January 23, 2010

Pioneers and Golden Griffins Play Wild 5-5 Draw

Jan. 23, 2010

Box Score

Milford, CT - The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team finished an eight game homestand with a 5-5 tie against Canisius Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.  The two teams erupted for seven goals in the first period in a game that saw 15 power play opportunites and 80 total shots.  Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) led Sacred Heart with two goals and two assists on the night.  Golden Griffin backup goaltender Andrew Loewen came off the bench and made 35 saves and allowed just one goal to earn the draw.

Canisius (11-11-4, 9-8-3 AHA) came out firing and took the lead 20 seconds into the game with Matt Zuke's fifth goal of the season.  Zuke gathered a rebound in front of the net and flipped it high into the cage with a backhand.  The Pioneers answered immediately as Jarman lit the lamp just 14 seconds later on a one timer from a Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) pass.

Sacred Heart (10-9-4, 8-6-3 AHA) would score back to back power play goals in under a minute, starting at the 12:26 mark, to take a 3-1 lead.  Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) put in the first goal on the doorstep as a Jarman wrist shot went wide but caromed off the boards and in front of the net.  Paul Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) found the net 36 ticks later as he unleashed a slap shot that gave Canisius starting goaltender Dan Morrison no chance.

The Golden Griffins would cut the SHU lead in half as Carl Hudson beat Pioneer goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) with a wrist shot from the blue line for a power play goal, his fifth of the year.  The Pioneers would again answer right back as they restored a two goal cushion less than a minute after the Griffs marker.  Jarman beat Morrison through the five hole with a back handed shot to make it a 4-2 advantage and chase the Canisius starting netminder from the game.  However, the Golden Griffins would make it a one goal game going into the first intermission as Scott Jenks recorded his first goal of the season with 4:41 remaining in the frame with an assist from Dave Kostuch.

The Pioneers would again push the lead back to two goals 6:46 into the middle stanza as Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) would be the only SHU player to solve Loewen.  Delong had his first shot stopped by the Canisius goalie but the freshman took the rebound around the net and scored on the wrap around for his eighth of the season.  This time it would be the Golden Griffins who responded less than a minute after the SHU goal.  Hudson smashed in his second goal of the night with a hard slap shot from the center of the blue line to make it a 5-4 score at the second intermission.  Sacred Heart outshot Canisius 16-6 in the second period but came away with just the one goal.

SHU found themselves in a nearly impossible situation as simultaneous penalties put the Pioneers on a five-on-three penalty kill for two minutes.  Sacred Heart held on for 1:21 but Hudson would complete his hat trick, with all of his goals coming on the power play, with 12:50 remaining in regulation.  Both goaltenders were forced to make tough saves as the final minutes of regulation expired, but neither cracked as the game was forced into overtime.

The Pioneers controlled the action throughout the power play period, outshooting the Golden Griffins 6-1 in the extra frame.  Evan Mladenoff (Leawood, KS) nearly had the game winner with 48 seconds on the clock but his shot on a two-on-one break was turned away by Loewen.  Knowlton came within inches of finding the game winner with under 30 seconds remaining but his shot rang off the crossbar as SHU was forced to settle for a 5-5 draw and one point in the standings.

The tie keeps the Pioneers longest unbeaten streak in program history alive at nine games, which is also the longest current streak in the nation.  SHU outshot the Golden Griffins 49-31 overall but Canisius went 3-for-6 on the power play while keeping the Pioneers at 2-for-9.  Sacred Heart will only have a short rest before returning to the ice Tuesday night as they take to the road for a matchup with the AIC Yellow Jackets.  Game time is set for 7:05 pm.