The last Carroll team that went to the Flyers Cup was that of 1990, then a Class A program.
Carroll has not won the Flyers Cup since 1978-79. As far as Pats coach Bill Hammond is aware, no Carroll team has ever posted a 19-5-2 overall record.
Much of Carroll's success this season has been due to the steady goaltending of juniors Sal Tecce and Sean Austermehle, who were the top two goaltenders in the Inter-County Class AA this season.
The Pats also have one of the best scoring tandems in senior Gerard Oakes and junior David Moccia, Carroll's leading scorer and the Pats' best all-around player.
"This is the best team I've had in my five years here," Hammond said. "This team is much stronger than any team I've had. This is a much more disciplined team, they play as a team really well, and they're really behind each other. I'm getting a great effort by every kid on this team. We feel we could win the cup this year, we feel it's ours to win or lose."
Back in action. It has not been months since Malvern Prep last played a game, it just seems that way.
The Friars last played on Feb. 25, when they closed out the Inter-County League Class AAA regular season with an 8-0 victory over West Chester East.
The victory gave the Friars an automatic bye into the Flyers Cup Class AAA and also bought Malvern a lot of time off.
The Friars finished the regular season with a 14-1-1 mark.
"I think this was a good thing for us," Malvern captain Chris Lawrence said. "This is like my freshman year, when we won the Flyers Cup. I think it helped us then, too. We played with a lot of confidence throughout the Flyers Cup and that helped us.
"We had some guys that were banged and this gave them some time to heal," the senior noted. "We're close to 100 percent healthy for maybe the first time the whole season."
Senior Brett Landrum, one of the Friars' top defensemen, was out much of the season with a broken wrist suffered earlier in the year. Malvern also was without sophomore forward Tim Wochok, who also missed a large portion of the season with a broken wrist. Even Lawrence was banged up, missing a month with a leg injury.
Malvern entered last night's Flyers Cup quarterfinal game against Monsignor Bonner at Ice Line with a 10-game winning streak.
The Friars were dominating throughout February, outscoring their last six opponents, 40-6, during the toughest stretch of their schedule.
That streak included victories over the most competitive three teams in the area, Cardinal O'Hara, West Chester Henderson and La Salle. The Friars' confidence level is the highest it has been this season.
"We're probably playing our best hockey right now," Lawrence said. "We still practice once a week, but I'd say we have about 14 guys that play club hockey, so we're all constantly on the ice.
"Our goal right now is we want to be the top team in the state. It'll be tough, knowing every team is going to come out after us. People on this team know what's at hand. We're not looking past anyone."
The rematch. Strath Haven will meet Methacton tomorrow night at the Skatium at 7 p.m. in the semifinals of the Flyers Cup Class A Division. It will mark the second meeting of the teams in two weeks.
Strath Haven won, 4-2, on March 12 for the Inter-County League Class A title.
The Panthers may be the hottest team in the area, carrying a 13-game winning streak and a 17-3 overall record into the game.
A big key to this game for Strath Haven could be the return of forward Ryan Kitts, one of the team's fastest skaters. The sophomore injured his back when he was crosschecked in the first Methacton game.
Methacton plays an open style. If the game turns into a shoot-out, the Panthers, though they are a faster team, could be in trouble.
"Methacton has some really good forwards, but defensively they're not as strong as us," Strath Haven coach John Murry said. "They play three forwards high, which creates a lot of odd-man rushes. If we can't stop that from happening, we could be in trouble."