Black Division Finals: Sacred Heart Upsets Stony Brook

by Justin Miller

In the second Empire Conference upset of the day, #2 Sacred Heart defeated #1 Stony Brook by a 2-1 final score to win the Black Division playoffs. Jake Calanni began the upset bid in the first period after finding a clear lane on the power play and burying the game’s opening goal. This was the first time Stony Brook trailed in any of their Black Division playoff games. 

Despite the setback, the Seawolves didn’t back down from their opposition. In the second period, Antonio Arena got to the right circle and sniped the game-tying goal for his first goal of the tournament. Later in the period, a Pioneers power play opportunity would prove to be the most pivotal moment of the game. Barry Burke received a pass in the slot and made no mistake, scoring what would become the game-winning goal in this one. This was the first time in the tournament that a team managed to get two goals past Stony Brook goaltender Gene Castro.

Sacred Heart did an exceptional job slowing down the Stony Brook offense throughout the rest of this game. They held them to only 19 shots and were perfect in defending against the man advantage. This effort led them to the 2-1 victory that crowned them the 2023-24 Empire Conference Black Division champions. 

“Feels pretty amazing to me, my final year with the program coming all the way from freshman year only getting six games because of COVID,” said assistant captain Brendan O’Donnell on what this win means to him. “Playing with these boys for the last three years means everything to me. This win marks the first Empire Conference championship in program history for Sacred Heart. 

3 Stars of the Game

1. Sacred Heart, Barry Burke: GWG

2. Stony Brook, Gene Castro: 34 saves on 36 shots

3. Sacred Heart, Jake Calanni: Goal