October 31, 2013

Sacred Heart Travels To Holy Cross For Friday Night Faceoff

Game Notes

Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-3-0, 1-1-0 AHA) at Holy Cross Crusaders (0-5-0, 0-0-0 AHA)

Nov. 1, 7:00 p.m. - Hart Center (1,600) - Worcester, Mass.

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart looks to snap its current two-game losing streak Friday night at Holy Cross.

Last Time Out... The Pioneers fell behind 3-0 after the second period at AIC last Saturday night and didn't recover, losing 4-1 to the Yellow Jackets to move to 1-1 in Atlantic Hockey. Junior Brian Sheehan scored a power play goal for his first tally of the year. Alex Vazzano made 20 saves in goal.

All-Time vs. Holy Cross... Holy Cross leads the overall series 27-26-2. The Crusaders won two of the three meetings last season, and are 6-1-1 in the last eight games against Sacred Heart. Holy Cross defeated Sacred Heart 4-0 to win the 2004 Atlantic Hockey Tournament Championship. Chad Filteau and Brian Sheehan each have five career points against Holy Cross, tied for the most among active Sacred Heart players.

Last Meeting... Holy Cross took the season series from Sacred Heart on Feb. 25, 2013 with a 4-2 win over the Pioneers at the Hart Center. Sacred Heart led 2-0 early in the second period on goals by Kyle Verbeek and Chad Filteau before the Crusaders scored four unanswered goals to win the game. Holy Cross outshot Sacred Heart 47-26 for the game, and 34-11 in the final two periods. Adam Schmidt, Shane Stockton, Brandon Nunn, and Rob Linsmayer each had two points for the Crusaders.

Scouting the Crusaders... Picked to finish eighth in the preseason Atlantic Hockey Coaches' Poll, Holy Cross enters Friday's game 0-5 after being swept in a home-and-home series with #7/9 Quinnipiac last weekend. The Crusaders have also played nationally-ranked Northeastern and Boston University to open the season, with the largest margin of victory being three goals. Sophomore defenseman Jake Bolton leads Holy Cross with three points on a goal and two assists. Eight different Holy Cross players have accounted for the Crusaders' eight goals this season.

Danforth Is Prospering... Freshman forward Justin Danforth leads Sacred Heart with three assists in the Pioneers' first five games. All of his assists have come on the power play in conference games. He is currently tied for second in Atlantic Hockey in both power play points and freshman points. 

Jump Right In... Sacred Heart's freshman class has accounted for nine of the Pioneers' 18 points so far this season. Justin Danforth leads the Pioneer rookies with three points, all on assists. Mitch Nylen and Jeff Carroll are the only rookies so far to have tallied their first career goals. Nylen scored his on the power play in Sacred Heart's win over Bentley while Carroll scored at Rensselaer on Oct. 19. 

Killing Penalties... Sacred Heart is second in Atlantic Hockey in penalty kill percentage at 87.5%. The Pioneers are 21-for-24 on the penalty kill through five games. Sacred Heart is tenth nationally on the penalty kill. The Pioneers are 2-0 this year when not allowing a power play goal. 

A Good Start... Sacred Heart had its best October since the 2009-10 season this year. The Pioneers went 2-3 after going winless the last three Octobers. In 2009-10, Sacred Heart went 2-2-1 with an overtime win at Union, a win at AIC to open conference play, and a tie at St. Lawrence. The most wins by Sacred Heart in October is three in 2004.