The Blue Demons knocked off the No. 1 seeded Friars 3-2 on Monday night in the opening round of the President's Cup playoffs."I told the kids it was the biggest win in the history of our program."
Mac McGarry, KHS hockey coach Well, it certainly didn't take the Kennett High School ice hockey team long to erase the sour taste of a disappointing loss to archrival Unionville.
Just three nights after being edged by Unionville, Kennett roared back and shocked the Philadelphia area ice hockey world.
The Blue Demons, seeded No. 16 in the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League's President Cup playoffs, stunned No. 1 seed Malvern Prep by a score of 3-2 in the opening round of the tournament on Monday night at IceLine.
Malvern Prep, widely regarded as the most decorated AAA team in the area, with five Flyers Cup Class AAA titles in the last seven years, came into the game as the overwhelming favorite.
Kennett, who is only a Class A team, was never intimidated.
"I told the kids it was the biggest win in the history of our program," said Kennett head coach Mac McGarry. "Malvern Prep is known as the No. 1 team in this area for years and years. They have a rich tradition, multiple Flyers Cup titles at the AAA level, players that have gone on to play Division I hockey. They are the premier team in the area.
"So I would say the hockey world is pretty shocked right now. I know a lot of the guys at the rink and when the game was over there was a ton of respect for our team and the way our kids played. It was a tremendous victory for us. The kids were all smiles in the locker room afterwards and that was terrific to see."
Last year, Kennett set a school record with 22 victories and advanced all the way to the Flyers Cup Class A title game, where they lost to eventual state champion West Chester Henderson. Going into the Malvern Prep game on Monday, though, Kennett was 5-9-4 this season.
"I was really worried that this year's senior class, who has been a part of so much success in the past, was going to leave the program without really making their mark on it senior year. That won't be the case now. I was so happy for those seniors."
Kennett took a 3-2 lead over Malvern in the second period on a goal by freshman Eric Borman, and held on to that lead for over 15 minutes. The Blue Demons killed off multiple power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 in the third period for nearly two full minutes. Kennett senior goalie Greg Tinkoff made 35 saves in the win.
"Tink played a great game, no question about it," said McGarry. "But it wasn't like the ice was tilted. We went up and down the ice with them all night long. We played a very disciplined game in our end, and tried to keep things to the outside. Our penalty killing was terrific. Guys were diving in front of pucks."
Kennett took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on a goal by Mike Piacentino. After Malvern tied it a 1-1, Josh Pezzner gave the Demons a 2-1 lead. The Friars evened it up again before Borman's game-winning goal.
"If we played a best-of-five series, they'd win," said McGarry. "Last night was our night, though. Everything came together for us, and the kids made it happen. We certainly busted the bracket."