Oct. 23, 2009
Troy, NY - The Sacred Heart men’s ice hockey team erased a two goal deficit in the third period but fell to Rensselaer 4-3 in overtime Friday night. Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) scored twice in the final seven minutes of regulation to give the Pioneers a chance to win. Brandon Pirri dashed the hopes of a SHU victory netting the game winning goal 3:27 before the final buzzer.
Sacred Heart (0-1-0) struck first just 4:32 into the first period capitalizing on a scrum in front of the Engineer net. Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, NJ) was able to put it past the keeper for his first collegiate goal as freshman Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, QC) earned his first career point with an assist on the play. The Engineers would tie the game five minutes later capitalizing on a power play goal from Paul Kerrins.
Rensselaer (2-2-1) pulled ahead 59 seconds into the middle stanza on a long range snap shot from Chase Polacek. RPI came right back and found the back of the net again just 36 seconds later on Pirri’s first goal of the game. Late in the period Evan Mladenoff (Leawood, KS) beat his man on a two on two rush for the Pioneers but RPI goaltender Allen York robbed the SHU forward with a glove save. The Engineers outshot the Pioneers 13-7 in the frame and went into the second intermission with a 3-1 advantage.
The Pioneers cut the RPI lead to 3-2 on a four on three power play goal by Johnson. SHU fired a shot just wide after cycling the puck around the offensive end. The rebound was played around the boards as action eventually wound up in front of the net. Johnson was able get a stick on the puck in traffic and light the lamp to get the Pioneers back in the game.
Johnson would tie the game two minutes later as Sacred Heart converted with an extra attacker. The Pioneer forward beat York over his stick-side shoulder to knot the game at three. Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) and Alex Stuart (Sauk Rapids, MN) earned assists on the play. Sacred Heart would control the rest of the period but could not find the game winner as the two teams went into the overtime period.
RPI would find the game winner 1:37 into the extra session to secure their second win of the season. Mike Bergin dropped the puck back to Pirri who fired a shot from the top of the left circle that beat SHU goalie Olivier St. Onge (Wickham, QC). St. Onge finished the game with 24 saves.
Sacred Heart will look to rebound as they return to action tomorrow night in Schnectady, NY to take on the Union Dutchmen. Faceoff is set for 7:00 pm.