WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team opened its 2014-15 season on Friday night with a 2-1 loss to the Army Black Knights at Tate Rink. The Pioneers outshot Army 35-33 but a Black Knights' goal early in the third period proved to be the difference.
Both goaltenders – Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) for Sacred Heart and Parker Gahagen for Army – were on point in the first period. The two stopped all 15 shots faced in the first period, with the Pioneers outshooting the Black Knights 8-7 in the opening frame. Army (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Hockey) broke the scoreless tie in the second period. C.J. Reuschlein took a Clint Carlisle pass and scored from the near circle to give the Black Knights a 1-0 lead at the 7:16 mark.
Sacred Heart (0-1, 0-1 AHA) tied the game 1-1 at 17:06 of the period. Erlich Doerksen (Toronto, Ont.) led a Sacred Heart rush into the Army zone with the Pioneers on the power play, getting the puck to Justin Danforth (Oshawa, Ont.). Danforth then found a streaking Drew George (Regina, Sask.) who fired the puck over the shoulder of Army goaltender Parker Gahagen for Sacred Heart's first goal of the season.
The Black Knights regained the lead at the 6:35 mark of the third period. Tyler Pham passed the puck to Zak Zaremba, who was right in front of the Sacred Heart net to give Army a 2-1 lead. Gahagen did his part to keep the Black Knights in front, making a pair of highlight saves on George and Spencer Graboski (Quesnel, B.C.) to preserve the advantage. With 2:39 to play in the game, Sacred Heart went on the power play as Christian Pomarico went to the penalty box for cross-checking. The Pioneers had three shots on goal with the extra man, all saved by Gahagen as Army hung on for the win.
Sacred Heart outshot Army 16-13 in the final period, but couldn't tie the game. Gahagen recorded 34 saves for Army as Vazzano made 31 stops for the Pioneers. Sacred Heart was 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off all three Black Knight power plays.
The two teams wrap up their weekend series on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 3:05 p.m. at Tate Rink.