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Holy Ghost Prep 9 The Hun School 4

By Rick Woelfel, 02/15/22, 12:30PM EST

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Hamilton Township, N.J.— It is often said that the postseason marks a new beginning. So it was for Holy Ghost Prep Monday afternoon. The Firebirds produced their best offensive output of the season over the course of a 9-4 win over The Hun School in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference play-in game at Iceland in front of an audience that included as substantial number of Holy Ghost Prep supporters.

Hamilton Township, N.J.— It is often said that the postseason marks a new beginning. So it was for Holy Ghost Prep Monday afternoon. The Firebirds produced their best offensive output of the season over the course of a 9-4 win over The Hun School in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference play-in game at Iceland in front of an audience that included as substantial number of Holy Ghost Prep supporters.

Brady Baehser scored three goals and assisted on two others for fifth-seeded Holy Ghost Prep (10-10).

The Firebirds move on to face top-seeded Malvern Prep in a Founders Cup semifinal game Wednesday night at Ice Line (6:45 start). Seth Kaplan scored three goals for fourth-seeded Hun School, which finished its season at 8-9.

Wednesday’s result comes less than 72 hours after the Raiders handed the Firebirds a 2-1 loss in Friday’s regular-season finale.

But Baehser said he and his teammates have refocused of late. “Over the past two weeks, after the losing streak, we kind of regrouped,” he said. “Our coaches gave us a new plan for practice. I think Friday we came out and played well, we just couldn’t score. Today, we just found the back of the net a lot more.”

Six different Firebirds scored goals on Wednesday, a total of 12 were listed on the scoresheet.

“It was nice to see Point Night for the Firebirds finally,” said Holy Ghost Prep coach Gump Whiteside. “It was a great effort. We never gave up on our guys. It’s attribute to them, the way they played three solid periods.”

Baesher scored one goal and assisted Dominic Lombardo’s effort as Holy Ghost Prep took a 2-1 first-period lead.

Perhaps the biggest surprised of the afternoon came after Sean Marshall scored the first of his two goals 7:41 into the second frame. At that point, Hun School coach Ian McNally made a goaltender change, inserting Stephen Chen in place of starter Jack Borek who surrendered three goals on 10 shots

Riley Frost scored for the Raiders at the 10:04 mark to make it a one-goal game but the Firebirds responded with three unanswered goals to take a 6-2 lead 2:24 into the third period and were more or less in control thereafter.

Borek returned to the net for the start of the third period after Chen allowed two goals on 11 shots.

“Once we’d score, we  were never able to build on it,” McNally said. “They’d score seconds later and you could never keep any momentum going.”

While Monday brought the Hun School season to an end, it was a season that saw the Raider hockey program get back on track; the 2020-21 season was limited to three games because of Covid issues. This season, Hun School participated in the APAC for the first time, which assured the Raiders of a postseason to point toward.

“I think it’s been great,” McNally said. “We don’t have a state tournament because there aren’t enough teams of like size or teams that want to participate. 

“This kind of gives us a taste of what it can be like to finish our season with games that mean something and the potential to host games, so we’re very happy.”

Holy Ghost Prep 2 3 4—9

Hun School 1 1 2—4

First-period goals: Seth Kaplan (SH) from Elian Estolin and Christian Clover, 11:13; Brady Baehser (HGP) from Landon Stout, 11:40; Dominic Lombardo (HGP) from Baehser 13:27 (pp)

Second-period goals: Sean Marshall (HGP) from Brian Butler, 7:41; Riley Frost (HS) from Josh Oullette, 10:04; Baehser (HGP) from Shaun Moore, 12:31; Kieran Mulholland (HGP) from Baehser 14:59 (pp)

Third-period goals: Baehser (HGP) from Landon Stout, 2:24; Kaplan (HS) unassisted, 6:59; Marshall (HGP) from John Seravalli and Colin Moore, (pp); Shaun Moore (HGP) from Mulholland, 9:46; Kaplan (HS)  from Estulin and Frost, 11:55 (pp) Logan Barnes (HGP) from Brandon Barger and Michael Holt , 15:37                                                                

Shots: Holy Ghost Prep 33, Hun School 32; Saves: Jason Soule (HGP) 28, Jack Borek (HS) 15 and Stephen Chen (HS) 9