Lamoureux nets game-winner in 4-3 win over Sacred Heart
March 13, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - Jacques Lamoureux, the nation's leading goal scorer, scored with 1:36 left in the third period to lift Air Force to a 4-3 win over Sacred Heart in game one of the Atlantic Hockey Association best of three quarterfinals, Friday, March 13, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force takes a 1-0 lead in the series and improved to 24-9-2 overall this season. Sacred Heart fell to 10-22-4 overall. Air Force is the No. 1 seed in the tournament while Sacred Heart is the No. 8 seed.
Sacred Heart opened the scoring at the 5:49 mark of the first period as freshman Matt Gingera scored with a backhander from in tight that went over the shoulder of Andrew Volkening. His linemates Evan Mladenoff, Dave Jarman assisted on the play. Air Force scored three goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Jeff Hajner tied the game at 1-1 just 1:17 into the second period on the power play. Scott Mathis tipped a loose puck to Hajner in the slot. The junior from Las Vegas, Nev., made a move on the Sacred Heart goaltender and scored his ninth of the season. Derrick Burnett gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead on the power play. Hajner won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Greg Flynn made a cross-ice pass to Burnett in the left circle who fired his seventh of the season past Stefan Drew. With two seconds left in the second period and SHU on the power play, the Falcons scored their 10th short-handed goal of the season. Drew tried the wrap the puck around the boards behind his own net and Blake Page cut it off on the right side. He threw the puck to the front of the net and Scott Kozlak beat the goaltender back to the crease for his fourth of the season.
Sacred Heart stole the momentum back with two power-play goals early in the third period, both by Erik Boisvert. His first came at 3:55 on a rebound in front of the net. His second came less than three minutes later, also on the power play. Just 12 seconds into the man-advantage, Boisvert and Eric Giosa walked out of the corner with the puck and Boisvert scored high on the short side. The Pioneers had all the momentum and later had another power play that the Falcons killed. With just over five minutes left, SHU defenseman Gregg Rodriguez was called for delay of game for knocking the net off and the Falcons had a power play. After the power play expired, Air Force kept the puck in the zone for another 90 seconds without SHU clearing the puck. Michael Mayra fired a shot from the point that hit off the back wall. Brent Olson and Josh Frider battled in front of the net with Lamoureux on the weak side. The puck came across to Lamoureux who went high for his nation-leading 29th of the season. SHU pulled the goaltender with 58 seconds left, but were unable to tie the game.
Air Force out-shot Sacred Heart, 41-25, in the game. Air Force was 2-for-6 on the power play and scored a short-handed goal. SHU was also 2-for-6 on the power play. Volkening had 22 saves while Drew had 37.
"We found a way to win," head coach Frank Serratore said. "For them to win they have to manufacture goals and they have a good power play. They scored two good goals. They were not flukes. Sacred Heart plays a very defensive-oriented game. Their style forced us to create some blue-collar opportunities. In the end, as it usually does, it came down to special teams and goaltending and we were a plus-one on special teams. Games are always tight this time of year. This is why I love college hockey playoffs. But remember, this thing is far from over."
The same two teams play game two of the series, Saturday, March 14, at 7:05 MT at the Cadet Ice Arena