(Bridgeport, CT) – Down 4-1 in the third period, the Sacred Heart Men's Hockey team scored three unanswered goals to earn their first Atlantic Hockey Association point of the season in a 4-4 tie with the Niagara Purple Eagles at Webster Bank Arena.
Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) and Ben Ketchum accounted for all the SHU Scoring with two goals each. Trailing 3-0 in the second, Ketchum scored on the power play on a left-wing wrist shot set up by Tye Lewis (Vancouver, WA) and Mitchell Stretch (Saskatoon, SK) at 6:34. Niagara got that goal back ten minutes later on a goal by Dan Baco, who found an opening glove side with a wrist shot on a rush began by Doug Clifford and Tyler Matthews.
The Pioneers chipped away on a two-man advantage opportunity at 4:50 of the third, with Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) fighting to get the puck back after his initial pass was blocked, then chipping a pass to Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, MO) right of the goal for a goal-mouth feed to Gingera for his first of the game and 50th of his career.
After Gingera nearly scored again on a rebound, SHU ran a successful face-off play with Ryan Stanimir (West Vancouver, BC) pushing the draw forward to Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, NJ) for the initial shot on a rebound goal by Ketchum for his second of the game at 10:41. Gingera then tied the game at 15:22, when Torin Snydeman carried the puck end-to-end, took it wide to the far side and shoveled a pass to Gingera on the half boards. The senior winger took it off the half boards into the middle for a low rolling wrist shot that beat Niagara goalie Colby Drost five-hole for the game-tying goal. Stretch earned a secondary assist on the goal.
Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, SK) came on in relief to start in the second after Isaac Kohls scored as the horn sounded to end the first period to open up a 3-0 lead for Niagara, with assists going to C.J. Chartrain and the goaltender Drost. Patrick Divjak opened the scoring at 6:01 on a power play goal at 6:01 set up by Kohls and Dan Weiss. Mark Zanette scored the Purple Eagles' second goal on an unassisted short-handed goal on a steal and breakaway from center. Bodnarchuk answered the challenge, making 21 saves with one goal against to allow the Pioneers to make their comeback.
With the tie, the Pioneers are now 4-1-2 at Webster Bank Arena over the past two seasons. Sacred Heart will play at both of their homes next weekend, hosting Robert Morris Friday night, Dec. 2 at the Milford Ice Pavilion at 7:05 p.m. and at Webster Bank Arena Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3 at 4:00 p.m.