January 19, 2005

Road woes continue for Pioneers, lose at UConn, 5-3

Jan. 19, 2005

Final Stats

STORRS, CT (January 18) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers (7-12-1, 7-4-1 AHA) were tripped up by the opportunistic Connecticut Huskies (6-15-2, 5-7-1 AHA) by the score of 5-3 in Atlantic Hockey action Tuesday night.

The two teams started the game off on a physical note, as just 31 seconds into the game four players were escorted to the penalty box for roughing as a total of 18 penalty minutes were accessed in the period. After both teams traded unsuccessful power play attempts, senior Noel Henck (Long Beach, NY) was called for interference giving Connecticut their second power play attempt of the period. On the ensuing man advatage the Huskies would apply heavy pressure and would eventually solve SHU goaltender Kevin LaPointe (Quebec City, QC) for the 1-0 lead. William Magnuson crashed the net and sent home a loose puck, as the hamstrung Pioneers were unable to clear the puck. B.J. Crum and Cole Koidahl picked up assisted on the goal.

The Pioneers would waste little time in responding, as they would convert on their next power play attempt as Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) would notch his league leading 8th power play goal of the season. Garrett Larson (Rycroft, AB) started the play at the blue line as he sent a pass across to defenseman Bernie Chmiel (Pittsburg, PA) who quickly hit O'Brien with a pass, which he one-timed past Husky goaltender Scott Tomes to knot the score at 1-1.

The Huskies would jump on top for a second time in the second period, converting on their second consecutive powerplay. With Drew Sanders (Modesto, CA) in the box for charging the Huskies Tim Olsen fired a shot past LaPointe to bump Uconn up 2-1. John Stockler and Chris Uber picked up assists on the goal. The Pioneers looked as if they had tied the game at just 21 seconds later, but an apparent Rocco Molinaro goal was waived off as the officials ruled that Larson was in the goal crease.

Uconn would then run their lead to 3-1 late in the second period just seconds after killing off a five-on-three SHU power play. Koidal was credited the goal with assists going to Matt Scherer and Olsen. The Pioneers, however, would steal momentum back before the close of the period thanks to a spectacular goal Andrew Billinghurst (Fort Collins, CO). While Billinghurst was battling for position in front of Tomes, Barclay Folk sent a pass in his direction which he tipped up into the far corner of the goal to pull Sacred Heart within one with just 19 seconds remaining in the period.

Any hopes of a Pioneer comeback would be stalled, as Bill Magnuson scored the third Uconn power play goal of the nigh just 2:06 in. Uber would add an even strength tally at 10:36 to give Connecticut a commanding 5-2 lead with less than half a period remaning.

The Pioneers would net the final goal of the night seconds after failing to convert on a power play opportunity. LaPointe cleared the puck along the far boards to Kalen Wright (Candle Lake, SK) who one timed a pass to a streaking Folk. With just the goaltender to beat Folk sent a shot to Tomes' short side to close out the scoring.

LaPointe finished the night making 25 stops and lowered his record to 6-9-1 while Tomes made 29 saves raising his record to 4-5-1.

The Pioneers return to action on Friday, January 21 when they host Army in the front end of a home and home series. The puck drops at 7:00 PM