April 17, 1990
Malvern Prep 6
Upper St. Clair 3
PITTSBURGH, PA. Early in the ice hockey season, few people, if any, probably picked Malvern Prep’s young and inexperienced team to win more than dozen games let alone a championship of any kind.
But the Friars, who began with a shaky 1-2 start in November before going on a tear, reached the pinnacle of success Saturday by beating Upper St. Clair, 6-3, in Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena to win the Tier 1 Pennsylvania state championship. The Friars were led by a solid defense and the offensive performance of Keith Grimley, who recorded 4 goals and an assist and was named the game’s most valuable player.
It was Malvern’s first state championship in any sport and sweet revenge for the Friars, who were ousted by Upper St. Clair in their only other bid for a state hockey championship. The Friars, who won the Flyers Cap tournament last week, had little knowledge of this Upper St. Clair team, winner of the Penguins Cup tournament.
The only thing Malvern knew was that the Panthers were 17-0-2 and had a high-scoring forward in Dave Klasnick, who had 55 goals during the season. With that in mind, the Friars simply shadowed Klasnick and went about business as usual. And thonugh Klasnick put his team up. 1-0, only one minute, fifty seconds into the contest, it was all the goal-scoring he would manage. Two minutes after Klasnick scored, Friars winger Ben Coia knotted the score, 1-1, and that was the point at which Malvern began manhandling the Panthers.
Grimley put on a one-man scoring show in the period, getting a hat trick on three consecutive power play scores to give his team a 4-1 lead. The Friars only scare came in the second period, when they took 6 penalties and were a man short much of the time. Upper St. Clair took advantage and got two goals from Darren Wegner, both assisted by Klasnick, and closed the gap to 4-3 Goalie Chris Dempsey made eight saves in the period (19 overall).
“We pretty much had things under control by then, except for the penalties,” Malvern coach Bob Martin said. “But for being short handed 6 times in the period, we handled it well Dempsey was out of this world.”
By David T. Shaw
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Martin told his players to revert to the way they played in the opening period, and the Friars responded.
With 9:22 remaining a blast from defenseman Keith Haig beat goalie Jason DeCarlo for a much-needed insurance goal. In the last minute, Grimley capped the game with his fourth goal, scoring into an empty net.
The Flyers Cup was what the team really wanted, but this was an added bonus,” said Martin, whose club ended at 23-3-1. “We’re real young and we’ll be back next year. The guys seemed to like this.”