Back on Top: Pioneers Turn Away Crusaders, 2-1
Feb. 19, 2005
MILFORD, CT (February 18, 2005) - Senior goaltender Kevin LaPointe (Quebec City, QC) stopped 30 shots to lead Sacred Heart (13-15-1, 13-5-1 AHA) past a feisty Holy Cross Crusader (14-11-5, 11-5-4 AHA) team to move back into sole possession of first place in Atlantic Hockey at the Milford Ice Pavilion on Friday night.
The Pioneers started the scoring just over ten minutes into the opening frame on the power play. After a failed clearing attempt by the Crusaders, Scott Marchesi (South Portland, ME) sent a pass into the corner for Rocco Molinaro (Dearborn, MI). Molinaro then quickly fed Garrett Larson (Rycroft, AB) in the slot for a one-timer that beat Crusader net minder Tony Quesada (South Freeport, ME) for the 1-0 Pioneer lead.
The Period looked like it would end with a SHU advantage, but Holy Cross kept pressing and got one past LaPointe with just three tenths of a second left on the clock. Marc Bianchi (Ithaca, NY) sent a shot from right dasher, which found its way in to knot the score at 1-1. Tanner Fogarty (McMurray, PA) and Chris Trovato (North Attleboro, ME) picked up helpers on the goal.
The Pioneers would again capitalize on the power play in the second period, scoring with just one second left on the man advantage as Barclay Folk (Westbank, BC) re-directed a Bernie Chmiel (Pittsburgh, PA) slap shot from the blue line for the game-winner.
The Crusaders looked as if they had tied the contest mid-way through the final stanza, but a player in the crease wiped out the goal and kept the Pioneer advantage at one. The Crusaders, however, would ratchet up the pressure and forced LaPointe to make save after save to maintain the slim one goal advantage. A hooking penalty to Larson with just 2:10 left would give the Crusaders one final opportunity to knot the game in regulation. The Pioneers thwarted their efforts and SHU forced Andrew McKay (Bellefuelle, QC) to hook down Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) to stop him from sealing the game with an empty net goal. The penalty ended the Crusaders chances and game finished with a 2-1 Pioneer victory.
LaPointe's 30 saves upped his record to an even 10-10-1 on the season, while Quesada's 17 dropped his record to 8-7-1. The Pioneers finished the night 2-4 on the power play while holding Holy Cross off the board in their five turns with the man advantage.
Sacred Heart returns to action on Saturday night when they travel up I-91 to face off with American International in Springfield, MA. Face off is at 7:30 PM.