FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Tomorrow marks a historic day in the history of the Sacred Heart men's ice hockey program's history, as well as that of the SHU Department of Athletics, as the Pioneers play their first ever home game at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The American International Yellowjackets visit downtown Bridgeport for a 3:30 pm Atlantic Hockey Association contest.
Game Coverage... Audio and video for Saturday's game will be available at www.SacredHeartPioneers.com by following the audio/video links on the men's hockey schedule page. The game will also be carried by the America One Network.
About the Pioneers... With a little more than a month of the season now in the books, Sacred Heart is still searching for its first win of the season. Senior forward David Berube leads the 0-5-1, 0-2-1 Pioneers with five points on two goals and three assists. Sophomore Ben Ketchum, a transfer from Quinnipiac, has proved to be a high energy type of forward that is constantly looking to shoot, but it is his playmaking ability that has shown through the first few games as he as collected three assists. As a rookie Steven Legatto was spectacular between the pipes for SHU. This season the sophomore goaltender has struggled and currently owns a .880 save percentage and a goals against average over five. The Pioneer's lone point in the AHA standings came with a 3-3 tie against Canisius the last time they were at home, at the Milford Ice Pavilion on October 23.
Scouting the Yellowjackets... Despite entering this afternoon's game at 1-4-0, all in league play, AIC does have one signature victory as they went on the road to beat Air Force 5-3 on October 22. The Yellowjackets have been idle since earning a series split with the Falcons in Colorado. Sophomore forward Adam Pleskach leads the way for AIC with five points on two goals and three helpers. Senior Steve McLeod is second in scoring with two goals and two assists, while junior Nielson Arcibal has tallied two scores and added one assist. Sophomore goalie Ben Meisner holds a .899 save percentage and 4.58 gaa.
Last Time They Met... Olivier St. Onge made the start in goal and stacked up 30 saves in the winning effort against AIC back in February. Patrick Knowlton scored twiced to lead the Pioneers to a 4-3 victory at the MIP. The Yellowjackets went ahead 2-0 early in the second when Pleskach netted his 14th of the year. SHU then rattled off four straight to take control of the game. Midway through the final frame, McLeod scored one more for AIC, but the Pioneers were able to hold on for the win.
vs. AIC All-Time... The Pioneers were victorious in all four tries against the Yellowjackets last season to improve to 24-10-5 in the all-time series. Since both teams moved out of the MAAC and into Atlantic Hockey, SHU holds a record of 17-3-3 vs. AIC. The Pioneers and Yellowjackets faced off for the first time in 1994, a contest won by AIC, and the Pioneers didn't register a win in the series until 2000.
Pioneers at Harbor Yard... At a press conference at the Arena at Harbor Yard on November 3 the partnership between Sacred Heart and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, was officially announced. Sound Tigers owner Howard Saffin, Bridgeport mayor Bill Finch, and SHU executive director of Athletic Don Cook were all on hand to commemorate the ocassion. The two orgranizations have teamed up to play five doubleheaders at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport throughout the season, beginning with this afternoon's game. The Pioneers will also play games in Bridgeport on January 8 vs. Air Force, February 5 vs. Bentley, and February 20 vs. Holy Cross. The team's senior day will also be held at the arena on February 26 against Army.
Up Next... Next weekend the Pioneers make the trek to Moon Township, Pa. to take on an unfamiliar opponent in Robert Morris. This is RMU's first season as a member of Atlantic Hockey. Sacred Heart, 0-1 vs. the Colonials, take the ice for a pair of 7:05 pm contests on November 12 and 13.