March 12, 2009
Setting the Scene... Air Force and Sacred Heat square off in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals this weekend in Colorado Springs. The eighth-seeded Pioneers beat UConn in the first round last week in Milford. Air Force is the top seed after sharing the regular season championship with RIT. This weekend's best-of-three series will take place Friday-Sunday at Cadet Ice Arena. All games can be heard along the Pioneer Radio and B2 Networks.
Pioneers Top Huskies in Playoff Opener... The Pioneers won their first round playoff game, beating UConn 4-2 at the Milford Ice Pavilion Saturday night. Junior Dave Jarman was in on all four SHU goals, garnering two goals and two assists. Jarman now has at least one point in eight of his last nine games. Sophomore Patrick Knowlton had a goal and an assist to record his first multi-point game of the year. This is the third straight year the Pioneers have won a playoff game, all coming on home ice.
The Series... Air Force swept the four game series with the Pioneers in the regular season. The Falcons won two close games in Milford in the first weekend of the season and posted two dominant victories at Cadet Arena before Thanksgiving. The teams split a pair of games in Milford last season and played to two draws in Colorado Springs in 2006. SHU has never beaten Air Force in Colorado Springs. The Falcons are 3-1-2 against SHU since joining Atlantic Hockey lead the all-time series with Sacred Heart, 6-1-3.
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, Eric Giosa led the team in goals scoring during the regular season with 14 goals while Erik Boisvert scored 12 goals. Dave Jarman has come on strong at the end of the year, scoring 11 goals to go along with 15 assists for 26 points. His two goals and two assists in the first round against UConn earned him AHA Player of the Week honors.
Pioneers in the Playoffs... Sacred Heart is making its 13th straight postseason appearance. The Pioneers reached the inaugural AHA championship game in 2004, but lost in the quarterfinal round the next two years. In their run to the championship round, SHU beat UConn, and Mercyhurst before falling to Holy Cross in the title game. In 2004-05, the Pioneers dropped a road decision to Holy Cross in the quarterfinal round. In 2006, SHU fell to UConn, 4-1, in the quarterfinals at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Last year, Sacred Heart posted a 4-0 shutout of AIC in the quarterfinals before losing a tough game to Air Force in overtime in the semifinals. Last year the Pioneers won a three game series against UConn in Quarterfinals before losing to Mercyhurst in the Final Five game in Rochester. The Pioneers have advanced to the Championship Round two years in a row.
Scouting the Falcons... The Co-Regular Season Chamipion and top-seeded Air Force Falcons boast the nation'a's third best scoring offense. The Falcons are led by AHA Player of the Year favorite Jacques Lamoreux who led the league and was second in the country in scoring with 28 goals, most in the nation, and 18 assists, 46 points. Meanwhile Brent Olson has been a complement to Lamoreux with nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points, fifth best in the league. Olson is second in assists to his teammate, defenseman Gregg Flynn who led the nation in scoring by defensemen with five goals and 30 assists. In goal, Andrew Volkening has played every minute for the Falcons, posting a 2.08 goals against average, tops in the league and 10th in the nation. The Falcons have the seventh best power-play in the country, converting at nearly a 21 percent clip.
Up Next... The winner of this weekend's series advances to the Atlantic Hockey Championships next weekend at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The semifinals will be held Friday night with the AHA Champion being crowned on Saturday evening. The winner of the tournament receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.