Cotton Nets Two Short Handed Goals in Men's Ice Hockey 3-1 Victory Over Niagara

The Pioneers completed the sweep over Niagara this afternoon defeating the Purple Eagles 3-1. Photo courtesy of Bill Carpenter.
The Pioneers completed the sweep over Niagara this afternoon defeating the Purple Eagles 3-1. Photo courtesy of Bill Carpenter.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team completed the two-game sweep of Atlantic Hockey rival Niagara this afternoon as the Pioneers defeated the Purple Eagles 3-1. This is the second straight year SHU has swept Niagara on the road. The Pioneers will return to action on Friday, Nov. 1 when SHU hosts Air Force. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 p.m.


First Period

  • The Purple Eagles would edge the Pioneers in shots on goal in the period as Niagara had 13 while SHU tallied 11 on goal.
  • The Pioneers would strike first in the game as senior Jason Cotton would tally his third goal of the season as he would record the team's first short-handed goal of the season at 1:32 in the period to give SHU a 1-0 lead. Assists would be awarded to senior Mike Lee and junior Matt Tugnutt.
  • Both sides would go 0-2 on the power-play in the opening period.
  • Sophomore goalie Josh Benson recorded 13 saves in the period on 13 shots faced.


Second Period 

  • Niagara would once again be neck and neck with the Pioneers in shots on goal as the Purple Eagles tallied nine while SHU had eight.
  • SHU continued its strong attack in the period as Cotton fired his second goal of the game once again while the Pioneers were short-handed this time in the final seconds of the second period at 19:39 off assists by junior Alex Bates and senior Mike Lee to put the Pioneers ahead 2-0 heading into the third period.
  • Benson held strong in front of the net not allowing a single goal in the period as nine shots were fired at him.


Third Period 

  • Niagara picked up the attack in the third period as the Purple Eagles tallied 12 shots on goal while holding SHU to just seven.
  • The Pioneers scored first in the period though as a goal by senior Austin McIlmurray at 3:28 while SHU was on the power-play put SHU ahead 3-0. Assists by Lee and first-year Braeden Tuck would aid in the Pioneers third goal of the game.
  • Niagara attempted to comeback as at 14:04 Ryan Cook would slip a goal passed Benson to tighten the SHU lead to 3-1.
  • But SHU's defense held strong and at the end of the game the Pioneers completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory.



  • Sophomore goalie Josh Benson would tally 33 saves in the game on 34 shots faced.
  • Senior co-captain Jason Cotton tallied two goals for two points in the game.
  • Senior Mike Lee tallied three assists for three points.
  • SHU would go 1-6 on the power-play while holding Niagara to going 0-6 on the man advantage.
  • SHU improves to 2-3-1 on the year and 2-1-0 in Atlantic Hockey play.
  • Niagara falls to 0-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in conference play.