March 6, 2008

Pioneers Host UConn in AHA Quarterfinals

March 6, 2008

Setting the Scene... The Pioneers face UConn in the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinal Best-of-Three series. SHU is the number four seed in the tournament while Connecticut is seeded seventh. The games Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion will all have a 7:05 pm face-off.

On the Air... Friday's game can be heard on WICC 600 AM with Saturday's game broadcast by SacredHeartPioneers.com All games of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament will be carried by B2 Networks.

The Series... Sacred Heart swept the four game season series with Connecticut. Stefan Drew had two shutouts against the Huskies. Connecticut has won the season series with Sacred Heart in each of the last two seasons and also won the last playoff meeting between the teams, besting the Pioneers, 4-1 in the 2006 AHA quarterfinals. The Huskies lead the all-time series 19-16-3.

SHU Swept by Army... The Pioneers closed out the regular season being swept by Army, 6-1 and 3-2. Senior Alex Parent had two goals to record his eighth straight multi-point weekend. Junior Bear Trapp had two assists on the weekend.Sacred Heart will be the #4 seed in the Atlantic Hockey tournament.

Pioneers in the Playoffs... The Pioneers are making their 12th straight postseason appearance. Last year SHU made it to the semifinals before falling to Air Force. The Pioneers were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2005 after reaching the inaugural AHA championship game in 2004.

Streaks and Trends... Parent has tallied points each of his last 16 games....The Pioneers took 98 minutes worth of penalties in the Army series, allowing the Black Knights 24 power plays...Sacred Heart is ranked third in the country in penalty minutes per game with 19.9...SHU has the second ranked power play in the nation with a conversion rate of 24.2 pecent...The Pioneers have scored at least one powerplay goal in 15 of their last 17 games. The Pioneers are ranked first in the country in combined special teams at 58.5%.

Balancing Act... Sixteen players have scored goals for SHU this year. Of those, five players are in double digit goal scoring. Junior Eric Giosa and sophomores Dave Jarman and Erik Boisvert all have 10 goals, while Nick Johnson has 11. Jarman is second on the team in assists with 21 while Boisvert has 20 helpers and Johnson 15. Johnson leads the league with four game winning goals. Defensively, junior Paul Ferraro has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and Dave Grimson has 16 points (5-11) on the year.

Streaks and Trends... Parent has tallied points each of his last 16 games....The Pioneers took 98 minutes worth of penalties in the Army series, allowing the Black Knights 24 power plays...Sacred Heart is ranked third in the country in penalty minutes per game with 19.9...SHU has the second ranked power play in the nation with a conversion rate of 24.2 pecent...The Pioneers have scored at least one powerplay goal in 15 of their last 17 games. The Pioneers are ranked first in the country in combined special teams at 58.5%.

Scouting the Huskies... The Huskies of UConn enter the postseason seeded seventh after posting an 11-14-3 record in regular season play. After finding out that the knee injury he sustained against the Pioneers four weeks ago wasn't as serious as thought Goaltender Beau Erickson returned last week to post two shutouts against Holy Cross. In 28 starts, Erickson turned in a 2.89 goals against average and .915 save percentage. The Huskies offense struggled all season, scoring the fewest goals of any team in the league. Freshman Andrew Olson leads the team with 13 goals, along with seven assists and 20 points. Sophomore Chris Ochoa has a team high 22 points with 10 goals and 12 assists. The Huskies power play is ranked third to last in the country with a conversion rate of just 9.6 percent on the season.

Up Next... The winners of the the quarterfinal series will advance to the AHA Final Five next weekend in Rochester, NY. The final five game is set for Friday night with the semifinals Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.