EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart and Connecticut men's ice hockey teams faced off at Rentschler Field, as a part of the Whalers Hockey Fest, under the sky on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies completed a season sweep of the Pioneers with a 3-1 decision outdoors at the home of UConn football.
The win lifted Connecticut to 10-16-14 overall and 10-11-2 in the Atlantic Hockey Association, while SHU dropped to 4-21-5 and 4-14-5.
The Pioneers dominated a very physical first period and outshot the Huskies 17-12, but went into the locker room trailing 1-0. With 32 seconds left in the frame, senior Justin Hernandez snapped a shot toward the SHU goal that was deflected in by classmate Andrew Olson.
In the second period, Sacred Heart fought back to tie the game at one on its first power play opportunity of the afternoon. At the 12:43 mark, senior forward Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) circled around the left side and sent a pass through the goal mouth for junior linemate Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, Man.) who buried the shot for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Exactly one minute later, UConn stole back any momentum gained by the SHU score as freshman Cole Schneider crashed the net for the go-ahead score. Late in the third, Schneider would add his second of the day to push the Connecticut lead to 3-1.
Between the pipes, sophomore Garrett Bartus was brilliant for the second game in a row. After allowing two goals and making 30 saves on Friday, Bartus came up with another 30 saves and gave up just one score. For Sacred Heart, sophomore Steven Legatto (Kelowna, B.C.) provided 35 saves in the cage.
The Pioneers are back in action next weekend as they take on Holy Cross for a home-and-home series beginning in Worcester, Mass. On Friday at 7:05 pm.