Sacred Heart Returns To The Ice Against AIC Friday Night
Setting the Scene... After winter storm Nemo postponed Sacred Heart's series with Holy Cross last weekend, the Pioneers open up a home-and-home series with American International Friday night in West Springfield, Mass. The two teams will face each other at Milford Ice Pavilion Saturday night.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart pulled to within a goal late in the second period on Feb. 2 at Robert Morris, but could not tie the game as the Colonials completed a weekend sweep of the Pioneers with a 7-4 win. Eric Delong and Ben Ketchum each had a goal and an assist in the game.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets... American International is currently in 11th place in Atlantic Hockey with 13 points. The Yellow Jackets are unbeaten in their last four games, tying Connecticut and Air Force while winning it's last two games against Air Force and Army respectively. AIC beat Army 3-0 on Sunday, Feb. 10, getting goals from Adam Pleskach, Richard Leitner, and Jon Puskar. Pleskach leads the Yellow Jackets with 13 assists and 22 points, and is tied for the team-lead in goals with nine. Leitner also has nine goals on the season. Blake Peake is second on the team with 11 assists and 16 points. Senior goaltender Ben Meisner is 6-12-5 this season with a 3.15 GAA.
Delong and Sheehan Lead the Way... Senior Eric Delong and sophomore Brian Sheehan lead the team in points, with 23 and 22 points respectively. Delong has a team-high 14 assists while Sheehan leads the team with 11 goals.
Sheehan Keeps Scoring ... Brian Sheehan became the first Pioneer to reach double-figures in goals this season with a pair of power-play tallies against Air Force Jan. 19-20. His 11 goals this season surpass his total from a year ago. Sheehan had a goal and an assist at Robert Morris Feb. 1-2, extending his point-scoring streak to six games.
Points From the Blue Line... Sacred Heart's defensemen have tallied 14 points in the last five games. Sophomore Jared Eng has led this point production with a goal and five assists over that span. Four of Eng's six points have come on the power play. Will Rayner has added two goals and two assists in the last five games. Freshman Jacob Brightbill scored his first career goal last Saturday at Robert Morris and added an assist. Bryan Felice has had two assists in the last five games.
Cashing In On The Power Play... The Pioneers were 5-for-12 on the power play at Robert Morris. Eric Delong had a power play goal in each game of the series against the Colonials. Jacob Brightbill, Will Rayner, and Brian Sheehan also had power play tallies against Robert Morris. Over the last five games, Sacred Heart is 8-for-21 (38.1%) on the power play.