Bridgeport, CT -- Westfield State improved their conference record to .500 and jumped into a three way tie for second place in the American Conference with a 4-2 win over Sacred Heart University on Friday night. Zach Vatcher gave the Owls a 1-0 lead midway through the first period as his shot from the slot beat Pioneers netminder Brandon Rozzi. The Owls looked to extend their lead with the man advantage but a blocked shot led to a short-handed goal to tie the game. With time expiring in the first period, Joe Almeida would give the Owls the lead when he converted on a two on one opportunity.
Westfield would get a short-handed goal of their own to make it a 3-1 game. After a blocked shot, Kris Houda was off to the races and banked home his own rebound for his third goal of the season. Chase Thornton stood tall in net, making several nice saves to preserve the lead going into the final period.
Sacred Heart was able to catch a lucky break with 5:11 remaining in the game. The Pioneers kept the puck alive in their offensive zone. A defenseman threw the puck towards the front and went off a forwards shin guard towards the net. The forward in front hacked through Thornton's pads and it was a one goal game. The two teams exchanged power play opportunities in the closing minutes before Schyler Reilly added an empty netter to seal the 4-2 victory for Westfield.
Westfield returns to action on Saturday night as they travel to Trinity College. Last week, the two teams combined for 14 goals in a back and forth game. On Sunday, the Owls have a quick turnaround as they play at Roger Williams at 11:30 AM.
Goals: Vatcher (2), Almeida (2), Houda (3), Reilly (6)
Goalie: Thornton, 39 Saves (4-6-0)
Power Play: 0 for 5 (11%)
Penalty Kill: 8 for 8 (85%)