Pioneers Drop Series Finale to AIC, 4-1

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey was unable to erase a two-goal deficit, falling to AIC 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.

The Pioneers (3-8-0, 1-5-0 AHA) were able to get within one goal in the second period but the Yellow Jackets (4-6-2, 3-3-2 AHA) capitalized in the third to take the season series sweep. Redshirt-sophomore Jason Cotton recorded his fourth goal of the season for SHU, his third tally in the last four games. Junior Stephen Hladin & freshman Matt Tugnutt assisted on the play. Senior Nathan Perry made 26 saves between the pipes for the Pioneers.


Turning Point…

The Yellow Jackets offense followed up last night's four goal final period with two scores in the opening period this afternoon. SHU responded in the second period putting up 13 shots on goal to the AIC seven shots. Cotton broke through for the Pioneers at 11:44 on the feed from Hladin & Tugnutt. 11 penalties were committed in the period by both teams. 

AIC took advantage of a five-on-three chance in the third with Jaks scoring at 2:32. Blake Christensen scored nearly four minutes later to take the 4-1 lead. SHU was 0-for-8 on the man advantage in the game, including a chance at a five-on-three in the third period.

How They Scored…

12:44 – 1st Period: AIC 1, SHU 0: The Yellow Jackets won the faceoff draw in the Pioneers zone. Andrew Debrincat sent a pass out to the top of the slot for Jaks but was denied by Perry. A scrum for the puck followed for the rebound, eventually working its way to Vitaliy Novytskyy who was wide open for the opening goal. 

16:59 – 1st Period: AIC 2, SHU 0: AIC worked the three-on-two rush into the Pioneers zone. Brennan Kapcheck sent the puck from the wing to Darius Davidson who found Christensen to bury the second goal of the period.

11:44 – 2nd Period: AIC 2, SHU 1: Fresh off the power play chance in third power play chance in the period. Tugnutt worked the puck out to Hladin who found Cotton for the open look past Stefano Durante. 

2:32 – 3rd Period: AIC 3, SHU 1: The Yellow Jackets earned a five-on-three chance early in the final period. Off the faceoff win, Christensen worked the puck to Brennan Kapcheck at the left point. He fired a slap shot on net with Jaks in the right place for the rebound score.

6:25 – 3rd Period: AIC 4, SHU 1: Off the Pioneers turnover, Christenesen took the puck in himself and scored the final goal of the game.

Key Stats & Notes…

  • SHU was swept in a weekend series by the Yellow Jackets for the first time since February 15-16, 2013. 
  • Cotton picked up his third goal in the last four games for the Pioneers. 
  • Hladin earned points in back-to-back games for the first time this season. 
  • SHU had its highest power play opportunities of the season with eight but were unable to capitalize against the AIC penalty kill.

Up Next

The Pioneers will enjoy a 10-day break before a busy three-game week beginning Tuesday, November 21 at 7:05 p.m. against Army West Point. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Air Force comes to town for a weekend series starting Saturday, November 25 at 5:05 p.m.