Sacred Heart Pioneers (8-20-0, 7-14-0 AHA) vs. AIC Yellow Jackets (9-18-1, 8-12-1 AHA)
Feb. 14, 7:05 p.m. - Olympia Ice Center (2,200) - West Springfield, Mass.
Feb. 15, 8:05 p.m. - Milford Ice Pavilion (1,000) - Milford, Conn.
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers look to move into the hunt for a first-round home series as it takes on AIC this weekend. Sacred Heart is three points behind AIC, Holy Cross, and RIT for eighth place.
Last Time Out... Holy Cross pulled away with five unanswered goals last Saturday, winning 6-1 at the Hart Center over Sacred Heart. The Pioneers tied the game in the second period on a Justin Danforth goal before the Crusaders ran away with the game in the third period.
All-Time vs. AIC... The Pioneers lead the all-time series with AIC 29-17-6. The Yellow Jackets are 7-2-1 against Sacred Heart in the last 10 meetings, winning four of the last five. The Pioneers last beat AIC on Jan. 27, 2012 by a score of 4-2 at AIC.
Last Meeting... A three-goal second period vaulted AIC past Sacred Heart on Oct. 26, winning 4-1 at Olympia Ice Center. Brian Sheehan had the lone Pioneer goal, scoring on the power play 0:44 into the third period. Alex Vazzano made 20 saves in goal for Sacred Heart.
Splitting Series... The Pioneers have split three of its last four series, earning wins against Canisius, Niagara, and most recently Holy Cross. Sacred Heart last won back-to-back games Nov. 22-23 against Army. The Pioneers' seven conference wins this season are more than the last two seasons combined (5).
Friday Night's Alright... Sacred Heart is 4-5 is this on Friday nights, with seven of those games decided by one or two goals. Three of the Pioneers' four wins are by one goal (2-1 at UMass Lowell, 6-5 at Army, 4-3 vs. Niagara). Justin Danforth has nine points on Friday (2G, 7A), with Jordan Minello (4G, 3A) and Jeff Carroll (2G, 5A) adding seven points each.
Carroll's Helping Out... Jeff Carroll is currently on a four-game point-scoring streak, making him the fourth Pioneer this season to have a point in four straight games. He has had an assist in each of the last four games, giving him 10 helpers for the season.
Riding The CDM Line... Since being put on a line together on Jan. 11, Jeff Carroll, Justin Danforth, and Jordan Minello have combined for 26 points on 10 goals and 16 assists. Carroll and Danforth each have nine points in the last eight games, with Carroll scoring four goals with five assists. Danforth has seven assists in the last seven games. Minello has scored four goals with four assists on the line.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets... AIC enters the weekend tied for eighth place with Holy Cross and RIT, all of which have 17 points in Atlantic Hockey. The Yellow Jackets are on a three-game winning streak after sweeping their series with Army last weekend. AIC won by scores of 2-1 and 5-4 over the Black Knights. Jon Puskar leads AIC with 13 goals and is tied for the team lead in points with 27. Freshman David Norris also has 27 points and 23 assists, leading all Atlantic Hockey freshmen in points.