Sacred Heart Pioneers (4-12-0, 3-7-0 AHA) at UConn Huskies (6-5-2, 5-2-1 AHA)
Dec. 29, 7:05 p.m. - XL Center (15,635) - Hartford, Conn. - UConn Hockey Classic
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart returns to action after a 22-day layoff against UConn in the UConn Hockey Classic at the XL Center in Hartford on Sunday. The Pioneers will play either UMass or #8 Quinnipiac on Monday.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers lost their fourth consecutive game on Dec. 7, falling 4-1 to Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. Drew George tied the game 1-1 in the second period, but the Lakers scored three times in the third to complete the weekend sweep.
All-Time vs. Connecticut... The Huskies lead the overall series with the Pioneers 27-24-5. UConn beat the Pioneers 4-2 on Nov. 2 in Storrs, scoring three power play goals. Last season, Connecticut won the season series 2-0-1. Sacred Heart scored a shorthanded goal late in the third period of the March 1, 2013 meeting at Freitas Ice Forum to get a 4-4 tie. The Huskies won 5-3 on Nov. 9, 2012 and 4-0 on March 2, 2013. UConn is 7-1-1 in its last nine games against Sacred Heart.
Last Meeting... UConn scored three times on the power play to defeat Sacred Heart 4-2 on Nov. 2, 2013 at Freitas Ice Forum. The Pioneers outshot the Huskies 32-21 in the game. Will Rayner and Evan Jasper tallied the Pioneer goals. Andrew Bodnarchuk made 17 saves for Sacred Heart as Robbie Nichols had 30 for UConn. Billy Latta scored twice for the Huskies in the third period.
Trying To Snap The Skid... After sweeping Army Nov. 22-23, Sacred Heart has lost four straight games to RIT and Mercyhurst. The Pioneers have scored just four goals in the last four games and have not converted on the power play in their last 25 chances.
George First To Five Goals... With 13 Pioneers having scored a goal this season for Sacred Heart, junior forward Drew George became the first Pioneer to reach five goals with his tally on Dec. 7 at Mercyhurst. It was George's first goal since he scored the game-winner in Sacred Heart's 6-5 win at Army on Nov. 22. He now has five goals and five assists for the year, making him the second Pioneer to reach double-digit points.
Danforth Tops Among Atlantic Hockey Rookies... Freshman forward Justin Danforth leads Sacred Heart with 13 points. He is tied with RIT's Todd Skirving for the Atlantic Hockey rookie scoring lead. Danforth is one of six freshmen in the nation to lead their team in scoring. He has had four multiple-point games this season, tops among the Pioneers. Danforth had his first point in three games on Dec. 7 with an assist at Mercyhurst.
Power Play M.I.A.... The Pioneers were held scoreless on the power play for the second consecutive weekend at Mercyhurst Dec. 6-7. Prior to the RIT series, Sacred Heart had at least one power play goal in six consecutive games. The Pioneers have not scored on their last 25 power plays. Junior defenseman Will Rayner is tied for fifth in Atlantic Hockey in power play goals with four.
Scouting the Huskies... UConn is currently tied for third in Atlantic Hockey with 11 points, boasting a conference record of 5-2-1. The Huskies 3-1-1 in their last five games and are coming off a sweep of Niagara in Storrs Dec. 6-7. UConn beat the Purple Eagles by scores of 3-2 and 2-1. Sophomore forward Shaun Pauly leads UConn with five goals and 10 points.