BRIDGEPORT, Conn.--- The Sacred Heart men's hockey team held off the Bentley Falcons for the 3-2 victory on Senior Day at Webster Bank Arena. Prior to the game, SHU honored seniors Mitch Nylen, Evan Jasper, Justin Danforth Connor Doherty, Jordan Minello, Jeff Carroll, Coltyn Hansen, Erlich Doerksen, Spencer Graboski and Nick Lotito.
The Pioneers (11-16-5, 9-14-3 AHA) came out strong on their home ice doubling up Bentley (11-15-6, 10-11-5 AHA) on shots on goal 24-12 over the first two periods. SHU finally lit the lamp in the tail end of the second period as sophomore Liam Clare wrapped around the goal finding Danforth at the doorstep for the strike at 19:47. The Pioneers continued firing into the third period, and finally broke through on the beautiful feed from freshman Vito Bavaro to Jasper on the power play at 16:42.
Bentley would get on the board shortly after at the 17:15 mark as Alex Solovyev fired the wide-open shot in the slot past sophomore Brett Magnus to bring the score to 2-1. Faced with the pressure from the six-on-four attack from Bentley, Nylen cleared the puck off the side board and it would skate the distance into the empty net to give SHU the two-goal cushion at 18:47. Bentley then added an extra attacker goal from Drew Callin with 50 seconds remaining in regulation as he collected the rebound off the shot by Jonathan Desbiens to bring the score to 3-2.
Overall, SHU outshot the Falcons 34-20 on the night. Sacred Heart went 1-for-3 on the power play while Bentley went 1-for-5. Magnus recorded 18 saves in goal for the Pioneers, Aidan Pelino recorded 31 saves in goal for the Falcons.
The Pioneers will wrap up the regular season with a weekend series at Air Force beginning Friday Feb. 24 at 9:00pm ET.
- Clare with the lead pass on the power play to Jasper but he wristed the shot high of the goal.
- Coltyn Hansen had a wrap-around shot denied by Pelino at 7:15.
- Clare found Jeff Carroll point blank in the final seconds but denied by Pelino.
- Lotito's shot goes off the cross bar at 4:12 into the second period.
- Danforth was wide open for the one timer off the feed by Hladin at 8:45 but was denied by Pelino.
- The Falcons missed a point-blank opportunity on the give and go from Mike Berry to Max French but French sailed the buck wide right of the net.
- Bavaro with the sensational pass on the rush to a wide-open Jasper ay 16:42. Jasper picked up his 37th career tally.
- Nylen had the sensational clear off the boards for the empty net shorthanded goal. Tying a single season high of four goals on the year.