MILFORD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team came back from 4-3 down in the third period to defeat the Bentley Falcons 5-4 at Milford Ice Pavilion Friday night. The Pioneers got goals from Spencer Graboski (Quesnel, B.C.) and Jeff Carroll (Kingston, Ont.) in the final three minutes to earn their 10th win of the season.
Sacred Heart reached double-digit wins for the first time since the 2009-10 season with the victory Friday night. Junior Drew George (Regina, Sask.) had two goals and an assist, giving him seven points in the last three games. Ben Lake (Calgary, Alb.) and David Iacono (Newmarket, Ont.) each had two assists. Carroll's game-winning goal with 1:15 remaining in regulation extended his point-scoring streak to seven games.
Bentley (16-11-4, 14-6-4 AHA) got off to a fast start, scoring on the power play 2:07 into the hockey game. Andrew Gladiuk fired an Alex Grieve pass past Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) to make the score 1-0. Sacred Heart (10-21-0, 9-15-0 AHA) went on its first power play at the 3:00 mark of the first period, but it was the Falcons that scored shorthanded to extend the lead to 2-0. Brett Switzer scored at 4:13 for Bentley's second tally. George got the Pioneers on the scoreboard with 1:34 remaining in the first period. With Sacred Heart on the power play, the junior forward fired a shot from the high slot past Bentley goalie Branden Komm to make the score 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
After an even start to the second period, the Falcons got the lead back to two goals. Derek Bacon scored 9:55 into the middle frame to give Bentley a 3-1 lead with assists from Jared Rickord and Max French. Sacred Heart got back within a goal with 2:16 remaining in the period when Chad Filteau (Regina, Sask.) put in the rebound of a Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, Mo.) shot to make the score 3-2. George then tied the game 3-3 1:24 later with assists from Lake and Mitch Nylen (Lawrenceville, Ga.). Sacred Heart outshot Bentley 13-9 in the second period.
Bentley controlled possession early in the third period and finally took back the lead with 9:34 remaining in the game. Andrew Gladiuk took a Matt Maher pass and scored on the backhand to put the Falcons in front 4-3. The Pioneers turned up the offense from there, outshooting the Falcons 11-5 in the third period. With 2:18 remaining, Graboski slammed home the rebound of a Lake shot from the slot to tie the game 4-4. Carroll then scored the eventual game-winning goal 1:03 later, crashing the net to put in a loose puck and give the Pioneers' a 5-4 lead. Sacred Heart's defense made the lead hold up, as Bentley was held without a shot in the final minute.
Sacred Heart outshot Bentley 34-30 for the game with each team going 1-for-3 on the power play. Vazzano made 26 saves for the win as Komm had 29.
The two teams will play each other Saturday night at Bentley at 7:05 p.m.