Setting the Scene…The Pioneers return to action for a home-and-home series against the Holy Cross Crusaders in two Atlantic Hockey Association games.
Game Coverage...Video and Audio of this weekend's games will be available at www.SacredHeartPioneers.com by following the video and audio links on the men's hockey schedule page.
About the Pioneers…Senior Matt Gingera and freshman Drew George lead SHU with 11 goals, while Gingera is first on the team with 22 points. Freshman Brian Sheehan is second with 20 points, followed by George and junior captain Eric Delong with 16 points, and Ben Ketchum with 12 points Steven Legatto has seen the majority of time in net this year, making the third most saves in the AHA (788).
About the Crusaders...Holy Cross has been streaking, winning four straight after going winless in five straight. Andrew Cox leads the team in points with 25, followed by Adam Schmidt (24) and Erik Vos (23). Brandon Nunn is their top goal-scorer with 13.
Gingera Closing in on 100…Pioneer assistant captain Matt Gingera leads the team with 22 points and is tied for the team lead with 11 goals, putting him at 55 goals and 43 assists for 98 points in his career. He is now tied for fifth place (Garrett Larson-55) and one behind third place (Bear Trapp-56) on the all-time SHU hockey goals list. He is two points away from becoming the 11th player in Pioneer Hockey history to accumulate 100 points or more for a career.
All-Time Vs. Holy Cross...The Pioneers are winless in their last four games against the Crusaders, last beating them at home on a goal by Matt Gingera in OT of the 2010 AHA Quarterfinals on 3/13/10. SHU lost to Holy Cross 6-4 earlier this year on 11/12 at the Hart Center. Trailing 5-1 in the third, the Pioneers scored three unanswered on goals by Will Rayner, Ben Lake, and Drew George, but their comeback attempt fell short when Adam Schmidt scored for Holy Cross into an empty net with 1:05 left.
Last Time Out...The Pioneers earned three points again UConn last weekend in thrilling fashion. Matt Gingera scored with 35 seconds remaining in overtime for a 2-1 win Sunday evening at Webster Bank Arena. Friday night, Drew George recorded SHU's first hat trick of the season, with his third goal tying the game with 57 seconds remaining in regulation of a 5-5 finish. George and Gingera both totaled five points on the weekend, with George scoring a third-period game-tying goal Sunday and Gingera adding four assists in Friday night's game.
By George...Drew George was named Team USA AHA Player of the Week for his five-point performance last weekend against UConn. After recording a hat trick and an assist in Friday's 5-5 tie and scoring in Sunday's 2-1 OT win, the freshman now has a seven-game point streak (7 g, 4a). He now is tied with Matt Gingera with a team-best 11 goals.
Sheehan Making His Mark...Freshman forward Brian Sheehan is now tied for fifth in the AHA among rookies with 20 points, second most on SHU.
Pioneers Upset of #8 Yale 7-6…The Pioneers pulled off their greatest ever upset, beating # 8 Yale 7-6 Tuesday night, 11/22/11 at Webster Bank Arena. It marked the team's first win of the year. Chad Filteau lead SHU with two goals, including the game-winner with 4:14 left in the third period. Steven Legatto made 48 saves in net for the win.
Doubling Up...Seven times this season, a Pioneer has scored at least twice in the same game. They are: Brian Sheehan, 10/25 at Bentley and 10/28 at AIC; Chad Filteau, 11/22 vs. Yale; Matt Gingera and Ben Ketchum, 11/26 vs. Niagara; Eric Delong, 12/3 vs. Robert Morris. Drew George recorded SHU only hat trick this year 2/10 at UConn, the last one coming from Gingera in a come-from-behind 6-3 win at Bentley in last season's AHA Playoffs.
Man-Sask Producing for Pios...In the four games since Regina, SK natives Chad Filteau and Drew George and Winnipeg, MB native Matt Gingera were put together, the "Man-Sask" line has produced eight of SHU's last 12 goals.
Take it to the Bank... For the second straight season, the Pioneers are wrapping up a slate of home games at Webster Bank Arena with this weekend's contest. SHU is 5-4-3 in their first two seasons of home games at WBA, including an upset 7-6 win over #8 Yale this year. After playing five home contests at the 8,500-seat home of the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, SHU totaled eight home games this season in partnership with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, with the Pioneers' games either following or preceding a Sound Tigers home game as part of a single-admission ticket. Webster Bank Arena is also the site of the NCAA Men's Hockey East Regional for the third time this season.
Up Next...Sacred Heart closes out the regular season with a home-and-home series with Army next weekend. The Pioneers host the Black Knights next Friday, Feb. 24 at the Milford Ice Pavilion on Senior Night, then travel to West Point, NY on Saturday, Feb. 25 for the 2011-12 finale. Both games begin at 7:05 pm.