"I didn't want to get too amped up about where we were playing," said Romano, who finished the Flyers Cup with a tournament-best six goals and 11 points in three games. "It's awesome to play here, but I just wanted to stay relaxed."
Holy Ghost made it difficult for top-seeded La Salle to relax when Robert Marlin scored after only 31 seconds had elapsed and Michael Major tied the score at 2-2 only seven minutes into the game.
Romano, remaining calm and patient, responded less than two minutes later. Leading a two-on-one, he patiently waited for a Holy Ghost defenseman to slide into the passing lane, taking himself out of the play, and fired a wrist shot over Holy Ghost goalie Peyton Jones' blocker.
"After that goal, we were juiced up and energized," said Romano, named the tournament's most valuable player. "We didn't want to give it back."
"We've been a team that can answer back this year," La Salle coach Walter Muehlbronner said.
Romano helped put the game out of reach in the second and third periods.
With less than seven minutes remaining in the second, La Salle center Nick Master won a faceoff to Romano. With Holy Ghost defenders keenly focused on Romano, he slid a pass to linemate Kevin Charyszyn, who found the back of the net.
Romano put the game away with a minute a half to go when he blasted a long rebound past Jones to open a three-goal lead against the second seed.
"He's the ultimate competitor," Muehlbronner said. "He's a phenomenal kid."
Romano also finds comfort on the top line, which includes him, Master, and Charyszyn. It produced 27 points over three tournament games and proved dividends for the Explorers.
Romano met Master through hockey as a six-year-old, and the two continue to flourish together with Charyszyn.
"We just seem to know where each other is at all times," Romano added.
Holy Ghost Prep 2 0 0 – 2
La Salle 3 1 1 – 5
Goals: Robert Marlin (Kevin Clifton), 0:31; Michael Major (Nicholas Bohatiuk, Ian Damiani) 7:17. LS-Ryan Williams (Collin Charyszyn), 2:44; Brendan Jaquay (unassisted), 6:01, Andrew Romano (unassisted), 9:15; Kevin Charyszyn (Romano, Nicholas Master), 9:15 (second); Romano (Kevin Charyszyn, Michael Pascali), 15:24 (third).
Saves: HGP-Peyton Jones 28; LS-Corbin Gustafson 22.
Contact Nick Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @NickJCarroll.