Pioneers Score Twice in the Third to Tie Union 4-4 In Home Opener

Pioneers Score Twice in the Third to Tie Union 4-4 In Home Opener

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.—The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team rallied with two goals in the third period to tie the Union Dutchmen 4-4 in the home opener at Webster Bank Arena Saturday afternoon.

Senior Justin Danforth broke the game open for the Pioneers (1-2-1) early in the first with a power play goal at 6:21 in the period. Sophomore Liam Clare had the set up assist for Danforth's first goal of the season. Union (2-1-1), coming off a five goal showing on Friday night, answered right back with two goals in the first to take the lead with goals by Anthony Rinaldi and Mike Vecchione.

The Ductchmen extended their lead to 3-1 in the second period with a goal by Ryan Scarfo only four minutes in. The Pioneers answered in front of the home crowd with another power play goal. Senior captain Evan Jasper fired home a sensational pass by Alec Butcher with 13:22 remaining in the second to make the score 3-2

Union added their final tally on a one-timer by Cole Maier off the pass by Matt Krug with 16:45 remaining in the third. The Pioneers continued with their aggressive attack, firing 10 shots in the third. Their rally started on a breakaway goal by freshman Vito Bavaro with the lead pass by senior Jeff Carroll with 7:31 to go. Just 1:12 later, fellow freshman Zach Tsekos would pick up a deflection off the faceoff to net his first career goal and tie it up at 4-4. Sophomore goaltender Brett Magnus made five saves in overtime to preserve the tie. Magnus had a season high 37 saves on Saturday.

The fast, aggressive style showed for both teams with Union outshooting the Pioneers 41-35 in the contest. Sacred Heart made the most of their extra chances, going 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Dutchmen went 1-for-6. The Sacred Heart rookies added four points on the day on Bavaro and Tsekos' goals and Ruslan Rakhmatov's two assists. 

Sacred Heart will be back in action on Friday October 21, when they go up to Boston, Mass. to take on #2 Boston University at 7:00pm.

First Period

- Magnus had five saves in the first five minutes.

- Danforth got the Pioneers on the board with his power play strike at 6:21, assisted by Clare.

- Union answered back on the goal by Rinaldi with the assist by Kolias at 9:08.

- Vecchione added the power play goal to give Union the 2-1 edge in the first.

Second Period

- Scarfo cushioned the Dutchmen lead to 3-1 early in the second.

- Jasper struck at 7:38 with Pioneers second power play goal, Butcher and Danforth on the assist. Score now at 3-2.  

- Jake Kupsky made two big stops on shots by Tsekos and Jasper to close out the second.

Third Period

- Maier put Union up 4-2, with his tally with 16:45 to go in the third period.

- Carroll hit a wide open Bavaro for the breakaway goal with 7:31 left in the third.

- Less than a minute and half later, Tsekos tied up the game at 4-4 with his goal off a deflection.

- Maier missed wide with two shots in the final minute of the third period.


- Kupsky made a great stop on a shot by Tsekos in the first minute of overtime.

- Magnus recorded five big saves in the last 3:30 of overtime.

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