Newark, Del. — A strong Strath Haven defence silenced Salesianum’s efforts at a late rally on Monday evening (Dec. 10), as the Panthers (6-1-1) prevailed 3-2 over an improved Salesianum side (2-5-1) at the Patriot Ice Center.
Despite being kept without a shot on goal through the first half of the first period, Salesianum — with Ethan Scharp and Cam Bergeman split up to centre the top two lines — held their own defensively from the outset, and senior goalie Graham Burke stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first period, including a last-second series where he denied an initial chance from Blayden Reid at the left dot before lunging to save Liam Carney’s attempted rebound put-back.
A Luke O’Connor boarding penalty early in the second period opened the door for Salesianum, who accounted for both of their goals while on power plays. At 2:02 in the middle frame, Bergeman potted the rebound of a long Nick Falkowski shot to put Salesianum on the board, but the Panthers’ power-play unit countered late in the period. Carney, once again looming in front of the crease, redirected a Reid shot from the top of the zone through the five-hole at 13:13 to tie the game before Ryan Spanier and Colorado Cooper — both from the low slot — added third-period tallies for Strath Haven.
Down 3-1 with 9:14 to go, Salesianum dug in and recorded 10 third-period shots on Panthers goalie Lukas Bernhaus, but aside from a goal from Scharp set up by senior defenceman Will Calandra on a two-man advantage at 10:04, Bernhaus had the last word. He and the Strath Haven defence kept Salesianum fruitless to the end, staving off an extra attacker through the final minute of the game to protect victory.
Bernhaus saved 19 of 21 shots, while Burke stopped 21 of 24.
Salesianum next faces St. Mark’s on Friday evening (Dec. 14) as part of the 11th annual Hockey for a Cause event at Fred Rust Arena.