Sacred Heart captain Richard Naumann and senior left wing Michael Forsland scored a minute apart in the third period as the homestanding Pioneers overcame a two-goal Alabama-Huntsville lead with eight minutes left to gain a tie.
The draw brought Sacred Heart to a 4-4-4 overall record and dropped the Chargers to 4-7-2.
The Chargers took an early lead on a power play when Jared Ross fed a pass to Craig Bushey, who put a one-timer past Pioneer netminder Eddy Ferhi. The rest of the period saw back-and-forth play, with neither team taking much of an advantage. Shots in the first went 11-10 for the Chargers.
Senior winger Joel Bresciani tallied his sixth goal of the season and first in nonconference play when Jason Hawes and Ian Fletcher worked the puck out of the corner and fed it to the Sherwood Park, Alb., native, who slapped the puck through Ferhi’s five-hole to give the Chargers a 2-0 lead at 10:40.
Rocco Molinaro answered on the Sacred Heart power play when Garrett Larson found him in open space on Charger goaltender Mark Byrne’s glove side. The marker came at 12:13, and closed scoring. Shots favored the Pioneers, 8-7.
The scoring ramped up in the third period, as the Pioneers ramped up their intensity and took it to the visiting team. Jared Ross scored on the power play, redirecting a Jeremy Schreiber slapper from the blue line. The goal restored a two-goal lead for the CHA-leading Chargers.
The Pioneers answered quickly, however. Chuck Metcalfe forced a Chargers turnover and passed the puck to Bernie Chmiel, who found Naumann open on Byrne’s glove side. Forsland followed up when Barclay Folk caused another turnover and fed it to Larson, who passed to Forsland in open space.
After the game, Charger assistant Lance West was understandably upset. “It’s really the same old story for us. We got outworked again. Give credit to them, they worked hard and really outworked us tonight. We’re making the same mistakes over and over again. What really bothers me now is the attitude when we tell them that they’re making the mistakes.
“They’re not taking it like men and taking the criticism and stop making those mistakes. … Until they get more mature, they’ll keep making these mistakes all year.”
After the game, Charger senior Steve Charlebois was taken to the hospital after blacking out. Tests were negative, but Charlebois has a history of concussions and will likely be held out of Saturday’s contest. Sacred Heart hosts Alabama-Huntsville again at 7:00 ET at the Milford Ice Pavilion.