December 2, 2008

Pioneers Hold Off UConn, 5-3

Dec. 2, 2008

Final Stats

Milford, CT - Juniors Gregg Rodriguez (Sunnyvale, CA) and Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) each had a goal and an assist and senior Dave Grimson (Mozart, SK) added two assists as Sacred Heart scored a season high five goals enroute to a 5-3 win over UConn in Atlantic Hockey action Tuesday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The victory was the Pioneers second in a row.

After a sluggish early part of the game, both teams turned it up a notch late in the first period. The Pioneers scored two quick goals to grab the lead but the Huskies answered right back to tie the score after one period. Rodriguez got things started at the 13:09 mark when he deflected a shot by sophomore Chris Brown (Sherrils Ford, NC) for his first goal of the year. Junior Erik Boisvert (Drunmmondville, QC) made it 2-0 less than a minute later, jamming a loose puck through the legs of UConn goaltender Beau Erickson for his team leading fifth tally of the season.

It took the Huskies less than two minutes to answer the two Sacred Heart scores. With 4:03 left in the period, Justin Hernandez ripped a shot that just trickled through the pads of SHU goaltender Stefan Drew (Oakbank, MB) to put UConn on the board. Then with 2:24 remaining, Pat McCauley scored his first career goal, converting on one of nine power play chances the Huskies had in the game to even the score after an eventful first period.

Jarman scored the only goal of the second period, giving the Pioneers the lead with 1:29 remaining. With SHU on the power play Grimson led the rush into the offensive zone, putting a shot off Erickson's pads. The rebound bounced over to Jarman at the left face-off circle and he ripped a shot into the right side of the net to give the Pioneers a lead they would never relinquish.

Sacred Heart came out firing in the third period and it paid off immediately as senior Bear Trapp (Regina, SK) scored just 14 seconds into the stanza to make it 4-2. Freshman Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) netted a breakaway goal at the 4:19 mark to make it 5-2. The rookie took a feed from Rodriguez, raced up ice and snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Erickson for his fourth goal of the season.

The Huskies didn't go quietly as the Pioneers gave UConn three power-plays in the final period to allow UConn to stay in it. McCauley scored his second goal at the 10:32 mark off a feed from Marcello Ranello to bring the Huskies within two, but that would complete the scoring.

UConn finished 2-for-9 on the power play while the Pioneers scored once in four chances with the extra skater. Drew made 30 saves to earn the victory for SHU while Erickson stopped 26 shots in a losing effort.

Sacred Heart is off for the next 17 days for final exams. The Pioneers return to action the weekend of December 19-20 when they visit nationally ranked Colorado College in a two game series. Both games will be heard on the Pioneer Radio Network.