Setting the Scene...The Sacred Heart Pioneers host the Mercyhurst Lakers in two games this weekend. Because of power failure at the Milford Ice Pavilion in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, SHU hosts Mercyhurst at the Northford Ice Pavilion in Northford, CT Friday, November 2 at 7:05 pm and at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT Saturday, November 3 at 4:00 pm. Admission for Saturday's hockey doubleheader, including the Bridgeport Sound Tiger's game against Hershey at 7:00 pm, is free of charge. The Sound Tigers and Sacred Heart Athletic Department made the announcement in the wake of the impact on Southern Connecticut from this week's storm.
Pioneers in AHA Play...The Pioneers are 108-107-30 in this their tenth year of play in the Atlantic Hockey Association. While they are looking for their first AHA title, they have been to the conference championship twice, falling 4-0 to Holy Cross in the inaugural season of 2003-04 and 6-1 to RIT in 2009-10. SHU posted its best conference record in 2005-06, when the Pioneers went 18-8-2 in AHA play.
By George, He's Picking Up Where He Left Off...Drew George leads the team with three goals, and registered a point in four of the first five games of the season. Dating back to last year, he has registered a point in 16 of the last 18 games. He saw a 12-game point streak end in a 5-0 shutout loss to Bentley in Game 3 of last year's AHA playoffs.
Last Time Out...Sacred Heart lost to Penn State 6-3 last Saturday at the Milford Ice Pavilion in the first ever meeting between the two schools. Josh Phillips, Brian Sheehan, and Drew George all scored for the Pioneers. Sheehan and Eric Delong both recorded two points each.
Scouting the Lakers...The Lakers have yet to win a game in three tries, but are coming off an impressive 3-3 tie at #16 Ferris State behind a 39-save performance by goaltender Jimmy Sargjeant. Ryan Misiak has scored twice to lead take the early team lead in goals.
All Time vs. Mercyhurst...SHU leads the all-time series 19-17-5. However, last year the Pioneers were swept 9-1 and 3-1 in a two-game series Jan. 6-7, in Erie, PA. SHU last beat Mercyhurst on Dec. 4, 2010 in Milford behind goals from Eric Delong and Kyle Verbeek and 39 saves by Steven Legatto.
Delong Climbing Ladder to 100...Senior captain Eric Delong has registered five points this season, putting him at 91 for his career. He is nine points away from becoming the 12th player in program history to reach 100 for his career.
"You Feel Shame, Then You Get Free"...The Pioneers are the most penalized team in the AHA with 123 penalty minutes in five games. Their average of 24.6 pim/g is almost eight minutes more than second place UConn.
Up Next…The Pioneers travel to UConn next Friday, November 9 for a 7:05 pm game against the Huskies, then host the Holy Cross Crusaders at Webster Bank Arena next Sunday, November 11 at 12:00 pm.