BRIDGEPORT, Conn.- The Sacred Heart University Men's Ice Hockey team (16-15-4, 15-11-3 AHA) defeated RIT (15-16-4, 13-11-4 AHA) 9-4 to take game one of the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals. The Pioneers will look to take the series tomorrow night when SHU hosts RIT for a 7:05 p.m. puck-drop at Webster Bank Arena.
- Sophomore Jordan Kaplan would kick off the scoring for the Pioneers as we would tally his first goal of the night at 3:59 off a pair of assists by Ruslan Rakhmatov and senior Mike Crocock to put the Pioneers ahead 1-0.
- Then just two minutes later junior Vito Bavaro would tally his eighth goal of the year off a duo of assists by freshman Nick Boyagian and Ryan Steele at 5:06 to put SHU up 2-0.
- The Pioneers would score one more goal in the period courtesy of Alex Bates at 15:11 off assists by sophomore Jason Cotton and Crocock to put the Pioneers ahead 3-2 heading into the second period.
- The second period would be all about the Pioneers as they would tally a total of four goals in the period while only taking seven shots on goal in the period.
- The first would come at 9:01 in the period as Kaplan again would score for the Pioneers this time coming off assists by freshman Austin Magera and sophomore Alex Bates to put the Pioneers ahead 4-2.
- The just a couple of minutes later at 11:48 Magera would switch from giving assists to scoring goals as he would find the back of the net at 11:48 off assists by Rahkmatov and sophomore Marc Johnstone to put the Pioneers ahead 5-2.
- Five minutes later in the period sophomore Matt Tugnutt would find the back of the net for the first time of the night at 16:13 as he nailed an unassisted goal to push the Pioneers ahead 6-2.
- First-year Ryan Steele would close out the period with a goal off assists by junior Vito Bavaro and first-year Nick Boyagian to put the Pioneers up 7-2 heading into the third period.
- SHU would be able to tack on a pair of goals in the final period as they held RIT to just eight shots on goal while the Pioneers took nine.
- The first in the period would come off the stick of sophomore Marc Johnstone at :19 seconds in the period off assists by sophomore Jordan Kaplan and Ruslan Rakhmatov to put the Pioneers up 8-2.
- Then Tugnutt would tally his second goal of the night at 13:13 on a shorthanded goal to score the Pioneers ninth goal of the game and to eventually walk away with the 9-4 victory.
- The Pioneers will aim to take the best-of-three series away from RIT tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. as SHU looks to advance to the Atlantic Hockey Semifinals up in Buffalo, N.Y. for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
- The nine goals the Pioneers scored tonight was the most they have scored this season as well as the largest margin of victory SHU has won by this season.