Pioneers Battle #19 Union in 7-3 Loss

C.J. Marottolo
C.J. Marottolo

(Schenectady, NY) - T.J. Powers scored his first collegiate goal and Pat Knowlton and Matt Gingera scored their first goals of the season, but Kelly Zajac scored four times as the #19 Union Dutchmen beat the Sacred Heart Pioneers 7-3 Saturday night at Messa Rink.

Jeremy Welsh put Union on the board first at the 5:04 mark, before Zajac made it 2-0 a little more than two minutes later with his first goal of the night at the 7:24 mark.  However, Knowlton responded by trimming the lead in half, cutting to the slot off a drop pass from Eric DeLong an scoring on a wrist-shot  at the 14:01 mark of the first.  After Zajac scored again on the power-play at the 15:56 mark to give the Dutchmen another two-goal cushion, Sacred Heart answered with a power-play goal of its own.  Powers scored his first collegiate goal on a wrist-shot from the right faceoff circle on a sharp pass from Dave Berube at the 18:07 mark.  It appeared the Pioneers tied the game moments later when Anthony Yelovich knocked in a rebound with 1:22 left in the period, but the goal was disallowed because of a h and pass.

Sacred Heart did tie the game when Gingera crashed the net and tucked a rebound off a shot by Bryan Felice inside the post 3:21 into the second.  However, the Pioneers took three penalties within five minutes, and Union capitalized.  Zajac earned the hat trick with a power-play goal just 16 seconds into their power play at 4:15 of the second to take the lead for good.  Greg Coburn followed that with a power play goal just 14 seconds into the man advantage at 6:09 of the second to give Union a 5-3 lead.  Wayne Simpson added a third unanswered goal on the power play at 9:30 of the third, as Union finished 4-7 on the man advantage.  Zajac scored his fourth of the night at 16:58 of the third.

The Pioneers are next in action when they begin conference play by hosting Canisius Oct. 22 and 23 at the Milford Ice Pavilion.