March 9, 2008

Freshmen Lead Pioneers Past UConn, 4-1, And Into AHA Final Five

March 9, 2008

Final Stats

Milford, CT - Freshman Adam DeJong (Kitchener, ON) scored two goals and Stefan Drew (Oakbank, MB) made 32 saves in goal to lead Sacred Heart to a 4-1 win over UConn in the decisive game of the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals Sunday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Sacred Heart won the series 2-1 and will advance to the AHA Final Five next weekend in Rochester.

The Pioneers came out of the gate firing, peppering Husky goaltender Beau Erickson with 22 shots in the first period. Only one got through, however, as DeJong netted his fifth goal of the year at the 4:22 mark of the first period. The rookie took a pass from defenseman Gregg Rodriguez (Sunnyvale, CA) moved into the Husky zone and fired a shot from the top of the left face-off circle that beat UConn goaltender Beau Erickson.

DeJong made it 2-0 at the 7:12 mark of the second period. Freshmen Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) and David Berube (Quebec City, QC) both had assists on the goal. Berube had two helpers on the night.

"It was pretty exciting to help the team out and chip in," DeJong said. "We were excited to play tonight."

The Huskies got back in the game when frehman Chris Spicer scored his third goal of the year at the 5:03 mark of the third period. However, the Pioneers answered when another rookie, Evan Mladenoff (Leawood, KS), scored his second goal of the year, and second in as many nights, with 8:15 left in the game to help SHU re-open a two goal lead.

As the clock wound down the Huskies pulled Erickson to gain the extra skater. The move didn't pay off, however, as senior Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) scored an empty-net goal, his team leading 19th of the season, with 1:12 left to seal the victory.

"We had a confident determination tonight," head coach Shaun Hannah said. "We did not let ourselves get frustrated (at the beginning of the game)."

The Pioneers kept constant pressure on Erickson, finishing the game with a season high 48 shots on goal. Erickson was valiant in defeat, stopping 44 shots.

Sacred Heart will face Mercyhurst in the AHA Final Five Game Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. Face-off is set for 7:05 pm.