Pioneers Take The Ice Against #8 Notre Dame

Oct. 15, 2008

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart travels to South Bend, IN this weekend for a weekend series with 2008 national runner-up Notre Dame. The Pioneers are coming off a series sweep at the hands of Air Force last weekend while the Irish lost their season opener at Denver last Saturday. The teams meet at the Joyce Center Friday at 7:35 pm and Saturday at 7:05 pm with both games broadcast on WICC 600.

Pioneers Swept by Air Force... The Pioneers were swept by Air Force in the season opening series over the weekend. Junior Dave Jarman led the offense with a goal and assist in the two game set. Sophomore Chris Brown notched his first collegiate point, an assist on Saturday night. This is the first time SHU has lost its first two league games since 2003-04.

The Series... This weekend marks the first meeting between Sacred Heart and Notre Dame. The Pioneers are 1-7 all-time against teams from the CCHA. Their only win came in 2003 against Miami. Last year SHU dropped a 5-2 decision to CCHA foe Northern Michigan in the second game of the Denver Cup.

Pioneers Picked Fourth... The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team has been picked fourth in the Atlantic Hockey preseason coaches' poll. Last year's tournament champion, Air Force was picked first in the poll. Mercyhurst was chosen second with 70 points and one first place vote. The other two first place votes were collected by third place RIT. Sacred Heart and Army round out the top five.

Balanced Attack Back... Behind Trapp, the Pioneers return their next seven leading scorers. A large junior class includes the trio of Dave Jarman, Nick Johnson and Erik Boisvert. Jarman and Johnson each scored 12 goals a year ago while Boisvert found the back of the net 11 times. Jarman was second on the team with 22 assists while Boisvert registered 21 helpers. Eric Giosa is back for his senior season after scoring 10 goals last year. Four different player scored four goals for the Pioneers last week.

Tough Start... Over the first eight games of the season, the Pioneers will play the defending AHA conference champions (Air Force), the national runner up (Notre Dame), archrival RIT and the defending regular season champions (Army).

Scouting the Irish... The national runner-up Notre Dame Fighting Irish are loaded with returning players, having lost just one of their top eight scorers from last year's Frozen Four team. The Irish have eight NHL draft picks on their roster, including their top two scorers from last season in Erik Condra (15-23-38) and Nashville prospect Ryan Thondra (18-14-32). In his first year as a starter last season, senior Jordan Pearce backstopped the Irish to the national championship game with a 2.04 goals against average and .914 save percentage, picking up 23 wins along the way. Notre Dame is ranked eighth in this weekend's USCHO and USA Today national polls. The Irish lost their season opener last Saturday, dropping a 5-2 decision to Denver in the US Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

Up Next... The Pioneers are back home next weekend to face RIT in an important early season Atlantic Hockey series. The teams meet Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 pm at the Milford Ice Pavilion. Both games will be carried on WICC 600 AM and the B2 Networks.