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LaSalle Wins Founders Cups

By Rick Woelfel & APAC, 02/29/24, 7:15PM EST


LaSalle - 7, St. Joe's Prep - 0

Once they got their arms around the APAC championship, La Salle never let go. The Explorers scored four times the first period and went on to a 10-0 win over St. Joseph’s Prep Wednesday afternoon in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference championship game at Hatfield Ice.

The win gave La Salle (20-3) its fourth outright Founders Cup title in the APAC’s six-year history; they’ve also shared a fifth.

It was the second APAC title for La Salle defenseman Doucet who noted the second championship felt just as good as the first.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Probably a little bit better. It gets a little bit better every year, I love this.”

The Hawks, who were appearing in an APAC final for the first time, dropped to 15-6.

Next up for both teams is the Class AAA Flyers Cup.

It was Patrick Brace got things started for La Salle on Monday when he beat Jacob Aranda from close range 7:11 into the opening period. Alex Fusaro made it a 2-0 game just 72 seconds later, and Michael Zarzycki and Will Capenter added additional goals before the first frame ended.

La Salle senior Dean Carvalho said the seeds for the fast start were planted earlier this week.

“I think it was the practices we had this past weekend, Sunday and Monday,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tough going into the game. Our last game (the semifinal win over Holy Ghost Prep) we didn’t start out the way we wanted to, so we did what we needed to do going into this game. I think we got that done”

For the Hawks (15-6) the first-period blitz proved overwhelming.

“We know what the makeup of that team is,” said St. Joseph’s Prep coach David Giacomin. “They’re big, strong, fast kids. “We tried to warn the kids that the first five or six minutes were going to be important; protect our zone, move the puck quickly Not letting them [penetrate] the zone. Unfortunately they scored three goals from right in front of the net. You can’t give that stuff up.”

Carvalho scored the only goal of the second period at the 7:19 mark. Prior to the final period, Giacomin made a goaltender change, inserting Declan Geary in Aranda’s place.

The Explorers didn’t miss a beat, as Julian Tarsi and Charlie Kennedy found the back of the net.

Carvalho felt the Explorers’s edge in experience had a significant impact on what happened on the ice.

“It was huge,” he said. Almost half our team went through it last year and just the experience of being in. That environment with a lot of people here, and a lot of pressure. I think it really helps out.”

Ice chips¸—La Salle will face Perkiomen Valley Monday night in the Flyers Cup quarterfinals while the Hawks will go against Salesianum.

St.Joseph’s Prep 0 0 0—0

La Salle 4 1 2—7

First-period goals: Patrick Brace (L) from Ryan Wiley and Charlie Kennedy, 7:11; Alex Fusaro (L) Fromm Michael Zarzycki, 8:23; Zarzycki (L) from Fusaro and Cameron Ross, 11:50; Will Carpenter (L) from Grant LaGreca, 15:50

Second-period goal: Dean Carvalo (L) from Julian Tarsi, 7:19

Third-period goals: Tarsi (L) from Brace, 8:48; Kennedy (L) from Will Gregorio, 9:29

Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 21, La Salle 40 Saves: Jacob Aranda (SJP) 25 and Declan Geary (SJP) 7. Jake Rossi (L) 21