BRYN ATHYN, Pa. – Jake Heckenberger scored with 1:26 left in regulation to send the Bryn Athyn College men's ice hockey team into the offseason on a high note as the Lions closed out the 2018-19 season with a 6-5 victory over Stonehill College Saturday afternoon in Junge Pavilion.
Heckenberger received a pass in the high slot from Zach Pamaylaon, who was situated along the left-wing boards. Then, Heckenberger ripped a shot that beat a screened Billy Palmer for his third goal of the season.
Stonehill pulled Palmer, who finished with 19 saves, with 1:05 left for an extra attacker. The Skyhawks (8-17-1) were only able to get one shot on target with six skaters, a shot from the left point by Shamus Maloney that McKenzie Chalmers kicked aside for the last of his 31 saves.
For the second straight game, Bryn Athyn (7-17-0) had to overcome a 3-1 deficit. The Lions were able to erase the two-goal gap with a pair of goals separated by 38 seconds to tie the score at three at the 7:59 mark of the second period. Nikita Smirnov scored on Bryn Athyn's first power play of the afternoon, with assists from Devin Hines and Sheldon Brett, at 7:21. It was his second goal of the afternoon Then, Tanner Schroeder came through with the game-tying goal at even strength.
The Lion momentum was short-lived as Kayser Rei scored for the second time just 32 seconds after Schroeder's tally to put Stonehill back in front 4-3. Schroeder managed to get the Lions level once again when he scored a short-handed goal to knot the score at four 2:48 before the intermission.
Eric Higgins put Bryn Athyn in front for the first time in the game with an even-strength goal, his second of the year, at the 6:13 mark of the final period. Stonehill made it 5-5 on a James Varney goal at 7:26.
Smirnov and Schroeder each had two goals and one assist, while Becker tallied three assists. Higgins and Heckenberger both added a goal and an assist.
The Bryn Athyn penalty killers played a huge role in the victory as the Lions successfully killed off 10 of the 11 Stonehill power play opportunities. Bryn Athyn was 1-for-3 on the man advantage.