SHU Hosts Air Force in Meeting of Top Two in AHA

Jan. 3, 2008

Setting the Scene... The Pioneers men's ice hockey team starts 2008 with a weekend set against the defending Atlantic Hockey tournament champion Air Force Falcons at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 pm. SHU went 0-2 at the Denver Cup last weekend while Air Force lost to Boston College and played Minnesota to a draw at the Dodge Holiday Classic last weekend. Air Force starts the weekend in first place in the Atlanic Hockey standings while the Pioneers are right behind them in second. Coverage of Friday's game can be heard on WICC 600 AM with Saturday's game on SacredHeartPioneers.com. Both games will be broadcast on B2 Network.

The Series... Sacred Heart has never beaten Air Force in seven previous meetings. The Falcons are 4-0-3 all-time against the Pioneers. The teams played to a pair of draws in Colorado Springs last year before Air Force ousted SHU in the semifinals of the AHA playoffs. This weekend marks the first time between the two teams will play in Connecticut.

SHU Drops Pair in Denver... The Pioneers dropped a pair of games at the Denver Cup, falling to Denver in the first round and then to Northern Michigan Saturday in the consolation game. Sophomore Dave Jarman and junior Bear Trapp scored SHU's two goals for the weekend. Freshman Olivier St. Onge made 39 saves in a losing effort Saturday night.

Balancing Act... Twelve players have scored goals for SHU already this year. Sophomores Nick Johnson and Dave Jarman, Trapp and junior Eric Giosa all have five goals on the year. Trapp and Boisvert each have a team leading 10 assists while Johnson has nine helpers. Trapp and Boisvert are tied for sixth in the league in assists. Defensively, juniors Paul Ferraro and Dave Grimson each have two goals on the year. Ferraro has six assists while Grimson has tallied five helpers.

Streaks and Trends... Johnson had his ten-game point scoring streak snapped at the Denver Cup....Trapp needs just three more points to reach the 100 point mark for his career....Trapp and Boisvert have registered a point in nine of their last 11 games...The Pioneers are ranked third in the country in combined special teams at 56.4%.

Scouting the Falcons... The 2007 Atlantic Hockey tournament champion Air Force Falcons are 9-5-4 overall and 7-4-3 in league play through the first half of the season. The Falcons start the weekend in first place in the standings three points clear of Sacred Heart. Air Force is led by 2007 Hobey Baker finalist Eric Ehn, who leads the league in scoring with six goals and 15 assists, 21 points for the year. The rest of the Falcon attack is balanced with 16 different players having found the back of the net this year. In addition to Ehn, Brent Olson is fourth in the league in goals with nine while Jeff Hajner has seven goals. In goal, sophomore Andrew Volkening has cemented himself as the number one goaltender, posting a 2.47 goals against average and .896 save percentage on the year. He is third in the league in goals against. The Falcons have the 12th-ranked scoring offense in the country at 31.7 goals per game.

Home Cooking... The Pioneers have now completed their non-league schedule and will play 18 more league games in the season's final nine weeks. Of those 18 games, 10 will be on home ice, where the Pioneers are unbeaten this year (3-0-1). SHU starts 2008 with four straight home games and will play five of their next seven at home. The Pioneers will also close out the regular season by playing five of their final seven games on home ice.

Up Next... The Pioneers will stay on home-ice for a two game series with American International. The teams will meet Friday and Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion at 7:05 pm. Both games will be broadcast on WICC 600 AM and the B2 Network.