Dec. 28, 2003
The Sacred Heart University men's ice hockey team fell to Air Force 2-1 in the shootout of the opening game of the UConn Hockey Classic. The game was decided when Theo Zinocur scored in the sixth round of the shootout.
The Pioneers took the lead at 18:39 of the opening period when Peter Giatrelis put a shot on goal that trickled under the arm of Mike Polidor. Brad Holland and Konn Hawkes were credited with assists on Giatrelis' sixth goal of the season and Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first period.
Air Force came out firing in the second period as they generated two early scoring chances, but were unable to get the puck past LaPointe as he made two point blank saves.
Shortly after Sacred Heart went on the power play for the second time in the game. Both teams had a chance to score as the Falcons broke out of their zone with a three on two rush that was countered by a Pioneers two on one rush the other way. Neither team was able to convert.
Air Force controlled the play for most of the second frame as they out shot Sacred Heart 17-5 in the period, but Sacred Heart lead where it counts as they took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. LaPointe made a number of big saves in the period to preserve Sacred Heart's lead.
Sacred Heart extended their lead to 2-0 after they crashed the net and Pierre-Luc O'Brien put the puck past Polidor for his sixth goal of the season. Air Force quickly answered just 1:20 later when Andrew Ramsey scored off a face-off in the Pioneers zone to put the Falcons on the board.
With 1:25 remaining in the game the Air Force called a timeout and pulled Polidor for the extra attacker. With 0:33 remaining Brandon Merkowsky tied the game off a face-off in the Pioneers zone to send the game into overtime. Neither team could take the lead in the extra period and the game was decided in a shootout.
After the first five round the teams remained tied and in the sixth round Theo Zinocur scored the go-ahead goal and Polidor made the save on Marc-Andre Fournier's attempt to tie the game. Mike Reagan had a chance to win the game in the fifth round of the shootout, but hit the post.
Polidor made 18 saves in recording the win while LaPointe stopped 48 shots on goal. Both goaltenders stopped three shots each in the shootout.
Sacred Heart will be back in action tomorrow in the consolation game of the UConn Hockey Classic against either Bentley or Connecticut. The puck will drop at 2:00 pm.