(Milford, CT) – The Sacred Heart University Men's Hockey team tuned up for the approaching 2011-12 season with a 5-4 win over Ryerson in the Pioneers' only preseason exhibition of the year Sunday afternoon at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
Although it was only an exhibition, the Pioneers and Rams racked up 68 minutes of total penalty time in a rough and physical game. The Pioneers took advantage of a power play opportunity just 26 seconds into the game, when Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) tipped in the game's first goal on a wrist shot from the right point by Jordan Ciccarello (New Hartford, CT) 58 seconds after the opening faceoff. Jason Kelly tied the game for Ryerson at 14:25 of the first, set up by Michael Paolo and Kelly Geoffrey.
Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) put SHU back on top 2:16 into the second, stealing the puck near the Pioneers' blue line and racing the length down the right wing for a far side shot and unassisted goal. Jesse Chidwick tied the game at 3:50 with an assist going to Greg Riggs. It remained tied until 14:43 of the second, when the Rams took their only lead of the game on Dave Harris's slap shot from the right wing, set up by Greg Riggs.
Tye Lewis (Vancouver, WA) brought SHU back even at 17:53, taking a pass from Kyle Verbeek (Bloomfield, MI) on the right wing and cutting back to the middle for a nifty backhand goal. Drew George (Regina, SK) started the rush, getting the secondary assist. SHU took the lead for good 3:11 into the third period on a goal by Alex Stuart (Sauk Rapids, MN), sliding a low wrist shot in from the right wing after a cross-ice pass from Gingera. George then made it a two-goal cushion with a power play goal crashing the net on a feed from Ben Ketchum (Greenwich, CT). That goal proved to be the game-winner, as Ryerson scored with their goalie pulled and 35 seconds left on an unassisted goal by Jason Cassidy.
Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, SK) earned the win by starting the third period, making 10 saves on a 11 shots. Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) made 21 saves on 24 shots in the first two periods. SHU outshot Ryerson 44-35 in the game and went 2-9 on the man advantage.
Sacred Heart University opens its season on the road at the University of Minnesota, taking on the Golden Gophers next Friday and Saturday night beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST