WEST GOSHEN >> In a game full of heart and hustle with clear eyes and full hearts, the only problem is only one team can win.
That was the case Wednesday night at Ice Line, where second-seeded Malvern Prep squared up against the No. 6 St. Joe’s Prep in Class AAA Flyers Cup semifinal. Malvern beat St. Joe’s Prep earlier in the regular season, but St. Joes Prep was out for revenge.
“I’ve been playing for Prep for four years, they’ve been beating up on us and my sophomore year they knocked us out of the playoffs, so it was real personal for me,” said St. Joe’s Prep senior Owen Moke. “The difference was we wanted it more, we had a mission, they put us at the 6 seed and we were not happy with that. We’ve eliminated the three, the two, now we’re going to go at the one.”
The Hawks will face top-seeded La Salle in Sunday night’s Class AAA final at Wells Fargo Center.
Moke notched two goals and an assist, but it was a group effort that sealed the game for the Hawks. Fourteen penalty minutes proved to be fatal for the Friars, as they surrendered four goals on the Hawks’ power play. Five different players lit the lamp for the Hawks, but it all could not have been done without steller goaltending from Dan McGill, who stopped 25 of 27 shots he saw on the night.
Malvern scored just 2:45 into the game with a goal scored by Nick Martino. The Friars continued to dominate for the first nine minutes until a costly penalty was committed. Austin Amato capitalized with a power play goal, assisted by Moke, that got the Hawks on the board to tie the game 1-1.
“I think when we tied it up 1-1 we started to get momentum, and we got the lead shortly after that,” Moke said.
Moke scored a power play goal of his own just over two minutes later to give the the Hawks a 2-1 lead, and they would go on to finish the first period outshooting Malvern, 7-1.
The Friars would answer in the second to tie the game again on a goal scored by John Dewey. A little over five minutes later, the Hawks took the lead back with their third power play goal scored by Nicholas Corrado. With 47 seconds left in the second period, Vincent Borgesi made it a 4-2 game and gave Evan Cassady his second assist of the night; the Hawks would take the 4-2 lead into the third period.
Malvern battled in the final period, but its efforts were negated when the Friars surrendered their fourth power play goal of the night. With one second left on the power play, St. Joe’s Prep scored to take the commanding 5-2 lead, with a goal scored by Owen Kelly. Moke would tally an empty net goal, officially ending the Friars’ hopes of a comeback. The Friars managed 14 shots in the third period, but McGill stood strong and did not let the Friars back into the game.
Sunday’s Flyers Cup final, which is set for 7 p.m., will showcase sixth-seeded St. Joe’s Prep against La Salle, and the seeding won’t be the only reason to view the Hawks as underdogs. La Salle has won the last four matchups against Prep.
“We have not had too much success with them, they beat us four times in a row, but the last game was a close one and hopefully we learned a lot from that,” said coach David Giacomin.
St. Joe’s Prep 6, Malvern Prep 2
Malvern 1 1 0 – 2
SJP 2 2 2 – 6
Malvern Prep Goals: Martino, Dewey
St. Joe’s Prep Goals: Moke 2, Amato, Corrado, Borgesi, Kelly
Saves: Dougherty (MP) 20, McGuill (SJP) 25
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