La Salle Readies For Battle With Rival

Posted: January 09, 1995

The preseason prognosticators had La Salle and West Chester East as the contenders for the Inter-County Hockey League title this season. Those predictions have proven correct, as the Explorers have sailed to an 11-0 start, while East has jetted to a 10-0 league mark.

The contenders will face off Thursday at the Viking Skating Rink in King of Prussia at 7 p.m. The final meeting during the regular season will take place Feb. 17 at Ice Line in West Chester.

"West Chester East is an offensive-minded team, while we're a defensive- minded team," said La Salle coach Peter Nolan. "It should be a great game, and the kids are very excited. This is the biggest league test that we're going to face all year."

La Salle has dominated the remainder of the ICHL, outscoring opponents by a staggering 92-7 this season. East has averaged 10 goals a game and has outgunned the ICHL opposition by 100-20.

The Explorers (18-4-2 overall) prepared for the showdown with a 10-1 league victory over North Catholic last Monday, and followed that with a 4-3 nonleague conquest on Friday of powerful DeMatha (D.C.).

"We try our best to schedule some good nonleague competition," said Nolan. "DeMatha has a tremendous program, and for us to play well and come out with a win is only going to help us later in the season."

The victory over DeMatha was sparked by the fine play of junior Mike Farrell, freshman Bob Farrell (Mike's brother), sophomore Casey Schaffer and senior Mike Ferrare. Senior defensemen Brian Price and P. J. Quinn anchored the defensive effort, while sophomore Joe Vigorita was the winning goaltender.

"This is the best way for us to go into the East game," said Nolan. "To beat a good team, in a close game, is the best we could have hoped for."

La Salle had opened the week with an ICHL romp over North Catholic. Mike Farrell had the hat trick for the winners, while Bob Farrell chipped in with a pair of goals. Mike leads the club in scoring for the season with 14 goals and 13 assists, while Bob is second in scoring with 13 goals and 13 assists.

PATRIOTS MARCH

* Germantown Academy is pretty much in the same boat as La Salle. The Patriots seek the very best nonleague schedule they can find. Coach John Ioia will take his team to Lawrenceville (N.J.) Wednesday to play the prep school.

"We'll get a chance to see what we can do against excellent competition," said Ioia. "We seem to play much more intense games out of the league. Other than Council Rock I, we don't have too much competition within our league."

The Patriots had a single Suburban League game Tuesday at the Face-Off Circle in Warminster, and rolled to a 13-3 win over William Tennent.

"The best thing about a game like that is that everybody gets a good chance for some ice time," said Ioia. "The game was only 4-2 early in the second period, but we dominated after that. We spread the scoring out, and everybody made a contribution."

Five players led the offensive attack with a pair of goals each. That list included seniors Josh Viel, Rob Shaner and Rich Podulka. Other two-goal scorers were sophomore Radim Zelenka and freshman Andrew Skilton.

Germantown Academy, in addition to the Lawrenceville contest, has three SHSHL contests. The Patriots (9-0 league) meet Central Bucks West (1-9-1) tomorrow, Central Bucks East (5-5-2) on Thursday and Council Rock II (0-8-1) on Friday.

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