Cancellation to Champions

After the Friar’s league championship was cancelled due to Covid, the team was able to rally back and become Friar’s Cup and State Champions.

Aidan Naughton, Sports Editor

Many Malvern sports teams had the unfortunate circumstance of losing their season last year this year because of Covid. The hockey team was no different. Set to prepare for the league championship, the game was called off, the day of, because of COVID-19 cases within the team. 

Head Coach Bill Keenan commented on the cancellation saying, “As a coach that’s never the news you want to have to share with your team….You know that was a tough, tough communication I had to rely on to the boys and there was a big, big sense of disappointment.” 

Despite the cancellation, the Friars were able to rally and win their semi final game qualifying for the Flyer’s Cup. 

Coach Keenan further commented saying, “We’ve made it this far and have given ourselves an opportunity to show up and compete and the boys are excited. I think they’re dialed in.” 

And dialed in they were, winning 4-3 in Overtime with the Friar’s Seniors Ryan Sambucco and Jack Constabile scoring in the first period and freshman Jeremy Jacobs scoring in the second forcing the game into overtime. To secure the win was sophomore Jimmy Jacobs who scored the final, electric game-winning goal. 

“Scoring the game winning goal was something I will remember for a lifetime. I was pumped up and excited that our team was able to get the job done.” 

Jimmy Jacobs, Quinn Dougherty, Ryan Sambucco and goalie Anthony Perti were all named to the All-Tournament team being selected from the Flyer’s Cup Committee. 

Sophomore Steven Getsie commented on Quinn Dougherty and Goalie Anthony Perti saying,  “Perti’s second season, as far as he started as goaltender, he definitely totally turned around this year. This year he was the best goalie in the state, I would say, and he was a humongous part of our, our run and our win and Quinn [Dougherty] he’s gonna be our number one defenseman next year, most likely, and he stepped up big in the championship, too. He had a goal in the state championship. I think he had a couple points in the Flyer’s Cup.” 

Team Captain Ryan Sambucco also credited his teammates and the Jacob brothers for his play in the Flyer’s Cup. 

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and my linemates, the Jacobs and I. We just recently started playing together going into the Flyer’s Cup or the last game of the regular season, so we should, we sort of gel really well together,” he said.

Coach Keenan also praised the team’s win.

The Flyer’s Cup Championship was nothing short of electric. The boys came to the rink focused and dialed in….. We have had an overall motto this season of everyone being bought in, putting the team above self. That showed in our game tonight. The boys came out fast and fought through the adversity. In the end it was great to see us come out on top and bring the Flyer’s Cup home to Malvern Prep,” he said.

This hot streak continued for the Friars to the 24th when the team was able to cruise to a 4-2 win over the North Allegheny Tigers with Jack Costabile, scoring two of the goals of off assists from Matt Harris and Jimmy Krik, and Quinn Dockery scoring off an assist from Jeremy Jacobs in the first period. In the second period, Jimmy Kirk scored off an assist from Matt Harris for the final goal for the team bringing home the trophy for the Friars. 

“After we won the state it kind of set in, after a little bit, that we were state champions and that was just like the greatest thing ever,” Getsie said. 

Sambucco also shared his excitement about winning the AAA state championship, a feat Malvern Hockey has only completed twice in 1990 and 2004. 

“I am still in shock honestly, like it’s unbelievable. I mean all the social media, everything the school, the events and everything still like in that moment….I think, maybe down the road and eventually it will and look back at all the pictures and videos and I’ll be like wow we actually did do that but it’s still surreal,” he said. “It’s what you dream of when you’re a little kid to win that Flyer’s Cup in a state championship for your high school” 

After being cancelled, rallying and winning the Flyer’s Cup over LaSalle and then again to win the AAA state championship this will definitely be a memorable moment and season for the Friars.

It will also be a memory that Sambucco won’t forget, “We’re able to manage with the adversity, and we have all season, we’ve just dealt with it and moved on and to accomplish what we did it just goes to show how we’ve come together as a team and what it takes to win a championship.”