Sacred Heart Downs Air Force, 4-1

Jan. 2, 2010

Box Score

Milford, CT -David Berube (Quebec, QC) scored twice and freshman goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) made 27 saves as the Sacred Heart men’s ice hockey team defeated Air Force 4-1 Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Pioneers would recover from an early 1-0 deficit to score four unanswered goals and take the series opener with the Falcons.

Air Force (8-7-4, 8-3-4 AHA), who has the second best power play in Atlantic Hockey, earned the first man advantage opportunity midway through the first period. The Falcons would capitalize as Stephen Carew fired a wrist shot through traffic that found the back of the net for the game’s first goal. Jeff Hajner and Bett Nylander earned assists on the goal. 

Sacred Heart (5-9-2, 3-6-1 AHA) responded with 6:11 remaining in the period as Berube slid a puck past Falcons netminder Andrew Volkening to knot the game at one. The goal was set up by an Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) shot that sailed wide of the net but took a favorable bounce off the back boards onto the waiting stick of Berube in front of the goal. The Pioneers, who have the best power play in the conference, would have their own chance with the extra attacker at the end of the frame but could not convert as the two teams went into the first intermission still tied at one.

Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, QC) nearly scored 5:30 into the second stanza, ripping a one timer in the slot but the freshman forward was stopped by the Falcons goaltender. The two teams combined for seven penalties in the period and went a combined 0-5 on the power play. Sacred Heart would take a 2-1 lead with 6:11 remaining in the period as Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) lit the lamp with his team leading 11th goal of the season. Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) earned his team leading 14th assist on the goal as the Pioneers carried a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.

The Pioneers poured on the pressure in the third period outshooting Air Force 20-11 in the final frame. Berube netted his second goal of the game to give SHU a 3-1 lead as freshman classmates Delong and Reid MacLeod (Teulon, MB) earned assists on the play. Legatto played his best in goal in the final twenty minutes turning away 11 Air Force shots. The Falcons pulled goaltender Andrew Volkening, who made 36 saves in the net, with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) would come up with the empty net goal with 2:22 to play to ice the 4-1 win for the Pioneers.

Sacred Heart and Air Force meet tomorrow night in the series finale at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Game time is set for 7:05 pm.