The St. Joseph's Prep ice hockey team achieved a major breakthrough on Tuesday night.
Behind a pair of goals from Marc Colavita, the No. 2-seeded Hawks defeated No. 1 Holy Ghost Prep, 4-2, at Bristol's Grundy Arena to claim the program's first Flyers Cup Class 3A championship.
Colavita found the net 3 1/2 minutes into the third period to give St. Joseph's Prep (25-4-1) a 3-0 advantage and, after the Firebirds answered with a pair of tallies, added an empty-net goal with 90 seconds to play.
Ronan Egan scored in the closing seconds of the first period and Conor Ryan, who received the Bobby Clarke Award as the tournament's most valuable player, made it 2-0 late in the second. Both were power-play goals.
"The kids played aggressively most of the way, we kept Holy Ghost Prep bottled up in the neutral zone, and we got solid goaltending from Troy Stefano," Hawks fifth-year coach David Giacomin said.
St. Joseph's Prep snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Firebirds, who were vying for their third Flyers Cup title in four seasons.
Ryan was joined on the all-tournament team by Colavita, Stefano, and defenseman Tyler Black. Stefano was credited with 22 saves against Holy Ghost Prep (19-6).
The Hawks will take on Seneca Valley, of suburban Pittsburgh, for the Class 3A state title at 4 p.m. Saturday at West Chester's Ice Line.
"They play very good defensively, have a strong goaltender, and don't allow many goals," Giacomin said. "It should be an interesting matchup."
Downingtown East successfully defended its Flyers Cup Class 2A championship last Thursday with a 4-3 overtime triumph over Central Bucks South at Hatfield Ice Arena.
Last Wednesday, West Chester Rustin edged neighboring West Chester East, 4-3, at West Chester's Ice Line for its fifth straight Flyers Cup Class A championship.
On the girls' side, Unionville captured the Flyers Cup trophy with last Thursday's 8-2 romp over West Chester East at Ice Line.
Here is the schedule for Saturday's state finals at Ice Line:
Class A Boys: West Chester Rustin vs. Bishop McCort, 11 a.m.
Class 2A boys: Downingtown East vs. Armstrong, 1:30 p.m.