January 31, 2008

Pioneers Head to Buffalo For Canisius Series

Jan. 31, 2008

Setting the Scene... The Pioneer men's hockey team travels to Buffalo for a two game set with Canisius. SHU split a series with Holy Cross last weekend while Canisius lost a non-league game to Merrimack. The Pioneers start the weekend second in the league standings with the Griffs ninth. However, just five points separate the two teams in the standings. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 pm at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. Coverage of this weekend's games are available on the B2 Networks.

SHU Splits the Cross... The Pioneers split a weekend set with Holy Cross, winning Friday night in Milford, 5-1, before dropping a 4-2 decision in Worcester Saturday. Junior Eric Giosa scored two goals in Friday's win. Freshman Reade Wolansky had three assists Friday night to record his first career multi-point game. Sophomore Mike Rosata tallied his first career point Friday night by recording an assist. Saturday's loss snapped the Pioneers seven game winning streak over Holy Cross.

The Series... Sacred Heart took three of four points from Canisius when the teams met in Milford in October. The Pioneers won the opening game Friday night and then the teams played to a draw Saturday night. SHU is unbeaten in 11 of their last 13 games against Canisius. The Pioneers lead the all-time series with Canisius 15-14-2.

Streaks and Trends... Parent has tallied points each of his last six games....Trapp has surpassed the 100 point mark for his career....Trapp has registered a point in nine of his last 12 games...Parent needs three more assists to move into second place all-time...Parent needs four more points to move into fourth all-time...Sacred Heart is ranked 15th in the country in penalty minutes, with 396...The Pioneers are ranked fourth in the country in combined special teams at 55.7%.

Balancing Act... Thirteen players have scored goals for SHU already this year. Junior Eric Giosa is tied for ninth in league with nine goals. Sophomores Dave Jarman has eight goals while sophomore Nick Johnson has seven goals. Trapp and Boisvert each have a team leading 14 assists. Meanwhile Johnson has 11 and Jarman 10 helpers. Defensively, junior Paul Ferraro has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) and Dave Grimson has 10 points (3-7) on the year.

Scouting the Golden Griffs... Canisius starts the weekend with a 6-8-4 record in league play, ninth place in the standings but still within striking distance of the top half of the league. Canisius is 5-2-3 in their last 10 conference games since early December. A young Griffins line-up is anchored by sophomore Josh Heidinger who has a team-leading nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. Freshman Vincent Scarsella has a team-high 13 assists to go along with six goals, 19 points. Sophomore Jason Weeks is second on the team with eight goals. Sophomore Andrew Loewen has gotten hot for the Griffs in goal lately and is now third in the league with a 2.53 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 19 starts. The Golden Griffs power play has struggled this year, converting at just an 11 percent rate this season.

Up Next... The Pioneers will face UConn in a home-and-home series next weekend. The teams meet Friday night in Storrs and Saturday at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Game time is 7:05 with coverage Saturday night available on WICC 600 AM.