(Niagara, NY) – The Sacred Heart Men's Hockey team fell to the Niagara Purple Eagles, who remained undefeated in Atlantic Hockey Association behind two third-period goals en route to a 5-3 win Friday night.
Niagara scored first at 14:56 of the first on a goal by Dan Kolenda, who took a pass in the slot from Patrick Divjak and fired a wrist shot stick side to put the Purple Eagles on top. Despite being outshot 22-6 in the opening period, the Pioneers went into the intermission tied thank to a goal by Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, MO) with 1:23 left in the first. Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) took two shots from the low slot after a centering pass from behind the net by Jared Eng (West Vancouver, BC), with the second rebound trickling to the goal line where Sheehan swept in his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
SHU took a 2-1 lead 2:37 into the second when Chad Barthelmess (Norristown, PA) crashed the net and banged in the rebound on shot from Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, QC), who streaked down the right wing on a two-on-one. Niagara tied the game at 11:46 on a goal by Giancarlo Iuorio, who trailed on a three-on-two and snuck a wrist shot far post after a poke check bounced the puck his way. However, SHU responded nine seconds later, as Chad Filteau (Regina, SK) took passes from Mathew Solomon (Toronto, ON) and Morgan Bonner (Aurora, ON) and broke in on an odd-man rush, then picked the top left corner with wrist shot to tie the game again.
Ryan Murphy put the Purple Eagles up for good, breaking a 3-3 tie by poking in a rebound at 6:34 of the third after a wrist shot from the point by Kevin Alberts. Niagara added another on Iuorio's second goal of the night at 13:10, sniping a wrist shot short side from the left dot after a creative drop pass from Ryan Murphy.
Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) tied his career high with 50 saves, as Niagara outshot Sacred Heart 55-26 for the game. SHU and Niagara face off again Saturday, December 1 at 7:05 pm.