Dec. 4, 2009
West Point, NY - The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team lost a heartbreaker, 2-1, to the Army Black Knights Friday night at Tate Rink. Freshman Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) had a great night in goal making 41 saves but suffered the tough luck loss. Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) put the Pioneers on the board first with a power play goal at the end of the first period. Army would finally solve the SHU defense early in the third period as the Black Knights scored twice to earn the victory.
Sacred Heart (3-8-2, 2-5-1 AHA) had the first chance to score 3:30 into the opening period as Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) fired a wrist shot off of Army Goaltender Jay Clark that trickled just wide. Army would have a golden chance to score later in the period as they had a five-on-three power play for 23 seconds. Legatto made three saves in this short period to keep the game scoreless. Matt Gordon (Lynnfield, MA) nearly scored in the slot but couldn't convert after a nifty pass from Reid MacLeod (Teulon, MB).
The Pioneers continued to buzz and finally lit the lamp on the power play with 2:37 remaining in the first period. Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) threw a shot on net from the point that led to rebound off the pads of Clark. Freshman Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) gathered the puck and shoveled across the crease to Johnson who slammed home the puck to give SHU a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Army (6-8-2, 5-5-1 AHA) fired 20 shots on goal in the second period but would not be able to beat Legatto. Sacred Heart came out of the locker room swarming and nearly extended their lead on shots from Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, QC) and Gingera. Army had a chance to knot the game at one at the 13:00 minute mark but Legatto robbed Kyle Maggard with a sharp pad save. The momentum swung back in Sacred Heart's favor as Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) worked from behind the net and found Gingera cutting in the slot but the sophomore winger was turned away by Clark. The Pioneer pentaly kill did a fantastic job at the end of the period as they were forced to kill off 5:23 of Army power play time.
The Black Knights finally broke through 2:18 into the last period as Jack Banes found the back of the net. Barnes scored on a second rebound after shots from Cheyne Rocha and Maggard were both stuffed by Legatto. Army tried to double up the scoring just 20 seconds later but Legatto slung out his right pad and made his best save of hte day to stone a shot from AHA Rookie of the Week Andy Starczewski. The Army attack would score again two minutes later as Danny Colvin fired a wrister into the cage high on the glove side.
Sacred Heart would have an opportunity to get back in the game as Army committed a pair of penalties that gave SHU 1:23 to work with a two-man advantage. Clark and the Black Knight defense would keep the Pioneers off the board to seize all of the game's momentum. A Gingera boarding penalty at 1:26 would not allow Sacred Heart a chance to get an extra attacker as Army held on for the 2-1 win.
The two teams will be back in action tomorrow night at Tate Rink for the series finale. Face-off is set for 7:05 pm.