MILFORD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team broke a 3-3 tie with four unanswered goals to win its first game of the season Tuesday night, defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders 7-3 at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Ben Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) and Chad Filteau (Regina, Sask.) each had two goals in the victory.
The Pioneers scored seven goals for the first time since Nov. 22, 2011 against Yale. Ketchum also had an assist for a three-point night. Eric Delong (Oakville, Man.) had two assists and was a +3 on the game. Sophomore goaltender Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, Sask.) made 33 saves.
Sacred Heart (1-26-2, 1-19-2 Atlantic Hockey) struck first as Ketchum knocked in a Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, Mo.) rebound 56 seconds into the game, giving the Pioneers a 1-0 lead. Holy Cross (15-12-2, 11-9-2) responded with a Brandon Nunn power play goal and a Tim Driscoll tally to take a 2-1 lead 9:18 into the game. Kyle Verbeek (Birmingham, Mich.) tied the game 2-2 with a shot right in front of the goal with 7:57 remaining in the first. Sacred Heart then took back the lead with 5:58 to play in the period as Chad Barthelmess (Norristown, Pa.) put a Delong pass in the net to make the score 3-2 going into the first intermission.
Holy Cross tied the game 3-3 3:24 into the second period when Kyle Fletcher won a faceoff to Erik Vos who snapped a shot past Bodnarchuk. That would be the Crusaders' last tally of the night. The Pioneers took a 4-3 lead with 6:02 to play in the second period when Ketchum fed Filteau for a breakaway goal. The Pioneers had two power play chances early in the third period to extend the lead, but it was their third extra-man opportunity on which Sacred Heart extended the lead. Ketchum put in his second goal of the game 9:19 into the third to make the score 5-3. Less than three minutes later, Jake Lynes (Ellicott City, Md.) found a streaking Filteau, fresh out of the penalty score, who scored all alone on Holy Cross goaltender Matt Ginn to put Sacred Heart up 6-3. Ben Lake (Calgary, Alb.) tallied the final Pioneers goal of the night with 3:16 to play with assists from Ryan Stanimir (West Vancouver, B.C.) and Nick Curry (Augusta, Ga.).
The Crusaders outshot Sacred Heart 36-31. The Pioneers, however, were 2-for-4 on the power play to Holy Cross' 1-for-4.
Sacred Heart opens a home-and-home series with Bentley Friday night at 7 p.m. in Watertown, Mass.