Pioneers Clip Falcons, Move into Tie for Second

Jan. 3, 2006

Final Stats

Watertown, MA - Freshman Eric Giosa (Northville, Mich.) scored a pair of goals as Sacred Heart University beat Bentley College 4-1 in Atlantic Hockey action Tuesday night at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena. With the win, the Pioneers (10-7-1, 7-5-1 AHA) snapped their three game conference losing streak and moved into a tie for second place in Atlantic Hockey.

It was the first game of 2006 for both clubs, but the Falcons had twice as long a layoff between games as the Pioneers (24 days compared to 12 for SHU) and the apparent rust showed in the first period. Sacred Heart jumped out to the lead just 3:40 into the game as junior defenseman Todd Spencer (Brentwood, N.H.) scored his first collegiate goal in his 75th career game for the Pioneers. He received the puck at the left point and wristed what seemed to be a harmless shot towards the net, but junior Ray Jean was screened and Spencer's shot sailed past the Bentley netminder.

Sacred Heart doubled the lead later in the period as Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, Quebec) notched his team-leading 11th goal of the season. The Pioneers caught the Falcons up ice and freshman Bear Trapp (Regina, Sask.) lead a three-on-one break into the Bentley zone. Trapp slid the puck to O'Brien who was rushing down the right side and junior center did not waste the opportunity, firing past Jean.

Bentley grabbed a goal back, just over five minutes into the second period, to cut the deficit to a goal. Freshman Anthony Canzoneri saw his chance on the doorstep denied by junior goaltender Jason Smith (St. Lambert, Quebec), but junior Marc Zwicky pounced on the rebound for his third goal of the season. It was all Smith would allow on the evening as he shut down the Falcons for the remainder of the game.

Giosa netted his second collegiate goal midway through the second period on the power play to restore the Pioneers' two goal advantage. Andrew Billinghurst (Fort Collins, Colo.) slipped a pass from behind the Bentley cage to Giosa who first-timed a shot past Jean and gave Sacred Heart a two goal cushion heading into the third period.

Bentley jumped into the attack registering 14 shots in the third period, but were unable get a shot past Smith. Giosa finished the game off with an empty net goal with 18 seconds remaining. Smith earned his ninth win of the season making 29 saves, while Jean made 25 stops in the loss. The teams have now split the three games they have played this season with the final game to come at the Milford Ice Pavilion on January 21.

The Pioneers are back in action Friday night when they open a home-and-home weekend series with Holy Cross. Face off at the Milford Ice Pavilion is set for 7:00 pm.