March 29, 2002

Malvern Prep was starting to wonder what it was going to take to get the puck past tiny Germantown Academy goaltender Luis Perez last night. But the Friars eventually broke through and beat the Patriots, 2-0, at the First Union Spectrum to win the Flyers Cup Class AAA championship. It was the second straight title for Malvern Prep, which became the first team to win five Class AAA titles in the 23-year history of the prestigious high school ice hockey tournament. The Friars (27-3-1) will play defending state champion Bethel Park tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Rostraver Ice Gardens in Belle Vernon in a rematch of last year’s state Class AAA championship. The valiant Patriots, who have skated with just nine players most of this season, finished 24-12-3. The game was entirely different from the teams’ first meeting this season, when Malvern crushed GA, 9-0, on Nov. 30. Last night, the score could have been more one-sided had it not been for the play of Perez, a 5-foot-6, 140-pound junior. He finished with 38 saves and was named tournament MVP. Tim McKeon finally solved Perez in the second period. He scored the game’s first goal with 5 minutes, 49 seconds re- maining in the session follow- ing an assist from Brett Watson. Until that point, Malvern Prep had been frustrated by Perez. As McKeon skated across the front of the goal, he snapped off a low shot that found its way past Perez, who kicked out the first 21 shots he faced. “Their goalie played a heck of a game, we just kept on firing the puck at him,” McKeon said. “He definitely frustrated us for the first period and a half. But once we got that first goal, we knew we were in good shape.” Malvern’s Chris Campanale poked home an insurance goal with 3:50 left in the game. Perez did a nice job of keeping the Patriots in the game early, steering away 16 first-period shots. Malvern Prep fired shots from far out, and shots from close range. But Perez stopped all of them. “We wanted to play a patient game and we knew we could depend on Luis,” Germantown Academy coach Gump Whiteside said. “I’ve been saying it all year. Luis is the best goaltender in the area.” Germantown Academy, however, did have its opportunities. Despite being outshot, 16-8, in the first period, junior Drew Fishbone had two scoring chances on breakaways. But both were stopped by Malvern goaltender Max Sorensen, who posted his third shutout of the season, stopping 17 shots.

Germantown Academy……0-0-0–0
Malvern Prep………………0-1-1–2
Goals: MP-Tim McKeon, Chris Campanale.
Saves: MP-Max Sorensen 17. GA-Luis Perez 38.

By Joe Santoliquito
The Philadelphia Inquirer