Setting the Scene...The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team travels to Bentley for a Tuesday night matchup at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena. It is the Pioneers second game of a four-game road swing to end the month of January.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers fell to Holy Cross 4-2 in the series finale at the Hart Center on Saturday night. Kory Kennedy opened the scoring in the second period for SHU. The Crusaders picked up three straight goals to push the lead to 3-1 just 7:37 into the third. Jason Cotton got the Pioneers within one with his extra attacker goal with two minutes remaining in the third. Danny Lopez sealed the game for Holy Cross with his second empty net goal with 1:15 left in regulation.
Last Meeting... SHU picked up its first win of the 2018 calendar yeart with a 4-1 win over the Falcons last Tuesday. The Pioneers had three-goal second period as Jordan Kaplan opened the scoring at 11:52. Austin McIlmurray and Matt Tugnutt pushed the SHU lead to 3-0 in the middle frame. Bentley got on the board early in the third period. But it was McIlmurray with his second goal of the game to seal the win at 16:29. Kory Kennedy, Tugnutt & McIlmurray all picked up multi-point games, with the sophomore recording his first three-point game in the win. Brett Magnus picked up his fifth win of the season with 25 saves in net for SHU.
All-Time Series... The Pioneers hold the 33-31-8 edge over Bentley in the all-time series. The Falcons own the last 10 meetings between both teams at 6-4-0, but SHU has taken the last two regular season meetings.
Scouting The Falcons... Bentley comes into the matchup just two points ahead of SHU in the Atlantic Hockey standings with 12 points. The Falcons ended the first semester with a six-game win streak but have slipped in the second half going 0-3-1 in the last four games. Freshman Luke Santerno is the Falcons point leader with 17 on the season. Kyle Schmidt leads the squad with seven points. Sophomore Aidan Pelino sits at a 3.31 goals against average between the pipes for Bentley.
McIlmurray Finding Back of Net... Sophomore forward Austin McIlmurray leads the team with four goals in the six games back from winter break. The right winger recorded his first two-goal showing in last week's 4-1 win over Bentley. McIlmurray is also tied with a team leading six points since coming back from break.
20-20 for Bavaro & Johnstone... Vito Bavaro & Marc Johnstone became the first two Pioneers to reach the 20 point mark this past week of play. Johnstone picked up a third period assist in Tuesday's win over Bentley while Bavaro picked up a helper on Saturday night to reach 20-points. The linemates not only lead the team in points, but also goals (12-Bavaro) & assists (13-Johnstone).