Back on Top: Pioneers Reclaim First Place in Atlantic Hockey with 5-2 Victory over Canisius

Dec. 4, 2004

Final Stats

MILFORD, CT (December 4) - Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) scored three goals and Garrett Larson (Rycroft, AB) picked up three assists to lead the Pioneers (6-8-1, 6-1-1) past the Canisius Golden Griffins (7-7-1, 6-2-0) 5-2 in Atlantic Hockey action Saturday night. The win allows the Pioneers to leap frog the Griffins into sole position of first place in the Atlantic Hockey standings.

The Griffins struck first in the highly physical first period, scoring 10:22 into the contest. Ryan Corcoran deflected a Dan Bongar shot up and over the shoulder of Pioneer net minder Kevin LaPointe (Quebec City, QC) for the 1-0 lead. Josh Zavitz also picked up an assist on the play. Canisius would increase their lead to 2-0 just 5:14 later when Bongar would score a goal of his own with the assists going to Joel Kitchen and David Kasch. That short flurry would be all the offense the Griffins could muster, as LaPointe and the Pioneer defense clamped down to limit their opportunities.

Freshman Nick Kary (Wetaskiwin, AB) got the Pioneers on the board in the second period crashing the net on a Larson wrist shot, and burying the puck past Canisius goaltender Bryan Worosz for the first SHU goal. That would prove to be the only goal of a physical second period.

The Pioneers wasted no time in the final frame in knotting the contest at 2-2. O'Brien scored the first of his three just 41 seconds into the last stanza to ignite a four-goal third period. O'Brien was assisted by Larson and Alexandre Parent (Boisbraind, QC) on the goal. The sophomore would strike again at the 6:10 mark for his second goal. Peter Ferraro (Pleasantville, NY) hit O'Brien with a head man pass into the Canisius zone, he then deked out the Canisius defender before jamming the puck past Worosz for the eventual game winner. Drew Sanders (Modesto, CA) also picked up a helper on the play.

Sacred Heart, after settling for a tie on Friday night, would not be denied on Saturday, as Chris Connerty (Rayham, MA) scored just 31 seconds later to put the Griffins in a two-goal hole. Connerty took a shot from Worosz's right that was saved, but the rebound came out to Larson, who tried to jam it past Worosz to no avail, but Connerty followed the Larson shot with one of his own and snuck the puck inside the post for the 4-2 lead.

Canisius threatened to cut into the Pioneer lead with 2:50 remaining. Joel Kitchen took advantage of a Sacred Heart turnover and skated into the SHU zone and lifted a shot. LaPointe, however, would be true to the task and turned the shot away easily.

O'Brien would seal the game 39 seconds left on the clock completing the hat trick with an empty net goal. Parent and Wright picked up assists on the goal.

The win marks the second time in three games against Canisius that SHU has rallied from a third period deficit to win. LaPointe ended the night making 23 saves while Worosz stopped 38.

The Pioneers return to action on December 11 when they travel north to take on UMass-Amherst at 7:00 PM.