said. Crossan came into the game leading the league in both goals (27) and points (47).

Crossan was not the only leader who stepped up for Devon Prep. Team captain James Gabriele scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season and also added an assist. Devon Wright made 34 saves to secure his fifth win in six appearances this year. Logan Reaney was also excellent for Devon Prep, scoring the game tying goal late in the third period and assisting on the game winner shortly after.

“He had his best game of the season last night,” Fabrizio said about Reaney. “He was all over the ice and the one who made the play go.”

Stosh Tuschinski scored twice to pace Salesianum who gave Devon Prep everything they could handle, having the lead in the last few minutes of the second and third period but they were unable to hold onto either lead for long. Luke Bordley, who came in with an incredible 1.25 goals against average and a .924 save percentage had 26 saves in the loss. 

The scoring came early and often in this one. Crossan opened the scoring just under four minutes into the game. Salesianum answered back on a great defensive play by Lleyton Demasters. He forced a Devon Prep turnover and then was able to find Tuschinski in the high slot who roofed a wrist shot over Bordley’s blocker with 7:58 to go in the first. Gabriele’s first of two tallies late was the difference maker of the first period sending Devon Prep to the intermission with a 2-1 lead. The back and forth style we saw in the first period set the tone for the rest of the game. 

The fast pace of the first period carried into the second. Less than three minutes into the period, Salesianum’s Nick Labuono scored what would be one of three goals his team would score in the second period. It was by far the best played period they had in the game aided by both a shorthanded goal from Tuschinksi and a power play marker from Braeden Graham. Salesianum looked poised to head into the break with a lead but like the first period a late goal from Devon Prep’s captain Gabriele, his second in as many periods would erase all momentum Salesianum was building heading into the third period. 

Salesianum goal scored by #5 Braeden Graham - PSD Video by Zac Wilson

The third and final frame was the most intense period we saw these two teams play tonight. Both Bordley and Wright came up with constant timely saves to give their team a chance to get away with a win. 

“Aydan was outstanding,” Fabrizio said about his goalie. “His level of compete is insane, his positioning has been perfect,”

After a roughing penalty to Salesianum with ten minutes to go in the game, the momentum felt like it was turning in Devon Prep’s favor. It took three (!!) shorthanded breakaways from Salesianum to get one through the five hole of Wright. It was Justin Celentino who took a Devon Prep turnover at their own blue line in all alone vs Wright and gave his team a 5-4 lead with just over nine minutes to play. 

Just like the first and second periods it was going to take late heroics from Devon Prep if they were going to extend their win streak to three games. And when they were needed most, Devon Prep’s top line stepped up and delivered. Crossan, Reaney and fellow linemate Braydon Russo combined on the tying goal after great work from Russo and Crossan to get the puck to Reaney who made no mistake beating Bordley to make it a 5-5 game with less than four minutes to go. 

“It’s no secret that our offense is created from our defensive zone and in transition.” Fabrizio said.

This was evidenced in both the game tying and eventual winner from Devon Prep. Both goals were started by hard work in their own zone and then having the skill and ability to find the teammate streaking down the ice waiting for their chance to play hero. Coach Fabrizio was quick to commend the work of his top line for the hard work they put in helping to secure this crucial win for their program. 

Reaney stole the puck off a Salesianum defenseman, Russo corralled and it was able to find a streaking Kieran Crossan who did what he does best. He juked left before going right just beating the extended glove hand of Bordley giving Devon Prep a 6-5 lead with under a minute to go. 

“And then it was hold onto dear life for 56 seconds,” Coach Fabrizio said. 

Archbishop Ryan Seniors Come Up Big in Senior Night Win Over Roman Catholic

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA- The Archbishop Ryan Raiders honored their seniors at the Northeast Skate Zone on January 26, and their families and friends were out in full force.

The Roman Catholic Cahillites looked to play spoiler that night, and the game saw a lot of tough, at times chippy, play. But a third period surge led by Ryan’s seniors helped push the Raiders to a 4-2 win.

Admittedly, a lot of the problems Ryan had to overcome were self-inflicted. Just over seven minutes in, the Raiders’ Patrick Foy was called for a crosscheck to the head, which added a 10-minute misconduct to the normally minor penalty and cost Ryan the senior’s services for the rest of the period and the start of the 2nd. Late in the power play, Ryan’s Sean Freeman was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Cahillites a 37-second two-man advantage.

A few seconds after the first minor expired, Roman’s power play looked to have struck paydirt as a blast from the right point from James Parkhurst Jr. was deflected past Raider senior goalie Ryan Dolan by the screening Kevin Brown. But as the officials noticed, it was done so with a high stick, and the goal was wiped out.

The Raiders would go on to kill off the Freeman minor as well; but just 17 seconds after getting back to full strength Ryan’s Pat Mitchell was called for interference, drawing even further ire from the Raider supporters for the seeming lack of impartiality.

Yet again the Raider penalty kill would do their job; and after nearly an entire period on the back foot, the Ryan offense would reward their work as Sean Schubert would get one home past Roman goalie Chris Zampirri to give the Raiders the first strike. Vonn Krieger and Stephen Quinn would pick up the assists on the play.

Ryan would hold that lead into the 2nd period, but Blake Martinez would get hit for an interference minor two-and-a-half minutes in. This time the Roman power play would make them pay, as Brown set up Ethan Eiser with 15 seconds left in the man advantage for the equalizer.

The teams battled back and forth for the rest of the middle stanza and Cahillite captain Evan Rauch was called for a tripping minor with just 44 seconds remaining in the period, drawing a Broad Street cheer (like a Bronx cheer only Philly style) from the Ryan faithful.

But like the Flyers, Roman brought the pressure on the PK; delivering some chances shorthanded on both ends of the 2nd intermission.

And just as Rauch came out of the box, Brown buried a rebound from Eiser to give the Cahillites the 2-1 lead, to the delight of the Roman supporters in attendance.

The play got even rougher as the minutes drained away. The teams would twice trade concurrent minors in the middle minutes of the final stanza. But with just under five minutes remaining, Ryan senior Arrone Arehart would take advantage of a turnover and chip one past Zampirri to level things at 2-2.

Roman Catholic's Hashim Khan and Ryan's Patrick Foy get chippy - PSD Video by Morgan Killian-Moseley

And Arehart wasn’t done there. He would put back a rebound from Connor Lappe with 3:06 remaining to put the Raiders in front 3-2.

Arehart’s exuberance at turning the game around with his two goals fired up the Raider supporters, as well as his teammates. And with Zampirri pulled, Lappe would come up with an empty-netter with 65 seconds left to put the game away.

Roman went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Ryan was unable to convert on their only opportunity.

The Raiders outshot the Cahillites 40-22. Dolan made 20 saves in the Senior Night win for Ryan, while Zampirri stopped 36 of the 39 shots that came his way in a spirited effort for Roman.

“Our seniors showed us the way, they were leaders in the 3rd period,” said Ryan head coach Mike Schubert. “When we needed it [most] they all stepped up. They played a big role in tonight’s game, and they always step up for us.”

As for what the Raiders needed to improve on, “We need to stay out of the penalty box,” said Coach Schubert. “We took too many penalties tonight and you can’t win if you’re in the box. We were fortunate tonight that we had a good 3rd period and were able to win, but to win on a regular basis we need to stay out of the box.”

“Honestly, I think it was all about heart,” Lappe said. “We didn’t stop churning; we were determined to win.” He went on to say that the defensive effort could have been better and that the Raiders needed to keep playing their game and keep giving their best effort if they wanted to get to the Catholic League title and beyond.

“I think we did well with their positioning and getting offensive chances,” said Zampirri. As for what Roman could have improved on the most, Zampirri noted the team could have done better on cutting down breakaway chances.

“I think we played a really good game,” said Roman head Coach Jim Denbesky. “It’s always a great game when we play Ryan. I think we played really well positionally; we handled our positions well; a couple goals they had we just couldn’t do anything about. [Ryan] has some really good players, and they played well the entire game.”

Malvern Prep ties up regular season series vs. St. Joseph's Prep

It was the Jeremy Jacobs show on January 24th, as the senior tallied two late goals to propel Malvern Prep to a 4-1 victory vs. St. Joseph’s Prep.

Malvern Prep senior Jonathan Holt was the first to score for the Friars in the opening period. Teague Murray added what would be the game-winning goal in the second period, but the Friar’s offense was not finished as the final stanza provided Malvern Prep with two additional goals. Both goals by Holt and Murray were assisted by Jacobs.

The third period is where Jacobs shined. He scored his first off an assist from Caiden Canale at the 8:19 minute mark. The Hawks managed to get a goal from Ben Kersun shortly after, which was assisted by Thomas Ely. As the final period came to a close, Jacobs left his mark again in the final minute of play.

St. Joe’s Prep Shuts Out Holy Ghost Prep

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

Photos: Joe Mancini, SJP Jr. Reporter

PHILADELPHIA- The St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks were looking for some payback at Penn’s Class of 1923 Arena on January 31st as they took on the Holy Ghost Prep Firebirds.  Ghost had pulled off what some people might call an upset on December 19th when they took down Prep 3-2 at Grundy Arena.

Prep got their revenge in convincing fashion, shutting out Ghost 4-0.

This game tied the regular season series between Malvern and St. Joe’s as the Hawks won 4-3 in their initial meeting back in November.

Jake Schultz #55 tallied a goal & two assists in SJP's win vs. Holy Ghost - PSD Photo by Joe Mancini

Jake Schultz led the way with a three-point night (a goal and two assists), while Brayden Collins lit the lamp twice. Parker Tumelty also scored for the Hawks, while Cole Gargon and Calum Hartnell each picked up an assist.

Jake Aranda stopped all 19 shots that came his way in his first shutout for the Hawks, while Jack Bothoff made 19 saves on 23 shots for the Firebirds.

Neither team was able to take advantage of the man advantage. Prep went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Ghost went 0-for-1.

“We got pucks in deep, we had a good forecheck, and everyone just moved the puck well tonight,” said Schultz, son of former Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz. “We had a good PK today, special teams is big in high school, so we need to keep doing that.”

“I think it was just a total effort,” said Prep head coach Dave Giacomin. “The team back checked and forechecked really hard; we created some turnovers and capitalized on some opportunities, which was really nice since we didn’t do that the last couple games.

“A win like this shows the integrity of the team. We’re a young team and we’re coming together, the boys are buying into what we’re trying to do out there. And when they get a good win against a good opponent it shows that they’re doing things the right way, and when they do things right they’re a tough out for anybody.”

“This team had a good offensive mindset,” Giacomin added. “I think if we clean up some of the stuff in our zone and the power play starts clicking a bit we’re going to have a better and better chance to win some of those tough games down the stretch.”

“I think the deciding factor for us was cleaning up, retrieving the puck in our D zone,” said Ghost captain Mike Holt. “Today we just weren’t prepared enough, but as they say, learn from failure.”

“Our forechecking has been strong all year,” Holt continued. “We just need to improve on getting those second chances in front of the net. We had a few that we whiffed on tonight, we need to bury those chances.”

“They just outworked us,” said Ghost head coach John Ritchie. “They finished their opportunities and we didn’t. We had power play opportunities and a ton of other chances and we didn’t finish.”

“I don’t really concern myself with the [Flyers Cup] rankings at this point,” Ritchie said when asked what the Firebirds needed to do to push their way back up the standings. “I think we played a hard enough schedule that it speaks for itself regardless of overall record. Not everything’s going to go out way and we just need to keep working hard and keep creating for ourselves. We’ve done a good job over the course of January of getting wins that we wouldn’t have earlier in the season.”

La Salle College High Dominates Haverford School on Senior Night

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

Photos: Zack Beavers

COLMAR, PA –  It was a battle of conference leaders at Hatfield Ice on Groundhog Day, as the APAC-leading La Salle College High School Explorers took on the Haverford School Fords, who stand atop the IHL.

It was Senior Night for LCHS, and the families of the Blue and Gold’s next graduating class were out in full force. As for the Fords, they were on the back end of a rare doubleheader, having already defeated the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils earlier in the day; so it could be understood that they weren’t firing on all cylinders.

Haverford did score the first goal of the game 58 seconds in when Jack Torr took advantage of a turnover, but it was all LCHS after that as the Explorers poured it on for a 10-1 win.

Special teams came up big for La Salle, while the Fords’ special team units struggled. The Explorer power play went 1-for-3 and their penalty kill took a page out of the Flyers’ book; not only killing off all four Haverford man-advantages but netting two shorthanded goals.

La Salle had a heavy advantage in shots on goal, 34-14. By design, the Explorers split the game between two goalies; both of whom had been called up from junior varsity for the non-conference matchup. Matt Kohlhepp stopped 10 of 11 shots that came his way before tagging in Anthony Foster nearly halfway through the game. Foster only had to face three shots the rest of the way and stopped them all.  Meanwhile Andrew Bradley had a very tough outing for the Fords, making 24 saves in a game he'd most likely want to bury forever. At least Bradley was willing to stick the debacle out to the final horn.

11 of La Salle’s 18 skaters registered at least one point in the game. Dean Carvalho and Grant LaGreca each had two goals and an assist, with Carvalho scoring the La Salle power play goal and one of their shorthanded goals. William Carpenter had a three-point game of his own with two goals and an assist, while Mike Zarzycki and Pat Brace each had a goal and an assist of their own (Zarzycki’s goal being the other shorty). John Mullen, Alistair St. Hilaire, and Ryan Wiley each added two helpers, and Declan Kelly, Charles Kennedy, and Ben Falicki all lit the lamp for the Blue and Gold as well.

“I think they were unselfish moving the puck, trying to set each other up,” LCHS head coach Wally Muehlbronner said about his team’s play. “I think we need to keep doing a lot of what we’re doing [as the playoffs approach]. [All our skaters] have been playing hard and consistent, so we just need to keep it simple and keep playing hard.”

“I think we just kept the game simple; getting pucks in deep, getting shots on net,” said Carvalho. “We had a little bit of a slow start but as the game went along, we kept improving, so it was a really solid effort all around.”

When asked what the Explorers needed to do as the Flyers Cup approaches, Carvalho said they need to “hone in on the little details”, and continue having good team speed.

“I think our guys battled early but we just realized we were overmatched,” said Haverford head coach Thomas Lindberg.

Lindberg made sure to note beforehand that the Fords had won the matchup against SCHA earlier and noted that freshman RJ Nealy had stepped in between the pipes and gotten the win in that game despite having not played goalie for two years.

“I told them in the locker room to compete at this level you can’t give up on yourselves. Our program is on the rise, we’re growing; we’ve just got to stay positive and everything will come together. Like I told the guys, if you believe in yourself and you don’t give up on yourself, that filters through the rest of the bench and we’ll be just fine," said Lindberg.

Father Judge Mercy Rules Undermanned Bishop Shanahan-Coatesville in Hard-Hitting Senior Night Tilt

By: Morgan Killian-Moseley

Photos: Zack Beavers

PHILADELPHIA- The Father Judge Crusaders celebrated their seniors in a pregame ceremony at the Northeast Skate Zone on February 5th.  

In all, twelve seniors were honored for their contributions to the Columbia Blue and Sheridan Red. In contrast, the Bishop Shanahan Eagles/Coatesville Red Raiders combined squad only had eleven total players. 

The end result was what you might expect, with Judge securing a dominant 10-0 mercy rule win; scoring the final goal with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. But the game didn’t just get out of hand on the scoreboard. 

To start, the “Raid Eagles” played tough defense early on, and it took nearly eight minutes for the Crusaders to break through. That wasn’t for lack of chances, though, as Judge had plenty of shots on net (and some off iron) before sophomore Jaiden Golden would deliver the first goal of the game off of a takeaway in the Judge attacking zone. 

But once the door opened a crack, Judge kicked it down. Assistant captain Owen Sherwin, one of the seniors honored before the game, notched himself a hat trick. Joseph Mullen added two goals of his own, senior captain Devon Mallon would get an assist and the game-ending goal, and Golden would collect two assists to give himself a three-point night. 

Father Judge assistant captain Owen Sherwin #93 - PSD Photo by Zack Beavers

Senior assistant captains Shawn “Icy” Miller and Anthony Casper, plus junior Leo Reilly each lit the lamp for Judge as well. Colin Myers picked up an assist on Sherwin’s first two goals, which came eight seconds apart late in the 1st period. Assistant captain Jason Smaron and junior Carlos Rowland would each pick up a helper as well, as did Colin Howell and Michael Snyder

But amid the outburst of goals was an outburst of hits, some of which had much more malicious intent than you would expect in high school hockey.  Some of those questionable hits drew the ire of the many Judge families in attendance; though the Crusaders weren’t blameless in the proceedings as the Raid Eagle supporters would attest to. 

The 1st period saw sticks up high plenty of times, and both teams traded shoves after the whistle a few times.  

Father Judge assistant captain Anthony Casper #92 - PSD Photo by Zack Beavers

The animosity finally boiled over early in the 2nd period. Shanahan-Coatesville’s Trent Krecker had already been given a roughing minor late in the 1st, but as soon as he was back on the ice there was a sense that things would get even rougher. Just over three and a half minutes into the 2nd period, Krecker had already delivered one heavy hit on Myers, with both tumbling to the ice. A few seconds later Krecker took another shot at Myers, seeming to leave his feet to make the hit; and the brawl was on.  

Of course, fighting is forbidden in high school hockey, so both Krecker and Myers were given not only a fighting major but a game misconduct as well, with a one-game suspension attached. 

The teams continued to deliver punishing blows for the rest of the game, but the officials cracked down from that point on. They called six penalties, four on Shanahan-Coatesville, two on Judge, the rest of the way, including giving Krecker’s brother Blake a 10-minute misconduct for a crosscheck to the head. 

Judge’s Aidan Childs only had to stop nine shots for the shutout win. Meanwhile Kyler Bush, listed as a defenseman on Bishop Shanahan’s MaxPreps page, got the start in net and faced a 65-shot bombardment. The fact that he made 55 stops, some of those with a high degree of difficulty, probably does nothing to assuage the pain of the loss. But the fact that Bush gave such an effort while facing more shots than an NHL goalie would on a common night should be appreciated, nonetheless. 

“[Getting a win like this] is great for me, personally, I love these kids. This is a great group, my favorite group by far,” said Judge assistant coach Greg Johnson. As for what the Crusaders need to do to push towards a title: “We just need to embrace the identity we’ve had all season,” Johnson said. “We consider ourselves a blue collar, hard-nosed hockey club. We like to go out there, dump the puck, bang bodies again the boards, wear [our opponents] down, play a 200-foot game.” 

“[Getting a Senior Night win] is good for the boys, keeps our momentum going,” said Mallon. “We’ve just got to stay on it, no letting up; especially against teams that are not as high up [in the standings] as us. We just have to keep pushing each other we’ll be fine; we just have to keep playing like it’s our last game.” 

“It’s great. Having your family there [to see this win] and after four years of playing here, a win like this shows what Judge hockey is about,” said Sherwin. “We just need to keep working hard, keep moving the puck well, creating good habits. Just keep working together keep everyone moving.” 

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