WORCESTER, Mass.—The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team was unable to complete a late third-period comeback, falling to Holy Cross, 4-2 on Saturday night at the Hart Center.
The Pioneers (5-14-4, 3-10-4 AHA) cut the deficit to one at 3-2 with two minutes to go but were unable to stop the Crusaders (9-8-7, 8-4-6) who skated away with the weekend sweep.
Senior Kory Kennedy and redshirt sophomore Jason Cotton picked up the two Pioneer goals on the night. Freshman Jordan Kaplan registered a multi-assist night for SHU. Sophomore Vito Bavaro and freshman Alex Bates also recorded helpers for the Pioneers. Junior goaltender Brett Magnus turned away 29 shots in net for SHU.
Both teams battled in a chippy first period that saw SHU hold the slight shot edge 11 to 10. The Crusaders looked to take the momentum off the major penalty kill but it was the Pioneers who struck first with Kennedy finding the back of the net for off the tip-in at 6:40 in the second.
Holy Cross tied things up late in the middle period as Peter Crinella put home the rebound past Magnus at 18:28. The game continued to shift in the Crusaders favor into the third period as Michael Laffin broke the tie with the rebound goal at 6:46.
It didn't stop there for the Crusaders as Jay Mackie scored just 51 seconds later to push the lead to two goals. SHU looked to rally late in the period on the extra skater opportunity as Cotton beat Paul Berrafato with two minutes to go in regulation. The Pioneers continued to fight, pulling Magnus again with 1:30 to go. For the second straight night Danny Lopez sealed the game with the extra attacker goal. SHU was outshot 13-5 in the final period.
How They Scored…
6:40 – 2nd Period: SHU 1, Holy Cross 0: On the Pioneers chance in the Crusaders zone, Kaplan collected the puck along the end wall and banked the pass off the half wall out to Bates at the point. The rookie collected the puck and sent a wrist shot on goal, Kennedy crashed to the net and deflected the puck past Berrafato.
18:28 – 2nd Period: SHU 1, Holy Cross 1: T.J. Moore fired a wrist shot from the right circle that was stopped by Magnus. Crinella was at the doorstep to collect the rebound and tie the game at 1-1.
6: 46 – 3rd Period: Holy Cross 2, SHU 1: The Crusaders went on the two on one-rush in transition, Kevin Darrar sent in the shot from the left side as Magnus slid out of the crease to make the stop. The puck bounced out to the middle of the slot for Laffin to bury the wide open rebound to give Holy Cross the lead.
7:37 – 3rd Period: Holy Cross 3, SHU 1: Off the SHU turnover in its defensive zone was caused by Brett Mulcahy, Ryan Ferrill pushed the puck out into the slot for Mackie. He collected it by the left circle and fired the wrist shot falling down at the left circle. The puck beat Magnus' right pad for the two-goal lead.
18:00 – 3rd Period: Holy Cross 3, SHU 2: SHU was looking for an answer late in the game, going on the extra attacker chance. SHU pushed the puck around with a couple chances knocked down by the Crusaders defense. Cotton collected the puck in the middle of the slot from Kaplan and snapped the wrist shot through Berrafato's five-hole to cut the deficit to one.
18:45 – 3rd Period: Holy Cross 4, SHU 2: In one final effort to tie the game, the Pioneers went on with the extra attacker yet again. Lopez knocked down the SHU pass attempt along the blue line and fired the clear out the length of the ice for the second empty net score of the weekend.
Key Stats & Notes…
- With his eighth assist of the season, Bavaro is the second Pioneer to reach the 20 point mark this season.
- Kaplan earned his first career multi-assist game & his second multi-point game of the year.
- SHU was outshot for the third straight game as Holy Cross held a 33-27 edge on shots on goal.
The Pioneers will continue the four-game road swing with its final regular season meeting at Bentley on Tuesday, January 16. SHU will then head out to Colorado Springs for a weekend series at Air Force.