O'Brien's Goal Lifts Pioneers Over Holy Cross, 5-4 in OT

O'Brien's Goal Lifts Pioneers Over Holy Cross, 5-4 in OT

Nov. 11, 2006

Final Stats

Worcester, MA - Senior Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) scored the game winning goal with 2:26 left in overtime and Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC) made 37 saves in net as Sacred Heart beat Holy Cross 5-4 in overtime in men's ice hockey action Saturday night at the Hart Center.

After Holy Cross tied the game with 22 seconds left in regulation, the Pioneers once again found a way to respond and come away with a big win. The puck got sent into the SHU zone, and Bear Trapp (Regina, SK) sent it around the net where O'Brien took the puck to the corner and looked to center it. However, O'Brien's centering pass ended up going off the pads of Holy Cross goaltender Tyler Chestnut and into the net, giving the Pioneers the win.

The victory, combined with a loss by Army, allowed the Pioneers (7-3-1, 6-1-1) to move into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings. It was the Pioneers fifth straight win and completed the second straight weekend sweep for SHU.

Freshman Erik Boisvert (Drummondville, QC) gave the Pioneers an early lead with his third goal of the year at the 5:29 mark of the first period. Freshman Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) took the puck behind the Crusader net and fed a perfect centering pass out in front to Boisvert. Boisvert then sanpped the puck high over the shoulder of Crusader goaltender Tyler Chestnut and into the top of the goal.

Holy Cross tied the game when Brian Kolb beat Smith on a rebound shot. Kolb took a pass from Chris Trovato and carried the puck into the offensive zone. His first shot was stopped by Smith but Kolb picked up his own rebound and wrapped the puck around Smith for his second goal of the year.

Senior Dale Reinhardt gave the Crusaders the lead with 6:38 left in the opening period. With the Crusaders on a 5-on-3 power play, Jon Landry ripped a shot from the blue line and Reinhardt was in front to deflect the puck past Smith for his fourth goal of the season.

The Pioneers knotted the game at 2 with a power play goal with 4:34 left in the first. O'Brien picked up a loose puck along the right wing boards in the offensive zone and fired a neat centering pass to Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) who touched it to redirect the puck into the net for his fourth goal of the year.

Freshman Corey Laurysen (Ottawa, ON) was called for hitting-from-behind at the 16:40 mark of the second period to give Holy Cross their second two man advantage of the game. The Crusaders didn't waste on time converting as 17 seconds later, Ryan Driscoll picked up a loose rebound and scored his fourth goal of the year.

The Pioneers tied the game when Parent netted his second goal at the 15:39 mark of the third period. After Chestnut made saves on shots by Eric Giosa (Northville, MI) and Dave Grimson (Mozart, SK), Parent finally converted on the third attempt, pounding the puck into the back of the net to make it 3-3.

Trapp wasted little time in giving the Pioneers the lead, scoring just 31 seconds later. Trapp took the puck at mid ice and blasted a shot from the blueline on Chestnut, who mad the initial stop, but the puck trickled it's way through the five-hole into the net for a 4-3 lead.

The Crusaders used their time out with 1:47 left to pull Chestnut and set up their offense for a potential game-tying goal. Constant pressure on the SHU defense finally paid off with just 22 seconds left as James Sixsmith buried a perfect pass to the left post from Jon Landry to pull the Crusaders even at 4-4 and force the extra five minute session.

Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart 41-30 but Smith was solid in net for the second straight night to give the Pioneers a chance at a victory.

The Pioneers are back in action Friday night when they travel to New York's capital district to face RPI. Game time at the Houston Fieldhouse is set for 7:00 pm.