BRIDGEPORT, CT (November 22, 2011) – The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team pulled off one of college hockey's early season stunning upsets Tuesday night, upending the #8 ranked Yale Bulldogs 7-6 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. SHU sophomore Chad Filteau (Regina, SK) buried the game-winning goal with 4:14 left in the game to send the Pioneers home with not only their first win of the season but the program's first over a ranked opponent.
Despite outshooting Sacred Heart (1-11-0) 53-19 on the night, the Bulldogs (5-2-1) couldn't shake a pesky Pioneer bunch that made the most of their chances. Filteau scored a pair, his first two goals of the season, while junior goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) turned away 47 Yale shots to earn the win.
"We played tremendous and I couldn't be prouder of our bunch of guys in our locker room tonight," stated head coach C.J. Marottolo. "We battled. We struggled all year, but tonight we showed great mental toughness, great resiliency against a very good, high octane Yale team."
The Pioneers struck first in a game that featured four lead changes on a senior Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) goal just over five minutes into the game. Yale answered with a pair, coming off the sticks of Tommy Fallen and Matt Killian, but an early turning point for SHU came with just under four minutes to play. After an apparent Pioneer goal was disallowed that would have tied the game, SHU would not be denied, responding just five seconds later. Off the face-off, senior Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, NJ) buried one from freshman Ryan Stanimir (West Vancover, BC) and sophomore Neil Fachini (East Hampton, CT).
"To me, the turning point was when we got that goal disallowed and we responded five seconds later with a goal. For me, that said ok, were here. We are going to battle tonight."
SHU got the jump on the Bulldogs to open the second as freshman Drew George (Regina, SK) tacked on an unassisted goal followed by Filteau's first of the night for a 4-2 with just over four minutes left. Yale, however, got the last chance in the period as Andrew Miller scored from Brian O'Neill and Gus Young cut it to 4-3 heading into the intermission.
Yale opened the third period on the power play and converted 1:54 into play, tying the game on Chad Ziegler's score. The Bulldogs took back the lead just 21 seconds later as Jesse Root blasted one past Legatto to go up 5-4. The Pioneers refused to go away and answered just 1:18 later as captain Eric DeLong (Oakville, MB) scored on breakaway to tie it 5-5.
SHU continued to build on the momentum and took their third lead of the night eight minutes into the third period as junior Ben Ketchum (Greenwich, CT) buried one from Stanimire and Yelovich. Yale once again provided the answer this time off the stick of Kenny Agostino right at the midway point of the period, 6-6.
FIlteau would help deliver the Pioneer victory with just 4:14 left to play. Yelovich chipped the puck toward goal but saw it deflect to Filteau who was open on the wing as the defense tried to adjust, burying his second of the night. Yale would pull their goaltender Jeff Malcolm at the 1:06 mark but failed to get a shot off and a hooking penalty on Fallen in the closing seconds sealed the Bulldogs fate.
The Pioneers finished 0-4 on the power play while Yale was 1-2 on the night. Malcolm made 10 saves for Yale but gave up five of SHU's seven goals. Nick Maricic made a pair of saves and allowed two SHU scores.
Sacred Heart will remain at home this weekend as the get back to Atlantic Hockey play welcoming in Niagara. SHU will face the Purple Eagles on Saturday at 4:00 pm from the Milford Ice Pavilion and on Sunday at 6:00 pm at the Webster Bank Arena following the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Manchester game.