Pioneers Skate to 5-5 Tie Against Army West Point

Pioneers Skate to 5-5 Tie Against Army West Point

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.— The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team worked to a 5-5 overtime tie against Army West Point on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena.

The Pioneers (3-8-1, 1-5-1 AHA) picked up the first tie of the season in the high scoring affair against the Black Knights (6-5-2, 6-5-2 AHA). It was the first of four meetings between both teams this season.

SHU had five different goal scorers on the night with senior Kory Kennedy, sophomores Jason Cotton & Vito Bavaro and freshmen Marc Johnstone & Matt Tugnutt. Four Pioneers earned multi-point nights with Cotton, Tugnutt tallied a goal & an assist, along with two assist outings by Zach Tsekos & Austin McIlmurray. Senior Nathan Perry made 18 saves in the draw for the Pioneers. 

The Turning Point… 

The game got out in a hurry with SHU picking up its first goal just 3:50 into the contest. Army answered just 36 seconds later setting the tone for the rest of the game. The opening 20 minutes of play resulted in four goals, with both teams heading to the locker room tied at 2-2.

The Black Knights got off to a tear to start the second with two goals in the first 1:12 of the period. The Pioneers made the switch in net from junior Brett Magnus to Perry after Army West Point took the 4-2 lead. SHU didn't back down putting up three straight goals the rest of the period to take a 5-4 lead, prompting Army to make the goalie change to Jared Dempsey. 

The final period featured back & forth play till Army drew a key tripping penalty at 12:46 in the period. The Black Knights added the second power play goal of the night shortly after to bring the score to 5-5. Both teams traded shots on net in overtime but Perry & Dempsey made two key stops to hold the final score.

How They Scored… 

3:50 – 1st Period: SHU 1, Army West Point 0: Hunter Fargey caused the turnover in the Black Knights zone along the blue line. Stephen Hladin picked up the puck and found Kennedy down load on the end line. The senior skated back into the slot and buried one past Cole Bruns for his first goal of the season.

4:24 – 1st Period: SHU 1, Army West Point 1: The Black Knights went on the three-on-two rush into the SHU zone. Tucker DeYoung fired a wrist shot wide off the back wall, finding Taylor Maruya on the left side for the wide open rebound shot.

7:35 – 1st Period: Army West Point 2, SHU 1:  Army worked the man advantage for the second time in the period. On the set play, Alex Wilkinson fed the pass from the right point down along to Tyler Pham. He dished the cross-ice pass to Dominic Franco who was net front for the power play score.

16:29 – 1st Period: SHU 2, Army West Point 2: The Pioneers earned the faceoff draw win courtesy of Tsekos. He found his linemate, Bavaro at the edge of the right circle for the one-timer past Bruns.

0:20 – 2nd Period: Army West Point 3, SHU 2: The Black Knights worked the breakaway opportunity in the opening seconds after SHU looked to push the puck early. Michael Wilson fed the puck ahead to Franco out on the left side. Joe Shecter was on the trail in the slot and buried the feed top shelf past Magnus. 

1:12 – 2nd Period: Army West Point 4, SHU 2: Army continued to push the offensive tempo to start the second. Mason Krueger sent up a pass to Dalton MacAfee at the right point. He sent a shot in on goal but was denied by Magnus. Brendan McGuire was there at the net front for the rebound goal.

4:56 – 2nd Period: Army West Point 4, SHU 3: Cotton pushed the puck into the Black Knights zone out to McIlmurray. The sophomore fired the wrist shot from the right point in on goal. His shot was denied by Bruns, the puck trickled out to the charging Tugnutt on the rebound. He appeared to tap the puck in on his shoulder as Wilkinson provided the defensive pressure. 

9:35 – 2nd Period: Army West Point 4, SHU 4: The Pioneers offense created more chances as the period went on. McIlmurray sent the wrist shot in on goal from the top of the slot. Tugnutt was there at the doorstep looking for the deflection, but sent the puck to Cotton for the back-to-back goals for SHU.

12:46 – 2nd Period: SHU 5, Army West Point 4:  SHU worked the puck in transition as Tsekos sent the puck along the blue line to captain Mike Crocock on the left side. He then drove in to the left circle and fired the wrist shot on net. Johnstone was there to force the deflection past Bruns to give SHU the lead.

12:52 – 3rd Period: SHU 5, Army West Point 5: Off the penalty call, Army won the faceoff draw. Wilkinson sent the puck out to the left point for MacAfee who buried the one timer just past Perry for the tying score. 

Key Stats & Notes…

  • Kennedy netted his first goal of the season & first since December 30, 2016.
  • Cotton registered a goal for the second straight game, giving him four goals in the last five contests.
  • Tugnutt picked up the first multi-point game with his goal & assist. He has registered a helper in four out of the last five games.
  • McIlmurray tallied his second two-assist game of the season while Tsekos added his third multi-point game.
  • SHU outshot its opponent for the second time this season (39-35 on the night). 

Up Next… 

The Pioneers welcome in Air Force to Webster Bank Arena for a two-game set beginning Saturday, November 25 at 5:05 p.m.