Newark, Del. — A last-minute goal from Russell Sands — his first of the year after medical issues sidelined him last season — capped a 4-0 win for Salesianum (2-3-1) over Appoquinimink (2-3-0) on Monday evening (Dec. 3) at the Patriot Ice Center.
“Sands’s first goal of the year battling in front of the net was nothing in comparison to his battle with cancer last year,” said coach Brian LeBlanc of the senior’s efforts to seal the victory for Salesianum.
Salesianum established their lead early in the first period, when a Cam Bergeman shot from the bottom edge of the right circle trickled under Hadley at 4:24. Three minutes later, George Vrostos — on a line with fellow freshmen Jonathan Anthony and Logan Downs — crashed the net in a two-on-one rush to finish an Anthony shot and lift Salesianum to a 2-0 first-period lead.
After a scoreless and uneventful second period, things quickly turned heated midway through the third. An altercation between Downs and Jaguars left winger Nathan Panchisin sparked the issuing of 40 penalty minutes between both teams in a span of 21 seconds. While Downs and Panchisin were both assessed roughing minors for their dustup, Army was issued a roughing minor and a misconduct for intervening before being handed a game misconduct shortly thereafter. A member of the Jaguars’ bench staff was also issued a minor and a game misconduct in response to a Patrick Kelly high-sticking minor which would have otherwise benefitted them.
Protecting a tenuous 2-0 lead through the mid-period fracas and through a two-man disadvantage just following, Jack Brady generated a breakaway up the left side of the Jaguars zone, fielding a Ryan Kelly headman pass and taking aim from 15 feet out at 11:54 before Sands’s last-minute goal.
Senior netminder Graham Burke recorded 14 saves in the shutout victory, while Hadley saved 26 of 30 shots faced in defeat.
Appoquinimink next faces the Tatnall School in a non-league rematch of last year’s Delaware High School Hockey League championship game on Friday (Dec. 7), while Salesianum takes on Unionville, also on Friday.
In other action Monday:
St. Mark’s 5, Episcopal 0
Superior speed and stickhandling, potent shots, and a looming net-front presence propelled the St. Mark’s Spartans (4-1-0 ICSHL) to a 5-0 win over Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.) in a non-league game at Gold Arena.
The Spartans wasted no time setting the tone, as freshman Nick Lawson connected just eight seconds into the game from the bottom edge of the left circle off a Jimmy Paoli feed. Senior blueliner Lance Ralsten doubled the St. Mark’s lead at 4:11, carrying the puck into the Episcopal zone, circling three defenders and walking in for an easy chip shot past Episcopal goalie Tony Thomas.
Further first-period goals from Graham Kline, who deflected a Kelly Stroik shot in at 5:48, and Will Ralsten, who split defenders en route to a net-front wrist shot from the right edge of the crease at 9:15, lifted the Spartans to a 4-0 intermission lead.
Penalty trouble in the middle of the second period slowed the St. Mark’s attack, but not before the Spartans could take advantage of a power play which resulted from a John McCormick hooking minor early in the frame. Stroik set up Kline for a wrist shot from the left face-off circle 2:28 into the period, giving the junior his second tally of the game. After extending their lead to 5-0, St. Mark’s killed off five penalties to keep Episcopal at bay.
Senior Billy Pierce was in net for the shutout for the Spartans; shot statistics were not available.
Kennett 9, Harriton 2
The Kennett Blue Demons (5-2-2) broke the floodgates open early, outshooting Harriton 18-1 in a six-goal first period en route to a 9-2 rout of the Rams (0-7-0) at the Patriot Ice Center, completing a sweep of their season series.
Jacob DellaVecchia led Kennett with a hat trick while Christo Walker, Blake Richman and Kyle Robertson each contributed two goals. Hayden Ibarra-Blomgren proved strong in a supporting role with five assists, while freshman goalie Tyler Richman recorded 10 saves in victory.
Kennett takes a four-game winning streak to IceWorks in Aston, Pa., where they face Interboro (4-3-0) in their first seasonal meeting Friday (Dec. 7).