AIC’s Jake Stella. Credit- Kelly Shea

Yellow Jackets Sweep Pioneers

Bridgeport, CT- American International College entered Saturday on the nation’s longest winning streak and sought to extend it against the Sacred Heart. Behind an opportunistic scoring game, the Yellow Jackets did exactly that at Webster Bank Arena.

Brian Kramer started the scoring only 1:37 into the game by pinching from the point on a lose puck and shooting on a goalie, Luke Lush, who’s stick had been knocked from his hand. The goal was Kramer’s third of the season and second of the weekend. Sacred Heart applied pressure in front of the AIC net and tied the game five minutes later. Andrius Kulbis-Marino did the honors of tying the game on a frantic sequence and his fifth goal of the season.

AIC broke the tie on the power play 2:55 into the second period. Dakota Raabe took a tripping minor and nine seconds into the advantage, Chris Dodero tipped Parker Revering’s shot into the net for what ended up being the game winning goal.

The Yellow Jackets tacked on one more goal on an unfortunate sequence by Luke Lush. Chris Theodore dumped the puck on net, Lush fumbled it and Jake Stella jumped on the loose puck to score twelve seconds into the final stanza. The Pioneers outshot AIC 12-9 in the third and had chances to answer but never paid the chances off. The Yellow Jackets claimed a 3-1 victory.

Sacred Heart drops to 9-11-3 and 7-8-2 in Atlantic play. Luke Lush stopped 26 of 29 shots faced.

“I felt the starts of our periods weren’t very good today,” commented Pioneers Head Coach CJ Marottolo. “It’ll be really nice to get back to a full week of practice. We haven’t practiced two days in a row because of our schedule for two weeks. We’ve got a lot to sharpen up.”

The Pioneers are at Webster Bank Arena next weekend for the Connecticut Ice Tournament, beginning with a Saturday night duel against the nation’s top ranked team: Quinnipiac. Puck drop against the Bobcats is scheduled for 7:30 pm.

AIC improves to 13-9-1 and 11-4-0 in Atlantic play. Their current 10 game winning streak is the longest in the country this season and second longest in AIC’s history, only eclipsed by an eleven game stretch in the 2019-20 season.

RPI transfer Alec Calvaruso took the Yellow Jacket net and stopped 26 of 27 shots faced.

“You look inside of Atlantic Hockey, sweeps don’t happen on the road,” observed AIC Head Coach Eric Lang. “We were really good today. We had a lot of tremendous efforts up and down our lineup today.”

AIC returns to Springfield to face the College of the Holy Cross for January’s final weekend. Puck drop against the Crusaders is 7:05 pm on Thursday night and 1:05 pm on Saturday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.