Jan. 6, 2006
Milford, CT - Senior Andrew Billinghurst (Fort Collins, CO) scored with 6:04 left in regulation and Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC) made 30 saves in net as the Pioneers hung on to beat Holy Cross 3-1 Friday night in men's ice hockey action at the Milford Ice Pavilion. With the win the Pioneers (11-7-1, 8-5-1 AHA) moved into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, two points better then Holy Cross (10-5-1, 7-3-1 AHA).
Billinghurst's game winner came on a tip-in goal after Bernie Chmiel (Pittsburgh, PA) blasted an initial shot from the blue line. Billinghurst was in front of the net to deflect the puck past Crusaders goaltender Ben Conway. It was Billinghurst's fifth goal of the season.
The Crusaders jumped on top first at the 4:22 mark of the first period. After Pioneer defenseman Noel Henck (Long Beach, NY) turned the puck over at his own blue line, Holy Cross senior Blair Bartlett grabbed it and slipped a shot through the legs of Pioneer goaltender Jason Smith for his second goal of the season.
Senior Peter Giatrelis (Wallingford, CT), playing in his first game since November 5th because of a wrist injury, tied the game for the Pioneers 3:19 into the second period. Just after serving a penalty, Giatrelis jumped on the ice and took an outlet pass from junior Peter Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) and flipped a shot over the shoulder of Crusader goaltender Ben Conway. After some discussion as to whether the net had come off its moorings, the officials ruled the goal would stand.
Both teams had quality scoring chances in the third period, before and after Billinghurst's goal. The Crusaders finished the game 0-8 on the power play while the Pioneers went 0-6 with the man advantage. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart 31-28 for the game.
Sophomore Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) iced the game for Sacred Heart when he deposited an empty net goal with 15 seconds left. Parent took a feed from junior Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) and flipped it into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
The Pioneers and Crusaders will meet again Saturday night in Worcester, MA. Face off at the Hart Center is set for 7:00 pm.