BRIDGEPORT, Conn.— The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team fell to Holy Cross 4-1 on Friday night in the first game back from the 20-day winter break. The Crusaders (7-6-6, 6-2-5 AHA) used a three-goal second period to pull away from the Pioneers (4-12-2, 2-8-2 AHA) at Webster Bank Arena.
Sophomore Vito Bavaro registered the Pioneers lone goal at 14:45 in the third period. Bavaro became the first Pioneer to reach double digit goals with his 10th tally coming on the power play score. Junior captain Liam Clare had the primary assist and freshman Marc Johnstone also picked up an assist. Senior Nathan Perry stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief of junior Brett Magnus.
Holy Cross picked up the first goal of the game nearly three minutes into regulation on a rebound goal by Kevin Darrar. SHU nearly netted the equalizer on a Kory Kennedy breakaway but were denied by Crusaders goaltender Paul Berrafato near the end of the first.
The Crusaders continued the momentum into the second period with a power play goal by Scott Pooley at 4:01 in the period. This was the first of three scores in the middle period that spanned 4:17 as Mitch Collett capped the scoring at 8:18 in the period for Holy Cross ending Magnus' night in goal.
The Pioneers shifted momentum in the third period, outshooting the Crusaders 15-5. Bavaro got the Pioneers on the board with his power play goal at 14:45 in the period. SHU ended the game with 3:55 of extra attacker chances but were unable to escape the deficit.
How They Scored…
2:54 – 1st Period: Holy Cross 1, SHU 0: Holy Cross got on the board early as Danny Lopez fed the pass through the SHU defense ahead to Darrar, who was wide open on the weak side. Magnus stopped the initial shot but couldn't corral the rebound as Darrar buried the backhanded shot top shelf for the early goal.
4:01 – 2nd Period: Holy Cross 2, SHU 0: The Crusaders featured fluid puck movement on its second power play opportunity. Michael Laffin dished the puck from behind the net to T.J. Moore who then made the quick pass to Pooley to bury the open look from the left circle.
6:50 – 2nd Period: Holy Cross 3, SHU 0: Laffin caused the turnover in the Pioneers zone as Peter Crinella picked up the puck. He dished the puck to the left side as Pooley was on the trail. The senior fired the pass back to Laffin for the one timer to finish off the bang-bang play.
8:18 – 2nd Period: Holy Cross 4, SHU 0: Holy Cross continued to move the puck within the Pioneers zone as Coughlin fired home a shot on net from the left point. His shot was denied by Magnus as was the shot by Ryan Ferrill. But Collett was there at the doorstep to bury the backhanded goal.
14:45 – 3rd Period: Holy Cross 4, SHU 1: The Pioneers continued to move the puck well in the final period working on the third power play opportunity. Johnstone picked the puck up along the end wall and fed the pass to Clare in the center of the slot. The captain drew the defender in and backhanded a pass to Bavaro who fired the one-timer past Berrafato to put SHU on the scoreboard.
Key Stats & Notes…
- SHU was outshot for the fifth straight contest as Holy Cross led shots on goal 35-28
- Bavaro picked up his team leading 10th goal with his second goal of the month.
- Johnstone's assist is his 10th on the season, becoming the second Pioneer with double-digit assists this season.
The Pioneers finish off the first home-&-home meeting with the Crusaders and close out the 2017 calendar year on Saturday night up at the Hart Center with a 7:05 p.m. start.