La Salle defeats Holy Ghost Prep for Flyers Cup crown

La Salle goalie Corbin Gustafson (12) is mobbed by his teammates after the Explorers captured the Flyers Cup Class AAA crown at the Wells Fargo Center.
La Salle goalie Corbin Gustafson (12) is mobbed by his teammates after the Explorers captured the Flyers Cup Class AAA crown at the Wells Fargo Center. (RON CORTES / Staff)
Posted: March 14, 2013

While most of his teammates sat on the Flyers' bench and stared at themselves on the giant overhead scoreboard before their game Tuesday night, La Salle junior Andrew Romano stayed in the locker room, trying to stay relaxed before his team took the ice in search of its third straight Flyers Cup.

Romano, when he did make his way to the ice, used that composure to score two goals and lead the Explorers to a 5-2 win against Holy Ghost Prep in the Class AAA final at the Wells Fargo Center.

"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'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 left 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 for the goal.

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, with Master and Charyszyn. It produced 27 points in three tournament games and provided dividends for the Explorers.

"We just seem to know where each other is at all times," Romano said.

Holy Ghost Prep 2 0 0 – 2

La Salle 3 1 1 – 5

Goals: HGP: 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 ncarroll@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @NickJCarroll.

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