SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Coming into Saturdays contest, heavily-favored Union was expected to prevail. That, however, is why they play the game.
In the first period Sacred Heart came out flying, dominating in time of possession and shots on goal. They also kept the dangerous Union offense without a shot on goal for close to the first 10 minutes of the game.
Sacred Heart took advantage of their opportunities and were able to jump on Union, 1-0. The goal came following a great block by freshman goalie Steven Legatto, who started out strong and was able set up Erik Boisvert nicely for an unassisted goal from outside the net.
Down a tally, Union tried to answer back and had an opportunity with the power play but were unable to capitalize. Sacred Heart would not make the same mistake.
With 45 seconds left on Andrew Buotes penalty, senior captain Mike Wakita was tagged for game misconduct sending him off the ice for five minutes, and giving Sacred Heart a 5-on-3 advantage. Shortly thereafter, they capitalized as center Nick Johnson hit it in after a save from freshman goalie Keith Kinkaid. The assists went to defenseman Paul Ferraro.
Union head coach Nate Leaman was not pleased with the amount of penalties his team took.
Were really shooting ourselves in the foot right now, he said.
Still on the man advantage, Sacred Heart was able to poke it in again as they served it up to captain Corey Laurysen who took a shot from the blue line that deflected off a Union defender into the goal.
Down 3-0, Union finally answered the call and got onto the scoreboard. After a penalty on Alex Stuart, the Dutchmen was able to set up a shot for Jason Walter who received a pass by the goal post and whipped it in from the back right zone.
Sacred Heart looked to take back control by answering right back with a goal of their own.
Center David Berube received the pass by top freshman recruit Eric Delong by the net and was able to sneak it in just past the glove of Kinkaid giving Sacred Heart the 4-1 advantage going into the first intermission.
They outworked us in the first period and it showed on the scoreboard, Union forward Andrew Walters said.
The second period was all Union in every place except where it mattered: the scoreboard. After Kinkaids first period performance, Union coach Nate Leaman decided to put Junior Corey Milan into the net.
Sacred Heart came out with more passion and was able to score early getting a goal less than a minute into the period when Corey Laurysen took a shot that whizzed by a defender and just above Milans glove. It was his second goal of the evening.
The rest of the period belonged to Union as they were able to outshoot Sacred Heart 14-8 in an attempt to get back into the game. The problem was despite three power-play opportunities, including a two man advantage, Union was unable to get the puck into the net with the period ending 5-1 in favor of Sacred Heart.
The third period started out the same way with Union dominated in time of possession and shots taken but still could not get the puck in the net. This changed as with 5:43 to play Union staged a dramatic comeback, scoring four unanswered goals continuing to outscore opponents in the third period.
The comeback started with forward Kelly Zajac ripping the puck into the net after two attempts by Mario Valery-Trabucco and Adam Presizniuk on the power play. The scoring continued with an unassisted goal by freshman Wayne Simpson who wristed it in after breaking into the middle zone; it was Simpsons second goal in as many nights.
Now oozing momentum, Union came storming by again and Walters was able to deflect it in after a shot by Trabucco making it a tight contest with under two minutes to play. Sacred Heart tried to take back control of the game and raced down to the offensive zone; however, Union was able to knock the puck out of the zone landing right by Walters. Without wasting much time Walters located the puck and rifled it into the net tying the game up at five a piece.
Unable to win the game then Sacred Heart and Union entered overtime.
Despite owning the momentum coming into the extra session, Union was unable to start any real threat and with a little over three minutes left, Wayne Simpson was called for high sticking. With the power play Sacred Heart was able to keep attacking the net and after a few shots Nick Johnson was able to nail in his second goal of the night.
Despite the comeback there were not too many happy people on Unions bench.
They played for a lot more minutes than we did, Leaman said. Four shots in the first period is not going to get it done.
The Dutchmen (3-2-1) will play host to rival RPI next weekend with the Pioneers (1-1-0) next game Tuesday against AIC.