February 23, 2007

Pioneers Clinch Top Seed in AHA Playoffs With 5-3 Win Over Army

Feb. 23, 2007

West Point, NY - Junior Nick Kary (Wetaskiwin, AB) scored the game winning goal and Alexandre Parent (Boisbriand, QC) added two goals and an assist as Sacred Heart erased a two goal deficit to post a 5-3 win over Army in men's ice hockey action Friday night at Tate Rink. With the win the Pioneers (20-9-4, 17-6-4 AHA) clinch the top seed in the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.

Kary's game winner came with 3:47 to go in the third period. Senior Kalen Wright (Candle Lake, SK) ripped a shot from the blueline that was stopped by Army goaltender Josh Kassel. The rebound bounced to Kary who bounced the puck off the crossbar, but was able to put home a third opportunity for his second tally of the year.

Senior Jason Smith (St. Lambert, QC) made 20 saves in net for Sacred Heart to earn the victory. It was his 37th career win, setting a new school record for victories by a goaltender in a career.

Army got off to a fast start with two power play goals in the first six minutes of the game. Freshman Owen Meyer got the Black Knights started at the 5:01 mark, with a 5-on-3 goal. Junior Bryce Hollweg fed Meyer a perfect pass from the corner to the front of the goal mouth and Meyer whacked it into the net. Just 1:07 later, junior Ken Rowe put the Black Knights up 2-0.

The Pioneers drew within one goal with 4:19 left in the first period. Senior Todd Spencer (Brentwood, NH) fired a shot from the blue-line and Pierre-Luc O'Brien (Nicolet, QC) was in front of the net to deflect it for his 16th goal of the year.

Freshman Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) tied the game for Sacred Heart with 4:48 left in the second period. Jarman picked up a loose puck off a scrum in the corner of the Army zone, moved into the slot and snapped a shot past Josh Kassel for his 10th goal of the year. The tally made Jarman the fifth Pioneer in double digit goal scoring this year.

The Black Knights reclaimed the lead with 1:31 to go in the second. Sophomore Will Ryan fed Matt Hickey a pass at the side of the net and Hickey ripped a one-timer past Smith for his first goal of the season.

Parent tied the game for Sacred Heart at the 3:51 mark of the third period. After Kassel stopped an initial shot by O'Brien, Parent corralled the rebound in the slot and snapped the puck into the back of the net for his 14th goal of the year. Parent would add an empty net goal with 32 seconds left to seal the victory.

The Pioneers and Black Knights close out the regular season Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Sacred Heart will honor it's seniors prior to face-off which is set for 7:00 pm.