Feb. 7, 2007
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers travel to Erie, PA this weekend to meet their archrival Mercyhurst in a weekend series. The teams meet Friday and Saturday nights at the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7:00 pm. Coverage of both games can be heard on WICC 600 AM. Sacred Heart lost a pair of games to UConn last weekend, dropping them to third place in the AHA standings, one point behind Army. The Lakers have won four straight games, including a weekend sweep of Air Force last week in Colorado Springs, putting them into seventh place, one point behind Bentley and two in back of Holy Cross.
The Series... The Pioneers swept the first series of the year with Mercyhurst, in Milford in November. After winning 6-4 in the opening game, SHU trailed 4-0 with four minutes left Saturday night before scoring four goals in the final 3:57 to tie it and ultimately win the game in overtime. Pierre-Luc O'Brien had five goals and three assists in the series. The Pioneers have won five of the last six meetings with Mercyhurst and lead the all-time series 12-10-2.
Pioneers Swept by Huskies... The Pioneers were swept in a weekend series with UConn, losing by counts of 2-1 and 4-1. SHU has now lost eight of the last 10 meetings with the Huskies, including three of the last five in Milford and five in a row in Storrs. The Pioneers have not won at the Freitas Ice Forum since January 31, 2004. The sweep was the second the Pioneers have suffered this year, the first time the Pioneers have lost two weekend series in a season since the end of the 2004-05 season. Sophomore Dave Grimson and senior Pierre-Luc O'Brien scored the Pioneer goals on the weekend. The tally was the 65th of O'Brien's career, tying the school record for goals in a career.
Scouting the Lakers... Mercyhurst has gotten on a hot streak lately, winning their last four games following a nine game winless streak. The Lakers have upped their record to 8-16-5 and 8-12-3 in the league, moving up the standings into seventh place, just one point behind Bentley and two in back of Holy Cross. Part of the Lakers resurgence can be traced to the returns of Scott Champagne and Ben Cottreau from injury. Despite missing seven games, Cottreau leads the team with 14 goals and 17 assists, 31 points. Champagne is third on the team with 8 goals and 16 assists, 24 points. Senior captain Kyle Gourgon has 10 goals and a team high 20 assists for 30 points. In goal, Jordan Wakefield has taken over between the pipes after the departure of Tyler Small. In 16 games, Wakefield has posted a 3.16 goals against average and a.920 save percentage. The Laker power play has been effective, converting at nearly a 20 percent clip for the season.
Hobey Nominees... Senior Pierre-Luc O'Brien and sophomore Bear Trapp have been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the most outstanding player in college hockey. Fans now have the opportunity to select their favorite candidate for the list of top ten finalists on the new Hobey Baker Award website, www.hobeybaker.com.Voting in phase one will end on March 4. Fans may vote for one candidate at a time, but can vote multiple times per day. The standings will run concurrently on the Hobey Baker website. Phase two will begin on March 15 after the top ten finalists have been announced. To vote, visit the Vote For Hobey link on the Hobey Baker website, or just click on the Vote For Hobey button on the site's homepage.
Up Next... The Pioneers face Holy Cross in a home-and-home series next weekend. The teams meet Friday night at the Hart Center in Worcester and will rematch Saturday night in Milford at 7:00 pm both nights. Friday's game can be heard on WICC with Saturday's contest available on the Internet.