HARTFORD, Conn.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team (8-12-3, 8-8-2 AHA) concluded its non-conference slate with an 2-1 victory over in-state rival UCONN tonight. With the win, the Pioneers picked up their eighth victory of the season to improve to 8-13-3 overall this season while picking up the team's first non-conference victory of the year. SHU will return to action on Friday, Feb. 1 when the Pioneers head to Robert Morris for a two game series. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
- Both sides would tally 10 shots in the opening period while the Huskies would win the faceoff battle by a total of 16-7.
- But it would be the Pioneers that would score the first goal of the game as sophomore Matt Tugnutt would break his eight game scoreless streak off a pair of assists by Alex Bates and Mike Crocock as at 3:44 in the period he would score while SHU was shorthanded to put SHU up 1-0 at the end of one.
- Freshman netminder Josh Benson would tally nine saves in the period and would make an incredible save at 13:36 in the period as he was able to layout and block the puck from sliding into the goal.
- While the Huskies did outshoot the Pioneers in the second period SHU would outscore UCONN in the period as freshman Ryan Steele would net his seventh goal of the season at 8:46 in the period on the power-play to put the Pioneers ahead 2-0. Assists would be credited to sophomore Jordan Kaplan and junior Ruslan Rahkmatov.
- Benson continued his strong day behind the net as he tallied 12 saves preventing the Huskies for scoring a goal in the period.
- UCONN would put on a heavy attack in the third period as they tallied 12 shots in the period while holding SHU to just six.
- At 15:27 in the game Karl El-Mir would score the Huskies lone goal of the game to cut the Pioneers lead to just one.
- But Benson's 11 saves in the third period would be enough to put the game away and to give the Pioneers the 2-1 victory earning SHU's its eighth win of season.