February 24, 2006

Pioneers Top Crusaders 4-3 in OT

Feb. 24, 2006

Final Stats

Worcester, MA - Junior Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) scored the game winning goal with four seconds left in overtime as Sacred Heart recovered from blowing a 3-0 lead to defeat Holy Cross 4-3 in overtime in men's ice hockey action Friday night at the Hart Center.

The win moved Sacred Heart (19-10-2, 16-7-2 AHA) to within two points of first place Holy Cross. in the Atlantic Hockey standings, and kept them one point behind Mercyhurst, who won Friday, for second place.

O'Brien's game winning goal was the result of a two on one break the Pioneers created in transition. Sophomore Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) sent the puck up ice to freshman Bear Trapp (Regina, SK). Trapp carried it over the blue line and fed a perfect pass across the goalmouth to O'Brien who tipped it past Crusader goaltender Tony Quesada for the game winner. It was O'Brien's team leading 17th goal of the season.

Sacred Heart built a three goal lead with three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. Senior Rocco Molinaro (Dearborn, MI) got the Pioneers started 6:09 into the contest when he corralled a loose puck in front of the Holy Cross net and poked it past Quesada. The power play goal was Molinaro's 11th of the season.

A second power play tally with 11:34 left in the first gave the Pioneers a two goal lead. Molinaro dropped a pass back to defenseman Bernie Chmiel (Pittsbugh, PA) who blasted a shot that found its way just under the crossbar for the goal. It was Chmiel's fifth goal of the season.

Freshman Kyle Tyll (Sandy Hook, CT) gave the Pioneers a 3-0 lead at the 9:47 mark of the opening period. After Quesada made a save on Kalen Wright's (Candle Lake, SK) initial shot, Tyll was found the loose rebound. He proceeded to flip a shot into the top right corner of the net for the second goal of his career.

The Crusaders got on the board with a power play goal with 2:15 remaining in the first period. Junior Jon Landry took a pass from defenseman Matt Burke and fired a shot that deflected off a Sacred Heart player and past Pioneer goaltender Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC). The goal was Landry's sixth of the season.

Holy Cross cut the deficit to 3-2 when Burke fired a shot past Smith at the 8:23 mark of the third period. The Crusaders then tied the game on a goal by senior Blair Bartlett with 11:37 left in regulation. Bartlett found a loose puck in front of the Pioneer net and pounded it home for his 21st goal of the year.

Both teams had chances to break the game open but both goalies were solid in net. Quesada made 31 saves in goal for the Crusaders while Smith stopped 24 shots in goal for the Pioneers.

O'Brien's three point night gave him 44 on the season, a new school record. His two assists gave him 27 on the year, tying the school record for most assists in a season.

The Pioneers and Crusaders will meet again Saturday night in Milford. Faceoff at the Milford Ice Pavilion is set for 7:00 pm.