WORCESTER, Mass. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team saw its three-game unbeaten streak get snapped at the Hart Center Monday night, falling to Holy Cross 4-2.
Seniors Kyle Verbeek (Birmingham, Mich.) and Tommy Castonguay (Rimouski, Quebec) each had two points on the night. Verbeek had a power play goal and an assist while Castonguay had two helpers. Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, Sask.) made a career-high 43 saves, surpassing the 41 he had against Holy Cross on Feb. 18, 2012. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart 47-26, including a 34-11 mark in the last two periods.
Sacred Heart (2-27-3, 2-20-3 AHA) and Holy Cross (17-12-3, 13-9-3 AHA) traded shots early, but it was the Pioneers with the first quality chance on goal. Drew George (Regina, Sask.) had a rebound attempt go off Crusaders goaltender Matt Ginn's blocker and out of play with 15:18 to play in the opening period. Three minutes later, Brian Sheehan (St. Louis, Mo.) had a shot from the right wing stopped by Ginn. The Pioneers had the first power play of the game at the 8:54 mark, but mustered just two shots on goal as the game remained scoreless.
Sacred Heart kept firing shots, with Chad Barthelmess (Norristown, Pa.) crashing the net for a rebound with 4:26 remaining but coming up short of getting the puck past Ginn. The Pioneers broke through with the game's first goal with 3:58 remaining in the first period. Castonguay fed the puck to Jared Eng (North Vancouver, B.C.), who fired the puck on net from the blue line. Ginn made the initial save, but Verbeek knocked in the rebound to put the Pioneers ahead 1-0. The goal was Verbeek's fifth of the season and second in as many games against Holy Cross. Bodnarchuk did his part to keep the score 1-0 heading into intermission, making five saves late in the period.
Bodnarchuk certainly did his part to keep the score 1-0 to start the second period, making five starts early in the frame. Sacred Heart then went on the power play with 17:05 to play, and needed just one shot to make the score 2-0. Chad Filteau blasted a shot from the point right over Ginn's right shoulder and into the back of the net for the power play goal, with assists from Verbeek and Castonguay, at the 15:32 mark. However, the Crusaders dominated play for the rest of the period.
Holy Cross got on the scoreboard with 11:56 remaining in the second when Shayne Stockton deflected a Jake Bolton shot into the goal, making the score 2-1. The Pioneers best chance at getting the lead back to two came one minute later when a Barthelmess shot on a breakaway hit the crossbar. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart 23-5 in the period and tied the game 2-2 with 8:02 left when Kyle Fletcher fed Castan Sommer for the equalizing tally. Holy Cross had three point blank chances late in the period to take the lead, but Bodnarchuk stopped them all to keep the score 2-2 heading into the third period.
Sacred Heart had an early chance in the third period to break the tie, but Castonguay's chance in front of the net was stopped by Ginn. Fletcher had two shots right in front of the Pioneers' net with 15:22 left in the game stopped by Bodnarchuk. The Crusaders broke the tie with 9:45 to play when Adam Schmidt found a Stockton rebound in front of the net and scored, making it 3-2 Holy Cross. The Pioneers' had a short power play with 5:30 left to level the game, but the best chance in it was a Filteau shot from the point that was blocked. Holy Cross added a power play goal late in the game from Brandon Nunn to make the final score 4-2.
The Pioneers close out the regular season this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Connecticut Huskies. The weekend begins with a 7 p.m. game at Connecticut Friday night.