TROY, N.Y. — Bear Trapp tallied two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, and goaltender Jason Smith recorded 44 saves to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers to a 4-3 victory over Rensselaer. With its victory, Sacred Heart improves to 8-3-1 on the season, including a 6-1-0 mark in its last seven games. The Engineers fall to 7-6-3.
Trapp got the game-winner at 1:01 of overtime from behind the net when his attempted pass deflected off of Rensselaer defenseman Alexander Valentin and into the back of the net. Smith earned the win by making 16 saves in the first period, 17 in the second, 11 in the third period and none in the overtime. He is now 7-3-1 on the season.
The Pioneers opened the scoring at 4:38 of the first period when junior forward Peter Ferraro skated up the left side of the ice on a two-on-one with Erik Roos and snapped off a wrist shot to the short side. For Ferraro, the unassisted goal was his fourth marker of the season. RPI answered at 16:57 when junior forward Oren Eizenman tallied from just outside the crease. Eizenman earned his ninth goal of the season when his wrist shot was partially stopped by the goaltender but the puck managed to trickle across the goal line. For Eizenman, the goal extended his point-scoring streak to 14 games (9 goals, 10 assists). Senior Kevin Croxton, who fed Eizenman in the neutral zone, earned the primary assist while defenseman Brad Farynuk earned the secondary for Rensselaer. The Engineers outshot the Pioneers 17-7 in the period.
Sacred Heart built a two-goal lead after two periods with a pair of power-play goals in the middle stanza. Sophomore defenseman Scott Marchesi ripped a slapshot from the blueline in the middle of the circles that rose over the shoulder of Engineer goaltender Mathias Lange for a 2-1 lead at 8:48. Kalen Wright and Rocco Molinaro earned the assists on the goal. Trapp made it 3-1 less than two minutes later when he swept in a loose puck that was laying in the crease. Trapp’s goal, his seventh of the season, was scored after Bernie Chmiel’s shot rang off the crossbar and lay behind Lange. Sacred Heart’s leading scorer, Pierre-Luc O’Brien also earned an assist on the goal.
Rensselaer battled back in the third period, tallying two goals to tie the game at 3-3. Eizenman notched his second of the game off a pass from sophomore Andrew Lord at 7:21 and sophomore Jonathan Ornelas tied the game at 15:33. Croxton started the play on RPI’s second goal from the top of the left circle, passing the puck to Lord, who had his shot stopped. Ornelas tied the game at 15:33 with a hard shot into the upper right corner for his tenth goal of the season. Farynuk and Croxton tallied the assists.
Lange finished with 24 saves, including six in the first period, 11 in the second, six in the third and one in overtime.
Rensselaer returns to action next Saturday night when it hosts Rochester Institute of Technology in a non-league game at Houston Field House (7pm). Sacred Heart hosts Atlantic Hockey League foe the University of Connecticut on Thursday night at 7pm.