Pioneers Top Holy Cross 5-2, Tie For First
Feb. 25, 2006
Milford, CT - Junior Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) recorded one goal and one assist and sophomore Scott Marchesi (South Portland, ME) scored the game winning goal with 6:27 left in the second period as Sacred Heart held off Holy Cross 5-2 in men's ice hockey action Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
The Pioneer win, coupled with a loss by Mercyhurst to Army, put the Pioneers (20-10-2, 17-7-2 AHA) into a first place tie with Holy Cross (21-9-2, 17-7-2 AHA). Sacred Heart now holds the tiebreaker with both teams, having won the season series with each.
The Pioneers jumped on top first with a power play goal 12:13 into the first period. Senior Bernie Chmiel (Pittsbugh, PA) took a drop pass from sophomore Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) and blasted a shot past Crusaders goaltender Tony Quesada and under the crossbar. Freshman Bear Trapp (Regina, SK) also had an assist on Chmiel's sixth goal of the season.
O'Brien put the Pioneers up 2-0 with 2:52 left in the opening period. O'Brien took a pass from defenseman Kalen Wright (Candle Lake, SK) and fired a shot that found its way just under Quesada's arm for the goal. It was O'Brien's team leading 18th goal of the year.
Defenseman Jon Landry got the Crusaders on the board with a power play tally with 2:24 left in the first. Landry took a pass from freshman Shane McAdam and blasted a shot past Pioneer goaltender Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC) for his seventh goal of the year.
Junior James Sixsmith brought the Crusaders even with 13:30 left in the second period. After Smith made a save on an initial shot by Pierre Nappert-Frenette, some confusion in front of the Pioneer net led to Sixsmith poking a loose puck into the net for his eighth goal of the year.
Marchesi's game winning goal was brought about after the puck took a funny hop on a dump in play. As Quesada came out of his net to play the puck he slipped and it angled off the boards and slid just inside the right post of the goal.
Senior Peter Giatrelis (Wallingford, CT) gave the Pioneers an insurance goal with 5:39 left in the third period. Senior Rocco Molinaro (Dearborn, MI) picked up a loose puck following a missed shot from Andrew Billinghurst (Fort Collins, CO). Molinaro made a perfect centering pass to a trailing Giatrelis, who calmly tipped the puck into the net for his fifth goal of the year.
Senior Erik Roos (Milford, CT) capped the scoring with an empty net goal with 1:35 left. O'Brien had an assist on the play, his 28th helper of the season, setting a school record for assists in a season.
Sacred Heart out- shot Holy Cross 34-32 for the game. Quesada made 29 saves in goal for the Crusaders while Smith stopped 30 shots for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers close out the regular season next weekend with a home and home series against Connecticut. The opening game is Friday night at 7:00 pm on Senior Night at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Before the game the Pioneers will honor their seven graduating seniors.