SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team (9-6-1, 8-4-0 AHA) picked up its second straight victory tonight as the Pioneers defeated AIC (5-7-0, 5-4-0 AHA) by a final score of 4-2. SHU will return to action on Saturday Dec. 7 when the Pioneers play host to Robert Morris. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena.
- The Pioneers dominated the opening period with SHU outshooting the Yellow Jackets 10-5.
- Just five minutes into the opening period junior Matt Tugnutt fired off his ninth goal of the year tying his career high off an assist by senior Austin McIlmurray for his sixth assist on the year to give SHU a 1-0 lead.
- But the scoring didn't stop there, eight minutes later a 13:44 into the period, first-year Kevin Lombardi nailed in his first collegiate goal off a pair of assists by fellow first-year Jeppe Urup and sophomore Nick Boyagian to put the Pioneers ahead 2-0.
- Then just a little over a minute later at 14:58 in the period while SHU was on the power-play senior Mike Lee rocketed his second goal of the season off a duo of assists by goalie Josh Benson and junior Jordan Kaplan to give the Pioneers a 3-0 lead heading into the second period.
- Sophomore goalie Josh Benson made light work only having to make five saves on five shots faced as the Pioneer defense held off the Yellow Jacket attack.
- The Pioneers continued the aggressive attack in the second period as they outshot the Yellow Jackets 10-7.
- Strong goaltending by both ends prevented each side from scoring in the period.
- The Pioneers picked up 11 face off wins in the period while holding AIC to just six.
- The Yellow Jackets went on the attack in the final period as AIC outshot SHU 9-8 in the period.
- AIC tightened the SHU lead at 6:42 as Tobias Fladeby slipped a goal passed Benson to narrow the SHU lead to 3-1.
- The Pioneers answered back later on in the period as junior captain Marc Johnstone launched his third goal of season off assists by senior Vito Bavaro and sophomore Ryan Steele to put the Pioneers ahead 4-1, 15:53 into the period.
- AIC attempted one last push to even the score as a goal 17:36 into the period off the stick of Elijiah Barriga with the Yellow Jackets having the extra skater on the ice shrunk the SHU lead to 4-2.
- But the Pioneers held off the AIC attack for the remainder of the period to give SHU the 4-2 victory and another three points in the Atlantic Hockey standings.
- The Pioneers edged the Yellow Jackets in shots on goal 28-21.
- SHU went 2-2 on the power-play while AIC was held to going 2-3.
- Sophomore goalie Josh Benson racked up 19 saves on 21 shots faced.
- First-year Kevin Lombardi cashed in his first collegiate goal.
- Junior Matt Tugnutt tied his career high goals total with his goal in the first period.
- The Pioneers improve to 9-6-1 overall and 8-4-0 in Atlantic Hockey play.