MILFORD, Conn. — Rocco Molinaro and Barclay Folk scored a pair of goals each, leading the Sacred Heart Pioneers to a decisive 6-3 victory over Atlantic Hockey rival American International College on Friday night.
The game may have started late due to transportation issues for the Yellow Jackets, but the Pioneer offense was ready to go. Molinaro scored the first goal just 1:52 into the contest during SHU’s first power play to give Sacred Heart an early 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers would extend their lead to 2-0 when junior Chris Connerty redirected a Drew Sanders centering pass past AIC goalkeeper Frank Novello 8:15 into the opening period. The Pioneers would end the period out-shooting the Yellowjackets 17-9.
Sacred Heart would once again get out of the block quickly, as Peter Giatrelis scored the first goal of a high-scoring second period just 2:08 into the stanza.
With the score 3-0, AIC would rip off three consecutive goals in under four minutes to quickly tie the contest up at 3-3. Mark Pavli scored a power-play goal, and Jeff Valdes and Jeremy Leroux would add even strength tallies to quickly put AIC back into the contest.
The Pioneers, unfazed by the quick Yellowjacket retaliation, scored twice in the span of two minutes to put AIC away. Molinaro scored his second goal of the contests, the eventual game-winner, set up by Garrett Larson and Noel Henck to give SHU a 4-3 lead. Shortly thereafter Erik Roos sent home a slap shot on the penalty kill to reestablish a two-goal Sacred Heart lead.
Folk would add a goal midway through the third period to cap off the scoring.
Sophomore goaltender Jason Smith made 22 saves in earning a victory in his first start of the season. Novello made 39 stops for the Yellowjackets.