Feb. 10, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - A natural hat trick from Cole Schneider brought UConn from down 4-1 but the Huskies allowed an extra-attacker goal with 58 seconds left to tie Sacred Heart, 5-5, at the Freitas Ice Forum in front of over 1,000 fans on Friday night.
UConn's record moves to 12-14-3 (11-9-2 AHA) while Sacred Heart goes to 2-24-3 (1-18-3 AHA).
Schneider recorded his second hat trick of the season and the third of his career. Sacred heart forward Drew George also tallied a hat trick and an assist to lead the Pioneers.
The game was a tale of two halves, with UConn going down, 4-1, in the opening 32:16. The Huskies responded with a four-goal spurt from 14:57 of the second period to 7:21 of the third to take a 5-4 lead.
Connecticut looked to have the game all wrapped up with freshman Ryan Tyson's go-ahead goal at 7:21 but George converted the third and most important goal of his hat trick with only 58 seconds remaining and an extra attacker on the ice.
Junior goaltender Garrett Bartus allowed four goals on 11 shots while redshirt sophomore Matt Grogan finished with 13 saves on the night in 32:44 of action.
Sacred Heart netminder Steven Legatto stopped an impressive 45 shots, including 37 in the second and third period, to keep the Pioneers in the game.
Senior Marcello Ranallo gave the Huskies their first lead of the night with an excellent display of patience in front of the Sacred Heart cage. Junior captain Sean Ambrosie won a faceoff at the right dot. Ranallo took possession on the right wall, shielded the puck from the defenseman on his way through the slot, and waited out a poke check from Legatto before sliding home his seventh goal of the season at 10:19. Ambrosie earned his 13th assist on the play.
Sacred Heart took the lead with two goals in a 4:14 span to end the first period. Brian Sheehan, brother of UConn freshman Patrick Sheehan
, managed to squeeze a shot past Bartus inside the left post from the left wall at 14:46. Drew George gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead at 19:00.
Sacred Heart came out strong in the second and made it 4-1 with goals from Chris Filteau and a second by George, thus ending Bartus' night with four goals allowed on 15 shots. UConn redshirt-sophomore Matt Grogan came on at 12:16 of the second period to start a furious UConn comeback.
Schneider started his natural hat trick at 14:57 to make it 4-2, finishing a wrap-around at the right post with assists going to Brant Harris and Tom Janosz.
The trio combined to make it 4-3 with Schneider's 16th of the season and second of the night at 19:35. Nine seconds after the goal, both teams took penalties leading to four-on-four action.
With both teams down a player, Schneider converted in front with just five seconds remaining in the second period. Assists went to Schneider and Jacob Poe.
Connecticut dominated the action in the third period, outshooting Sacred Heart, 19-9.
Freshman Ryan Tyson looked to have the game-winning goal when he finished in front with assists going to Rui Encarnacao and Miles Winter.
The lead wouldn't last, as George finished his hat trick at 19:02.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime, with Grogan denying a partial breakaway by George at 2:50. Legatto made three great stops on two shots from Jordan Sims in the slot and a one-timer by Billy Latta from the high slot.
The two teams will finish the season series at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yards in Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday. Puck is set to drop at 4:0 p.m.