January 15, 2005

Pioneers win 6-4 thriller with Bentley

Jan. 15, 2005

Final Stats

MILFORD, CT (January 15) - Garrett Larson (Rycroft, AB) and Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) both scored twice to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers (7-11-1, 7-3-1 AHA) past the Bentley Falcons (4-11-4, 3-5-3 AHA) 6-4 in Atlantic Hockey action Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.

It would be the Falcons who would jump on the board early, scoring just 1:08 into the contest. Kyle Larman (Canton, MI) hit Paul Scalici (Bingham Farms, MI) with a pass that led him into the SHU zone all alone. He took a shot from the middle of the face off circle up and over the glove of Kevin LaPointe (Quebec City, QC) for an early 1-0 lead. That would be all the offence Bentley would until late in the second, as the Pioneers would rip off the next five goals.

The first Pioneer goal came at the 13:16 mark of the first period on a Chris Connerty (Rayham, MA) power play goal. Connerty won an offensive zone draw over to winger Barclay Folk (Westbank, BC) who sent it point man Kalen Wright (Candle Lake, SK). Wright took a slap shot from the blue line that was saved by Simon St. Pierre (Montreal, QC). The rebound came out to Connerty who banged it home to knot the score at 1-1.

The second Pioneer goal of the night would be a historic one, as it was Larson's 50th of his career. He lit the lamp with just 59 seconds remaining in the first period with help from Rocco Molinaro (Dearborn, MI) and Nick Kary (Wetaskiwin, AB). Larson would then notch #52 5:13 into the second when he sent home a Ryan Bremner (Williams Lake, BC) rebound to put SHU up 3-1. Next it would be O'Brien's turn to score two as the sophomore netted a pair of goals just 2:36 apart, the second on the power play, to give Sacred Heart a commanding 5-1 lead after the early three-goal flurry.

Looking for a change in momentum, Bentley switched goaltenders after the second O'Brien goal as they pulled St. Pierre and sent in Geordan Murphy (Matawan, NJ). This proved to be the spark the Falcons needed, as they answered the Sacred Heart onslaught by putting in the next three goals to cut the SHU lead to 5-4.

Bryan Goodwin (Dover, NH) notched the first goal of the series 12:10 into the second. He took a pass from Josh Thompson (Traverse City, MI) and chipped a shot over the shoulder of LaPointe to trim the SHU lead to 5-2. Bentley would then go on to score twice in the opening 5:43 of the third, the first goal of the period off the stick of Carmen Posteraro (Pittsburgh, PA) just 8 seconds in, and the second a power play strike from Larman to climb within one.

Any thoughts of a late game tying goal would be dashed, however, as just seconds after pulling Murphy for the extra skater, Larson found a streaking Molinaro who won the race to the puck and deposited it into the empty net to seal a 6-4 victory.

LaPointe finished the night making 30 saves on 34 shots to up his record to 6-8-1 while St. Pierre fell to 3-7-4 with 9 saves in 28:48. Murphy finished the night with 10 saves in 30:49 without letting up a goal.

The Pioneers return to action on Tuesday, January 18 when they head to Storrs, CT to take on in-state rivals Connecticut at 7:00 PM.