WEST GOSHEN — As Malvern’s head coach Dave Dorman told his players, they played traditional Friars hockey Thursday night in a first-round win over sixth-seeded Archbishop Carroll in the Flyers Cup AAA tournament.
“(Carroll) is a really rugged, hard-nosed hockey team and they come hard,” Dorman said. “They have some guys that can put the puck in the back of the net. We knew what they were and we knew what we had to do. I was so proud of our guys for really stepping up and playing that brand of hockey.”
Third-seeded Malvern had more than just its leading goal scorers putting the puck in the back of the net in the 6-3 win.
“We had contributions from some of the guys that fly under the radar and usually don’t get the recognition that they deserve for the work that they put in,” Dorman said. “When you have guys like that contributing, only good things are going to come. Hats off to those guys.”
Those players included Collin Gordinier, Kyle Washkalavitch and Patrick Kavanaugh, who had the game-winner which came off a blast from a faceoff win from Nick Fantini while short-handed.
“A kid like Nick Fantini works so hard 200 feet of the ice – offense and defense,” Dorman said. “He doesn’t ask for anything, but earns everything he gets.”
The Friars brand of hockey from back in the 1990s featured tough, gritty hockey, Dorman said. Some of that resurfaced in the game, especially when Ethan Bedwell was challenged by a Carroll player during some pushing and shoving after the whistle and Bedwell laid the player out on the ice.
“The kid (Bedwell) would give you the shirt off his back,” Dorman said. “He’s one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet, but if you push him over that line, there’s Ethan the Bear I told them between the second and third period that this is just a back-alley, junkyard type of game and it was going to be a fight from start to finish. Our guys, emotionally, kept it in check. They didn’t step over that line, but man, did they walk it perfectly.”
Malvern will face second-seeded La Salle on Tuesday in the semifinals, a team which the Friars both won and lost against during the regular season.
“La Salle is a good hockey team and big players need to step up in big games and everyone needs to pull the rope in the same direction,” Dorman said. “I think we’re in a great state right now and in a great place mentally. I like our odds as much as anyone.”