January 8, 2010

Power Play Lifts Sacred Heart To 3-3 Draw

Jan. 8, 2010

Box Score

Milford, CT - The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team came from behind twice and scored three power play goals as they skated to a 3-3 tie with Army Friday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion,  Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) posted two goals while Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) and Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) each added a pair of assists.  Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) made 33 saves in goal for the Pioneers.

The two teams played a quick first period as neither team would find the back of the net or committ a penalty.  Sacred Heart (6-9-3, 4-6-2 AHA) had several chances to open the scoring including a one timer chance by Delong at the 7:30 mark.  Delong just missed getting a shot off after a pass through the slot by defenseman Gregg Rodriguez (Sunnyvale, CA).  Army's best chance to score in the opening frame came on a hard Mark Dube shot through traffic that Legatto kicked aside.  The Pioneers outshot the Black Knights 11-10 in the first period.

Sacred Heart would finally open the scoring with 5:51 on the clock in the middle stanza.  Johnson notched his first goal of the night, on the power play, when Boisvert slid a pass to the senior forward after gatheering the rebound from a Delong point shot.  Army would strike back with a dagger at the end of the period, scoring a short-handed goal.  Joey Ammon took the puck hte length of the ice and beat Legatto on a break away to tie the game at one.

The Pioneers finished the second period committing two penalties in 20 seconds, giving the Black Knights an extended five-on-three power play to start the final period.  Army would capitalize to take a 2-1 lead as Alvarez sent a screaming slap shot into the back of the net.

After a timeout by head coach C.J. Marottolo the Pioneers converted on a four-on-three man advantage opportunity as Paul Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) blasted a slap shot from the top of the left cirlce to beat Black Knight goaltender Jay Clark.  Clark would finish the night with 35 total saves.  Army would regain the momentum, and the lead, quickly as Dube beat Legatto high to the glove side on a wrist shot 15 seconds after the Sacred Heart marker.

Special teams would again be crucial for the Pioneers as they scored a third power play goal to make it a 3-3 contest with 3:44 to play.  The Pioneers had a chance in the final seconds to win the game as Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) forced an Army turnover and took the puck the length of the ice.  He was eventually brought down from behind with 6.3 seconds remaining, but was not awarded a penalty shot.  Sacred Heart would not be able to capitalze on the man advantage in the extra period as neither team lit the lamp for a game winner.  The Black Knights outshot SHU 2-1 in overtime but Sacred Heart held the overall shooting edge 38-36.

Sacred Heart and Army return to action for the series finale tomorrow night at 7:05 pm at the Milford Ice Pavilion.