Jan. 7, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart returns to action January 8-9 as they continue an eight game home stand against the Army Black Knights. The Pioneers come into the series riding a three game winning streak after sweeping first-place Air Force last weekend. SHU has allowed just one goal in each of their last three games. Army played just one game last weekend, a 2-1 loss to #18 Union Saturday night. The Pioneers and Black Knights met earlier this season in West Point, NY with Army edging SHU in both games, 2-1 and 4-2.
The Series... After their first two games this season the Pioneers and Black Knights currently stand even in the all-time series with a record of 18-18-3. Goaltender Jay Clark was crucial in Army’s sweep of Sacred Heart earlier this season as the junior netminder made 76 saves in two games and allowed just three goals.
Flying High... Last weekend the Pioneers completed the program’s first ever series sweep of the Air Force Falcons, with 4-1 and 5-1 victories. The sweep gives Sacred Heart a small measure of revenge last weekend after being knocked out of last year’s conference tournament by the Falcons. The win is SHU’s third straight and moves the Pioneers home record to 3-1 this season.
Legatto - Rookie of the Week... Sacred Heart goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC) earned his second consecutive AHA rookie of the week award after leading SHU to a sweep of Air Force. The freshman netminder allowing just one goal in each game and picked up both victories. He compiled a staggering .969 save percentage making 63 total saves, 21 coming in the final period of a game. Legatto did not surrender a goal in the second or third period throughout the series. The freshman has caught fire as of late, surrendering just three goals in his last 180 minutes between the pipes.
Jarman - AHA Player of the Week... Senior Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON) collected his first Atlantic Hockey award this season after being selected the player of the week for games through January 3. Jarman netted the Pioneers first two goals Sunday night, scoring the first on a loose puck in front of the Falcons net. He would later score the game winning goal beating the Air Force goaltender with a nifty one-on-one move. Jarman also provided a sparkling assist with a backhanded pass that gave SHU a 3-1 lead Sunday night. Saturday night the senior forward notched the assist on Nick Johnson’s game winning goal. Jarman is currently tied for first in Atlantic Hockey with 15 assists and is fifth in the conference with 21 total points.
Knowlton Posts Huge Weekend... Pioneer junior Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) tallied five points against the Falcons, including two goals and three assists. Knowlton rounded out the Pioneer awards for the week after being named the Enterprise Rent-A-Car/Sacred Heart student athlete of the week.
Scouting the Black Knights... Army comes into this weekend series winning four of its last five games and riding a four game winning streak against conference opponents. The Black Knight attack is led by Cody Omilusik who has 13 goals and 9 assists for 22 total points in 2009-10. However, this season the Black Knights success has hinged on the play of their junior goaltender Jay Clark. Clark has compiled a 2.71 goals against average and .919 save percentage on the year. Army has the second best penalty killing unit in the conference, with a success rate just over 84%.
Johnson’s Helping Hand... Senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT), the team leading goal scorer with 11 goals, contributed four assists and five total points in the Pioneers series with Air Force. In Sunday’s finale Johnson earned three assists, setting up goals by Dave Jarman, Reid MacLeod, and Eric Delong. Saturday night Johnson scored his third game winning goal of the season with SHU’s second marker, coming in the second period. Johnson’s 21 points tie him for fifth in Atlantic Hockey while his 11 goals rank third.
Dependable Delong... Freshman Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) has 12 points this season, leading the teams rookies in scoring. Delong is averaging 0.88 points per game, which ranks him first in the conference among rookies.
Third Period Turnaround... Heading into last weekends series with Air Force the Pioneers had been outscored 12-1 in the final period of their previous eight games. Sacred Heart reversed that trend owning the third period against the Falcons, outscoring them 4-0.
Up Next... The Pioneers continue thier eight game homestand next weekend as Mercyhurst makes the long trip to Milford, CT for a pair of conference games.