October 23, 2008

Pioneers Host RIT in Early Season AHA Showdown

Oct. 23, 2008

Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart returns home to take on RIT in a key early season Atalntic Hockey series this weekend at the Milford Ice Pavilion. The Pioneers are coming off a series sweep at Notre Dame in which they were shutout both nights. Meanwhile, RIT lost two games to upstate New York foes last week, losing to Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The teams meet at the Milford Ice Pavilion Friday and Saturday night with both games broadcast on WICC 600.

Pioneers Swept Under the Golden Dome... The Pioneers were swept in two games at Notre Dame, getting shutout twice, in the first ever meetings between the two schools. It's the first time in program history that SHU has been held scorless in a weekend series. This is just the secod time that SHU has been shutout in back-to-back games. The last time was in February of 2003 when the Pioneers lost consecutive 1-0 decisions to Mercyhurst and Miami (OH). Senior Stefan Drew was outstanding in goal Friday night, making 39 saves against just two goals, including several spectacular stops.

The Series... Sacred Heart won the first meeting with RIT in November of 2005. However, RIT has won the last four meetings, sweeping the Pioneers in Milford in 2007 and winning a pair of 4-2 games in Rochester last January. The Pioneers led both games entering the third period only to see the Tigers roar back in the third period and claim both games. RIT leads the all-time series with Sacred Heart 4-1.

Scouting the Tigers... RIT has taken Atlantic Hockey by storm in its two years in the league. Despite losing their top two scorers from last year in Simon Lambert and Matt Smith, the Tigers still possess alot of offensive firepower, having scored 13 goals in their first four games. Senior Brennan Sarazin leads the attack thus far with a goal and two assists. The Tigers top returning scorer from last year is Dan Ringwald who was the quarterback of the offense, scoring three goals while dishing out 30 assists. RIT returns both their goalies, with Louis Menard and Jared DiMichel back for the junior seasons. The duo has split games thus far, with DiMichel picking up the Tigers only win and posting a 1.51 goals against to Menard's 4.07.

Bear Hunt... For the third straight year the Pioneers will have a senior forward that will go down as one of the most prolific scorers in school history in Bear Trapp. Trapp, who is on pace to break several school records this year, tied for the team lead and was second in Atlantic Hockey in scoring last year with 40 points, 13 goals and 27 assists. His play earned him Second Team All-Atlantic Hockey honors and a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award. Trapp will also be an assistant captain for the Pioneers. As the senior season gets rolling, Trapp is ranked fourth in career assists (78), and fifth in points (124). Trapp needs 25 goals to break the Atlantic Hockey goal scoring mark, 27 assists for the all-time assists mark and 35 points for the all-time points mark.

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 players have scored goals, with Jarman the only multi-point scorer, with a goal and an assist.

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).

Up Next... The Pioneers tough early season stretch continues next weekend with a home-and-home series against defending AHA regular season champions Army. The teams meet Friday night in West Point and Saturday in Milford. Face-off both nights is 7:05 pm.