Nov. 26, 2004
TROY, NY (November 26) - The Sacred Heart University men's ice hockey team was defeated by the narrowest of margins by the Air Force Falcons in the first round of the 54th Annual Rensselaer/Bank Of America Holiday Hockey Tournament 3-2 in overtime.
Air Force opened the scoring in the first period on a goal at the 5:33 mark on the power play. Brooks Turnquist fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off a defenseman in front and past Sacred Heart net minder Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC) for the 1-0 lead. Sacred Heart would get a five-minute power play opportunity when the Falcons Ryan Wiggins hit Andrew Billinghurst (Ft. Collins, CO) from behind and received a game misconduct. Billinghurst would have SHU's best scoring opportunity of the power play, only to see a certain goal get plucked out of the air by Air Force goalie Peter Foster.
The Pioneers would equalize on a five-on-three situation in the second period, only their second power play goal in their last 21 opportunities with the man advantage. Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) added to his team leading goal total sliding the puck past Foster for his sixth goal of the season. Senior Garrett Larson (Rycroft, AB) picked up his 100th career point on the play as he assisted on the goal along with junior Rocco Molinaro (Deerborn, MI).
Air Force had an opportunity to take a 2-1 lead, however sophomore Kalen Wright (Candle Lake, SK) made a sliding save on Matt Bader to bail out Smith, who was out of position after making a previous save. Air Force would take the 2-1 lead at the 11:36mark of the period when Brian Gineo's slap shot from the blue line capped a two man advantage for the Falcons.
The Pioneers would strike back with just 4:02 remaining in the third on Larson's third goal of the season. Molinaro won a face off cleanly back to Larson at the point, he then fired a shot through heavy traffic in front of Foster and it found its way home to knot the contest at 2-2. Neither team would score for the duration and the contest headed into overtime.
A late third period Air Force penalty gave the Pioneers 1:24 worth of power play time to start the extra session, but would be unable to take advantage with the extra man. Molinaro almost ended the contest at the 7:10 mark but his shot banked off the post and clear. The Falcons would end the contest on Turnquist's second goal of the game with just 6:41 remaining in the first overtime period.
Smith would end the night making 37 saves in taking the loss, while Foster made 32 saves in picking up the victory.
The loss drops the Pioneers drop to 5-7-0 (5-1-0 Atlantic Hockey). They will face the loser of the Rensselaer/Robert Morris game on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM.