Pioneers’ Third Period Comeback Falls Short at Princeton

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team scored two early third period goals to get within two of Princeton Sunday at Hobey Baker Rink, but could not come all the way back as the Tigers won 5-2.

The first 9:26 of play were non-stop action, with Princeton (7-8-4) outshooting Sacred Heart (0-22-2) 6-4. The Pioneers had a chance to take an early lead as the line of Ben Lake, Drew George, and Ben Ketchum combined on a breakout to put a shot just wide of the goal with 15:13 remaining in the period. Sacred Heart goalie Steven Legatto was sharp early, stopping a wrap-around shot from the Tigers' Tyler Maugeri with 13:00 to play in the first period.

Princeton kept firing shots at Legatto late in the period, eventually scoring with 6:41 remaining in the opening stanza. Defensemen Alec Rush fired a shot from Jack Berger over the Pioneer goaltender's blocker to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Almost one minute later, Princeton went on the power play after Chad Filteau was called for slashing. The Tigers then went ahead 2-0 as Mike Ambrosia scored on the extra-man from Andrew Calof and Michael Sdao with 4:32 left in the frame. The Pioneers had a power play in the last two minutes of the first period, but managed only one shot as Princeton took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Tigers pulled away early in the second period, tacking on two goals in the first three minutes of play to take a 4-0 lead. Princeton outshot Sacred Heart 14-3 in the period, with Pioneers goalie Andrew Bodnarchuk making 12 saves. The Pioneers had a chance to get a goal back with 12:21 to play in the period when Eric Delong got into the Tigers' zone on a breakaway. His shot, however, went off the goalpost. 

Sacred Heart finally got on the scoreboard with 14:32 to play in the third period. Sophomore defensemen Will Raynor scored his first goal of the season with a blast from the point, making the score 4-1. Delong and Bryan Felice assisted on the Pioneers' first tally. Less than two minutes later, Brian Sheehan and Chad Barthelmess converted a 2-on-0 for Sacred Heart. Barthelmess knocked in the goal to get Sacred Heart within two, 4-2. Princeton, however, had one more goal in them. Ambrosia scored his second goal of the game with 6:35 to play to make the final score 5-2.

The Tigers outshot the Pioneers 38-21 for the game. Princeton goalie Sean Bonar made 19 saves as Bodnarchuk had 18 in 40:00 of action. Sacred Heart's line of Sheehan, Delong, and Barthelmess were each +2 for the game.

Sacred Heart returns to Atlantic Hockey play on Feb. 1 to start a two-game series at Robert Morris. The two sides will drop the puck at 7 p.m.