Pioneers Shocked By AIC, 4-1

Feb. 19, 2005

Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Jeff Valdes (Falmouth, Mass.) notched a pair of goals and Frank Novello (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) turned away 33 of 34 shots as the American International College ice hockey team posted a 4-1 victory over Atlantic Hockey-leading Sacred Heart Saturday night at the Olympia Ice Center. The Yellow Jackets, who snapped a six-game winless streak with the win, improved to 4-19-2 overall and 4-13-2 in league play, while the Pioneers drop to 13-16-1 and 13-6-1 in AHA action.

AIC jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 5:46 to play in the first period. Skating with the man advantage, Valdes fired a shot into the upper left corner of the goal that beat Sacred Heart netminder Kevin LaPointe (Quebec City, Quebec). Jeremy Leroux (Lunenburg, Ontario) and Neil Sullivan (Buffalo, N.Y.) assisted on the tally, Valdes' seventh of the season.

The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 3-0 inside the first eight minutes of the second period. 5:27 into the frame, Chris Bolognino (Carol Stream, Ill.) fired a shot from just inside the blue line to the left of Lapointe for his third goal of the season. 2:31 later, Greg Genovese (Hingham, Mass.) made it 3-0 when he extended his point-scoring streak to five games with his third goal of the year. Jereme Tendler (Viceroy, Saskatchewan) notched a helper on the play. With 3:44 remaining in the frame, William Billinghurst (Fort Collins, Colo.) tipped home a shot from the point by Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, Quebec) on a power play. Bernie Chmiel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also assisted.

Valdes added an insurance goal for AIC at 9:59 of the third period when his shot from point-blank range beat Lapointe. Pavli and Tendler each notched their second assists of the contest on the goal.

Lapointe finished with 28 saves as Sacred Heart outshot AIC 34-32.

The Pioneers return to action this Friday, February 25 when they face off with cross-state rivals Quinnipiac at the Northford Ice Pavilion.