Pioneers Tie Air Force 5-5, Falcons Force OT with 0.6 Second Remaining
(Milford, CT) – Jacques Lamoureux scored a game-tying goal for Air Force with 0.6 seconds remaining in regulation, as the Sacred Heart Pioneer men's hockey team settled for a 5-5 tie with the Falcons Friday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
With the goalie pulled and an extra Air Force attacker on for the final 1:28 of regulation, Sacred Heart was unable to clear the defensive zone on multiple chances. Lamoureux finally took advantage literally at the last second, sneaking a snap-shot from the high slot under the cross bar for an unassisted goal at 19:59. The Pioneers saw a two-goal lead slip away in the third period, beginning with Derrick Burnett's goal from Lamoureux exactly four minutes into the final period.
The OT extended an already long night at the rink, as the start of the game was delayed about an hour and fifteen minutes due to a highway shutdown that prevented the referees from arriving on time. Once it started, Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) opened the scoring at 10:58 of the first, skating out of the right corner to the front of the net and stuffing his team-leading sixth goal of the season inside the far post. Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) dished him the puck for the first of his season-high three assists, with Chris Brown (Morresville, NC) earning the secondary assist.
Air Force tied the game 1:20 later on a goal by John Kruse at 12:18. However, the Pioneers regained the lead late in the period on the first of two goals by Mitchell Stretch (Saskatoon, SK) on the power play at 19:06. Stretch snuck in from the point to one-time a pass out of the right corner from Gingera, with Knowlton earning the secondary assist.
The lead continued to go back-and forth in the second, with Air Force tying it on another goal by Kruse, one-handing a loose puck in the low slot in at 3:10. However, Kyle Verbeek (Bloomfield, MI) regained the lead for SHU at 7:43, depositing a rebound off a shot from Brown that was set up by a good pass from behind the net by Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, NJ). Once again, Air Force tied it on a goal by Tim Kirby less than a minute later at 8:38, leading and odd-man rush and sneaking in a backhand shot. However, Stretch scored his second of the night crashing the net at 12:23, with Gingera and Verbeek getting the assists. Only nineteen seconds later, Neil Fachini (East Hampton, CT) extended the lead to 5-3 with his first career goal. Knowlton gave him the puck in the right corner, and Fachini charged to the net for a short-side wrist shot.
The Pioneers host the Air Force Falcons again Saturday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard at 4:35 p.m. This marks the second of five home games this season for SHU at the Arena at Harbor Yard.