February 26, 2009

Men's Ice Hockey Closes Regular Season Against Holy Cross

Feb. 26, 2009

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart and Holy Cross meet in a home-and-home series to close out the Atlantic Hockey regular season. The Pioneers are coming off a series split with AIC last week, with each team winning on their home ice. Meanwhile Holy Cross was swept at Air Force last week. This weekend's series opens Friday night in Worcester and concludes Saturday in Milford. Both games will start at 7:05 pm and be carried on the Pioneer Radio Network.

The Series... The teams split their first series of the year, over Thanksgiving weekend, with each team winning on the road. The squads have split their last six meetings The Pioneers had won seven straight games before losing in Worcester last January. Before losing in November, SHU had won seven straight games against Holy Cross in Milford, dating back to January of 2005. Sacred Heart leads the all-time series with Holy Cross 19-17-1.

Pioneers Split With Jackets... The Pioneers split a weekend series with American International, winning at home by a 6-3 score before falling in Springfield, 2-1. Junior Dave Jarman led the Pioneers with two goals and two assists on the weekend while sophomore Evan Mladenoff rang up two goals and one assist. Jarman scored two goals Friday night to record his first multi-goal game of the year. Friday night's win guaranteed the Pioneers a home game in the opening round of the AHA playoffs.

Senior Salute... Saturday night, the Pioneers will honor the graduating members of the Sacred Heart men's ice hockey program. This year's class has won a total of 66 games in four years and finished in the top four of the Atlantic Hockey standings three out of four seasons and has advanced to the Atlantic Hockey championship round twice.

Playoff Pursuit... As the final weekend begins, Sacred Heart sits in eighth place in the standings. Sacred Heart will play one of two first round game on March 7th in Milford. The winners will join the top six teams in the best-of-three quarterfinals March 13-15 at the high seed. The quarterfinal winners advance to the AHA Championships in Rochester, NY March 20-21.

Balancing Act on Attack... The Pioneers have had 19 different players score goals and have 23 players with at least one point. After each scoring double digit goals last season, Erik Boisvert and Eric Giosa lead the team this year with 12 tallies apiece.

Scouting the Crusaders... After running off a nine game unbeaten streak and being one of the hottest teams in the nation in January, Holy Cross has cooled off dramatically in February, losing its last six games. The Crusaders were swept at Air Force last week and sit seventh in the standings entering the final weekend. Sophomore Jordan Cyr leads the Holy Cross attack with 15 goals and nine assists, 24 points on the season. Behind Cyr, the Crusaders have a balanced attack with Brodie Sheahan (9 goals, 11 assists), Everrett Sheen (9 goals 8 assists) and Ryan Driscoll (8 goals and 11 assists) leading the way. Sophomore Adam Roy has seen the bulk of the time in goal, posting a 3.31 goals against average in 23 starts. Holy Cross' special teams have struggled this year. The power-play is only clicking at 10 percent with the penalty kill working at 79 percent.

Up Next... Sacred Heart will be with the seventh or eighth seed in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The Pioneers will host a first round playoff game next Saturday at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The game will face-off at7:05 pm and be broadcast on SacredHeartPioneers.com.

Complete SHU-Holy Cross Game Notes in PDF Format