Jan. 26, 2010
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart takes its nine game unbeaten streak to the road Tuesday night as they take on the AIC Yellow Jackets. The Pioneers are 7-0-2 in their last nine and are coming off a three point weekend against Canisius. Sacred Heart won the series opener with the Golden Griffins 4-2 before settling for a 5-5 draw Saturday night. This will be the Pioneers first road game in over a month as they just concluded an eight game homestand. AIC will look to rebound after being swept last weekend by the RIT Tigers.
The Series... Sacred Heart leads the all-time series with the Yellow Jackets, 20-10-5. Earlier this season the two teams played a Tuesday game at the Milford Ice Pavilion, with SHU winning 5-3. Last season the two teams split four games in Atlantic Hockey action. The home team won in every game of the series with the Pioneers outscoring AIC 15-10 in those four contests.
Hottest Team in the Nation... The Pioneers current nine game unbeaten streak ranks first in the nation and is SHU’s longest streak in program history. The Pioneer offense has been clicking as SHU is averaging 4.33 goals per game in their last nine. SHU has outscored opponents 39-18 during this stretch. The Pioneers concluded their longest homestand of the season with a 6-0-2 mark.
Adding to the Trophy Case... Senior Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) was named the Atlantic Hockey player of the Week for the second time this season after posting a five point weekend, three goals and two assists, against Canisius. The Pioneer forward netted the Pioneers first and last goal in SHU’s 4-2 Friday night win. Saturday night Johnson lit the lamp for his 18th goal of the season to give Sacred Heart a 2-1 lead in the first period as well as providing two assists.
Statistical Leaders... Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT), Dave Jarman (Toronto, ON), and Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) have all earned a place at the top of a statistical category in Atlantic Hockey. Johnson leads the conference, and ranks second in the nation with 18 goals this season. Jarman leads the league posting 23 assists so far in his senior campaign. Both Johnson and Jarman have 32 points in 2009-10 tying them for second in the AHA. Delong has 17 points in his freshman year, making him first in the conference and 10th in the nation in points per game for rookies.
Wild Finish to Homestand... The Pioneers played their final game of an eight game homestand last Saturday night, a 5-5 draw with Canisius. That game was one of the more eventful this season as there were seven goals in the first period, nine penalties in the second, and 15 power play chances between the two sides. Sacred Heart outshot the Golden Griffins 49-31 overall and 6-1 in overtime but could not solve the Canisius goaltender in the final moments and had to settle for one point in the standings.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets... AIC comes into their Tuesday meeting with the Pioneers after being swept last weekend by first place RIT. Freshman Adam Plekasch leads the Yellow Jacket attack with 10 goals and 4 assists for 14 total points this season. AIC has two other players in double digit points as junior Tom Mele has 11 points with seven goals and four assists while classmate Steve McLeod’s line posts four goals and six assists for 10 points. The Yellow Jackets have split games between goaltenders Dan Ramirez and Ben Meisner this season. Meisner, the freshman, owns all three of AIC’s wins and has a 3.31 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.
Plenty Of Firepower... After a slow start to the season the Pioneer offense has kicked into high gear, average 3.48 goals per game. That mark ranks them seventh in the nation and second in the league, .02 behind conference leader Canisius. The Pioneers top line of Nick Johnson, Dave Jarman and Patrick Knowlton (Colorado Springs, CO) has 85 points among them. Sacred Heart has not been shutout in the 2009-10 season.
Down But Never Out... In each of the Pioneers last four games they have given upthe first goal, finding themselves in an early 1-0 hole. However, in all of those games SHU rebounded to score three unanswered goals.
Chance at 100... Seniors Nick Johnson and Erik Boisvert are having stellar senior seasons to approach the 100 point mark for their careers. Boisvert has 89 points while Johnson has 87 as the SHU forwards approach the end of their collegiate careers. Sacred Heart has 11 games and post season play remaining this season.
Up Next... The Pioneers will not have to leave Connecticut this weekend as they stay in the Nutmeg state for a series with AHA rival UConn.