March 13, 2010
Milford, CT - The Sacred Heart men’s ice hockey team got an overtime game winner from Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) 4:53 into the extra session as the Pioneers downed Holy Cross 4-3 Saturday night to advance to the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey tournament. Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) made an incredible save in the opening moments of overtime to keep SHU alive, the freshman netminder finished with 16 stops.
Sacred Heart (20-12-4) struck first just 3:22 into the first period as Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) posted his 27th goal of the season. Corey Laurysen (Ottawa, ON) supplied a homerun pass from the defensive zone onto the tape of winger Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO). Knowlton fed the puck to Johnson on a two-on-one rush and Johnson beat the Crusader netminder stuffing in his own rebound.
The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead with 8:25 to go as Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) scored his 12th goal of the year also off of a rebound. Gingera took the initial shot to earn an assist on the play along with Eric Delong (Oakville, MB). The Crusaders earned two power plays in the opening stanza but were outshot 9-3 for the first twenty minutes as the Pioneers took a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
Holy Cross (12-19-6) came out of the locker room strong in the second period, cutting the SHU lead to one on a Rob Linsmayer goal 21 seconds into the frame. Linsmayer beat Pioneer netminder Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) with an accurate one timer after a cross ice pass from teammate Rob Forshner. Jordan Cyr made it a 2-2 game at the 12:06 mark as he roofed a shot immediately following a Sacred Heart turnover in the defensive end.
The Crusaders would take their first lead of the series just 20 seconds later as Kyle Atkins wristed a shot from the blue line that snuck by Legatto low on the glove side. Head coach CJ Marottolo would use the Pioneers time out to try and stop the Holy Cross momentum. Sacred Heart responded and knotted the game at three with 4:32 remaining in the period. Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that handcuffed Tysowsky and trickled in. The goal was Jarman’s 13th of 2009-10 and sent the game into the second intermission deadlocked at three.
The two teams would battle through the third period with Sacred Heart outshooting Holy Cross 6-5. However, neither team would be able to light the lamp again in regulation. Knowlton had the first opportunity of the stanza as he tipped a pass through the slot from Johnson just wide. The junior forward would get another great chance with 9:00 minutes remaining in the period on a SHU power play. Knowlton banged a one timer on the doorstep in the low slot but Tysowsky flashed the left pad to keep the Holy Cross season alive and send the game to overtime.
Moments into the extra session Everett Sheen appeared to have won the game for the Crusaders but Legatto dove full extension and made a glove save to rob the junior forward. The Pioneers would then be assessed a too many men on the ice penalty and were forced to kill of a Holy Cross power play. Seconds after the penalty was released SHU found itself on a rush up the ice led by Knowlton on the right side. Knowlton threw the puck at a cutting Gingera, it deflected off the sophomore forward and into the cage for the game winner.
The dramatic victory sends the Pioneers into the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey tournament, against an opponent yet to be determined. Sacred Heart will take the ice at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY at 7:35 pm on Friday night as they look to advance to the AHA Championship for the second time in school history.