Hockey: Ridley puts away stubborn Haverford

ASTON >> There will be a rubber match in the season series between Ridley and Springfield. The Green Raiders defeated Haverford High 4-2 in the second Central League semifinal game Wednesday night at Ice Works to earn a date with the Cougars.

The two rivals will settle the score Thursday. Ridley captain Nate Dunning wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We always want Springfield,” Dunning said. “We play our best against them.”

That confidence answered the chants of the Cougars’ faithful, who at the end of Springfield’s 5-1 win over Garnet Valley in the early game sang “We want Ridley!”

The Cougars will get the Raiders, although the Fords had something to say first.

Haverford jumped out to an early lead when Frankie McVeigh beat Brendahn Brawley 2:23 into the first period.

“They came out ready to play,” Ridley’s Colin McCann said. “They caught us off-guard.”

If anything, the goal provided the perfect spark. After some sustained pressure, Jake Cross evened the game at 1-1 at the 5:01 mark. Ridley wouldn’t trail again. Cross added a power-play marker to spot the Raiders a lead in the second period.

Then sophomore Michael Giampapa picked up point number 76 on the season less than 30 seconds into the third. He scored off a Nick Catona pass to give Ridley some insurance.

Brawley did his part as well.

“Their goalie had a heck of a game,” Haverford head coach John Povey said. “We definitely had our chances, but he made some saves.”

Thirty in total, to be precise.

The Fords (11-8-1, 9-5-0) gave the Raiders some nervous moments towards the end. McVeigh brought Haverford to within one with his second goal of the game.

But Ridley (18-1-1, 14-1-0) held on and with 42 seconds left McCann iced the victory.

“I chipped the puck into the corner and it ended up on Jake (Cross’) stick,” McCann said. “I cut to the middle and he found me wide open. I guess I made a good shot.”

He beat Tim Osifchok high to the blocker side to ensure the Raiders would head back to the championship game for the second consecutive season.

McCann hopes for a different outcome this time around.

“We have the experience,” he said. “We’re going to use what we’ve learned.”

PCL Blue

Archbishop Ryan 4, Archbishop Carroll 3 >> Blaze Ferris scored with 30 seconds left to send the Raiders into the final. Matthew Strofe, Nicholas Antonini and Brendan Gorge had the goals for the Patriots.

Roman Catholic 4, Cardinal O’Hara 1 >> Goalie Joseph Giacobbo stopped 25 of 26 shots to put the Cahillites in Thursday’s championship game. O’Hara’s Zac Deemer spoiled the shutout bid with a goal earlier in the third period.


Avon Grove 10, Sun Valley 0 >> Cameron Faller made 37 saves to earn the shutout and lead the Red Devils to championship. His counterpart, Nicholas Thacz of Sun Valley, stopped 79 of the 89 shots he faced.

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