Newark, Del. — For the Delaware Military Academy Seahawks, the third time was a charm.
After losing both regular-season meetings to Salesianum, the Seahawks proved successful on Delaware scholastic hockey’s grandest stage, using a strong power play to upend their rivals, 2-0, in the inaugural Delaware Cup championship game on Wednesday night (March 6) at the Patriot Ice Center.
The Seahawks, who dominated possession throughout and outshot the Sals, 40-12, used a decided speed edge and solid face-off work from Justin McGee and Lukas Cook to establish and maintain a near constant presence in the Salesianum zone.
A few offside stretch passes early in the first period led to a troubled start for DMA, but they found their momentum late in the period when Salesianum defenceman Nick Falkowski was assessed a cross-checking minor in a battle for net-front position. With 1:56 left in the opening period and only 32 seconds of the power play elapsed, McGee fired a hard wrist shot from the top of the right circle between the crossbar and Salesianum goalie Graham Burke’s glove.
Despite peppering Burke with 14 shots in the second period, DMA was kept scoreless by the Salesianum defence, and the Seahawks staved off the Sals’ best chance to tie the game by killing off an extended two-man deficit early in the third period. With 9:06 remaining in regulation and Salesianum down a man again, the Seahawks potted a second power-play goal to seal victory. Aaron Catron, who had a hat trick in DMA’s 9-3 win over Appoquinimink on Monday, connected amid a net-front scrum off the rebound of an Alex Maglio chance from close range with 7:34 left in the contest.
Burke saved 38 of 40 shots faced in defeat, while DMA netminder Anthony Guerrieri turned aside all 12 shots he faced. DMA’s power-play unit was 2-for-6, and they killed off all four penalties they were assessed.
DMA faces Moorestown (N.J.) in the first round of the Flyers Cup on Monday (March 11), while Salesianum’s Tuesday (March 12) opponent will be determined in Monday’s quarterfinal action.